THE AWL is critically acclaimed and the recipient of the Korean Cartoon of Today Prize and caused a stir by raising public awareness about acute labor problems when it was originally published. It was also adapted to a successful TV series in South Korea by the JTBC network.
Set in the latter half of the 2000s, against the backdrop of “Pureumi”, a fictional superstore chain in South Korea, the work unfolds with a focus on two protagonists: Yi Su-in, who has been instructed by the corporation to dismiss workers unjustly; and Gu Go-sin, a labor activist.
A man of principles, Su-in is someone who cannot restrain outspoken criticism and is constantly at odds with the world. Though he has quit a career in the armed forces to live quietly and chosen an ordinary job, he once again clashes against the world because the company has ordered him to drive out employees by force.
Aiding Su-in is Go-sin, a cool-headed and deft labor activist who runs a labor counseling center near the Pureumi chain. Unlike Su-in, who has difficulty getting along with people and sternly sticks to rules, he approaches others without hesitation and even resorts to extreme measures at times to accomplish goals.
Remarkable in mastery and brilliance, creator Choi Gyu-Seok (The Hellbound) depicts with finesse all the adventures of this shock of two worlds, and at the same time offers an amazing portrait of a complex Korean society, crossed by multiple tensions.
Born in 1977 in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province, Choi Gyu-seok studied illustration and animation at Sang Myung University and made his debut as a cartoonist with the selection of his work in a competition hosted by a Korean magazine in 1998. He went on to be the recipient of Dong-LG International Festival of Comics, Cartoon, Character Design and Animation (DIFECA) for his “The Cola Man” in 2002. In 2003 He won the Comics Readers Award and the Presidential Awar Award for Outstanding Leaders of the 21st Century. He was also invited that year to the Angouleme International Comics Festival and selected among “New Cultural Stars” by the Daily Hankyoreh in 2006. His other works include “A Report on the Ecology of Marshes” and “A Sad Homage to Dooly the Dinosaur.” Currently he serializes the historical drama The Natives of the Republic of Korea in the weekly Hankyoreh 21.
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