On June 14th, WEBTOON announced a small event within Times Square in New York City for Thursday, June 27th, 2024. This event known as TOON SQUAREwas planned as a small event where WEBTOON fans get to go meet other fans, cosplayers, and creators, with the added bonus of receiving autographs. The creators announced and present for the event were the following:

Autographs from the creators present at the TOON SQUARE event Autographs from the creators presented at the TOON SQUARE event
Autographs from the creators present at the TOON SQUARE event (note the shapes of these cutouts).

The event was located on 43rd Street and 7th Avenue in Times Square between the Hard Rock Cafe and the Tamashii Nations store just across the corner from the NASDAQ building (for good reason). The event started at 9am EDT and went until 10am EDT where attendees got a photo opportunity with the cosplayers present at the event who were cosplaying as recognizable characters from WEBTOON originals such as The Remarried Empress, Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint, Unholy Blood, Tower of Godand Lore Olympus.

At 9:50am a majority of the WEBTOON staff who were present at the event gathered for a photoshoot leading up to the reveal of WEBTOON goes public on the NASDAQ stock exchange at 10am. On the NASDAQ building itself, which features a digital video board, and nearby the event stage, pictures of the WEBTOON staff inside the NASDAQ trading floor were shown to commemorative cheering and applause to wrap up the Cosplayer Meet & Greet.

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In an observation, there were also South Korean news reporters present at the event, with some bringing their own cameras and equipment to broadcast and report on the event live from Times Square. One even brought a stool to allow herself to be perfectly aligned with the backdrop of the event. It was all interesting to see just how important this moment was for international reporters to come all the way to New York City.

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A South Korean reporter using a stool to look just right before reporting

Afterwards, a line of eager WEBTOON fans began to grow for the Creator Signings. There, those who attended got to have photo ops with their favorite creators present To my surprise there was a pretty good turnout of fans of all ages present for the signings, from children accompanied by their parents and family members, students enjoying the beginning of summer and adult readers who traveled on vacation from out of state for the opportunity. At the event, those online would be given a phone-sized WEBTOON sticker bag with 5 stickers inside featuring characters from School Bus Graveyard, I’m The Queen in This Life, True Beauty, Marry My Husbandand DOOM BREAKER.

an assortment of phone-sized stickers from a WEBTOON sleeve given out at the event.an assortment of phone-sized stickers from a WEBTOON sleeve given out at the event.
The WEBTOON sticker sleeve given out at the event and the stickers that came with it.

At the Creator Signings, fans would also be given WEBTOON logo-shaped boards which the creators autographed or even gave custom autographs upon request alongside the option for photos to be taken with the fans. It was a nice and rare opportunity to meet and get to chat with these WEBTOON creators who work hard to tell stories in which readers all over the world can enjoy.

A line of fans at the TOON SQUARE event await their autographsA line of fans at the TOON SQUARE event await their autographs
Fans line up for creator autographs

The signings went from 10am until 12pm when they began to wrap up the event with a photo of all the remaining fans, creators, and cosplayers in attendance. Once the event concluded, the staff began to pack up the event space with attendees being directed to exit along 43rd street.

a group photo of the remaining fans, cosplayers, and creators at the end of the event.a group photo of the remaining fans, cosplayers, and creators at the end of the event.

This was my first time at a WEBTOON event of this scale in New York City. It was fun to meet excited fans of all ages and backgrounds attending the event, seeing cosplayers dressing up as their favorite WEBTOON characters, to meet and connect with the various creators in attendance and even the WEBTOON staff who were present. I really do hope WEBTOON gets the opportunity to do another event like this, not only New York City, but other cities across the United States and even abroad for creators and fans.

This event also makes me wonder if something such as a Vertical Comics convention with WEBTOON, Tapas, Tappytoons, Jump Toon, and other webtoon companies collaborating together would be possible in the future. I think about this due to the fact that vertical scrolling comics as a whole is its own community that overlaps with the anime, manga and comics bubble, and has evolved to the point where it is now its own thriving international community.

Webtoons are now created from the US, Europe, Korea, Japan, and just about everywhere else around the globe. Since WEBTOON has now gone public, it goes to show how vertical scrolling comics as an art form are here to stay with the potential and opportunity for creators and fans around the world to come together outside of the usual anime or comic conventions to discuss everything about them, to cosplay their favorite characters, connect, and more.

With that tangent aside, TOON SQUARE was a short and sweet event that didn’t overstay its welcome within the beating heart of New York City. I do look forward to attending more events of this nature from WEBTOON or any other webtoon companies across the globe within New York City.

The WEBTOON mascot present at the TOON SQUARE eventThe WEBTOON mascot present at the TOON SQUARE event
I finally got to meet the WEBTOON mascot girl in person!! (squee!)

Have you attended TOON SQUARE? What do you think about these webtoon events? Any cities that you want more events like these to appear in? Let us know down in the comments below!

Feel free to follow Webtoon on their X/twitter for event news, originals, and more regarding the platform.

Also feel free to follow me on X/Twitter where I post my art and progress on my own WEBTOON as well as mods for video games, retweet comic book news, and the occasional art and memes if that interests you.

You can also read about the big news that WEBTOON has gone public right here on The Beat.

As always, until next time my adorable birb nerds! Here’s to a good and eventful summer.