|Popular webtoon story is getting a YA animated series /Photo by II.studio via Shutterstock|
“Lore Olympus” is a webtoon that’s something of a star on the Line-owned webtoon website. Belonging to the romance subgenre, it’s the story with the biggest reading audience and continues to be widely talked about in other circles such as across social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter. Perhaps because of the story’s popularity, hinged on the fact that many people all over the world find affinity with the Greek myths, Rachel Smythe’s creation is finally getting its own YA animated series.
This could be a refreshing deviation for the run-of-the-mill superhero comics, which is one reason fans are also looking forward to it.
Bringing Indie to the Light
According to Screen Rant, a source for the latest movie updates and reviews for other TV and pop culture content, Smythe’s webtoon came just in time during an era when Hollywood “is looking not only to Marvel, DC, and even more indie-publishers for source material.” “Lore Olympus” certainly has the fanbase for a show, and the enthusiastic way in which fans wait for each new episode of the comic every Sunday is very telling of the fact that, though it’s probably still considered as niche, that niche has enough of a voice of its own.
Webtoon has seen the rise of other non-mainstream contents that are famous enough to birth another iteration of themselves. This is the fate of the live-action Korean drama show “Love Alarm” on Netflix, which also started as a webtoon.
Since “Lore Olympus” is an illustrated work, it makes sense that it will be adapted into a YA animated series. How well Smythe’s colorful and airy art style translates into an animated series is anyone’s guess, but everyone who’s been buckled up in the Lore Olympus-verse since the start is already rejoicing.
Screen Rant further reported that Smythe will be working with The Jim Henson Company on the series, although it is unclear how involved she will be.
Deadline, an entertainment news website focusing on unfiltered and no-holds-barred analysis of events, said that this will be The Jim Henson Company’s first adaptation deal since 2014. And suffice it to say, they seem as excited about it as the fans are.
Webtoon’s Senior Vice President of IP Development Taylor Grant, who will also be working with Jim Henson and Smythe, had this to say: “We are thrilled to partner with The Jim Henson Company, a beloved brand known for its commitment to quality entertainment. The combination of our tremendously successful IP, along with the creative expertise of The Jim Henson Company, provides an opportunity to deliver a unique animated series unlike any we’ve seen before. We are excited to expand the ‘Lore Olympus’ universe and bring it to life for a whole new audience.”
|Fans are excited for the animated series version of Lore Olympus /Photo by Antonio Guillem via 123rf|
In a statement, The Jim Henson Company, through Executive Director for Television Ashley Griffis, touted Smythe’s work as a story that inspires both “artistically and intellectually.” They also expressed excitement at being able to work with Smythe’s story, which is complemented by a fresh “new take on mythology” and having an “innovative design.”
Over at Culturess, an entertainment and lifestyle site for women, it was said that a big part of “Lore Olympus”’ popularity is also its evocative art style, which looks entirely new. Culturess sang praises for Smythe’s use of “strong color palettes to represent each character and setting.” Though such a technique is constantly used in many artworks in terms of setting the mood, Smythe leans into it in her artwork, often making it the central theme of scenes.
The slow burn progression of the story is also what makes it strong. “Will they, won’t they? but with Greek gods,” anyone?
Since it’s primarily a spin on the Hades and Persephone tale, the main plot revolves around the two characters’ connection and the familial twists and turns and hurdles characteristic of Greek myths. Other gods’ storylines are also given the spotlight throughout the story, of course, such as lovable Eros’ always-wonderful appearances.
There will probably be more storylines to explore and more lore to expand, Smythe even said so herself. In some of the Q&A sections of the webtoon, she said that she already had an end in mind for the story and will be going through various storylines to get there.
At 79 episodes (82 for the fast pass crowd), the story is already properly heating up. What everyone just wishes at this point is that both Webtoon and the Jim Henson Company remain true to the source material by making sure that Smythe can exercise powers over the artistic direction of the story; after all, that was what fans came for.
For writer Jessica Mason on The Mary Sue, a website offering news about comic book movies, genre television, and many other popular culture content, Smythe’s beautiful watercolor art and simple and sweet storytelling that matches the mobile format of the Webtoon website really helped her finally find her appreciation of comic books.
“There’s a movement and grace to these images I’d never experienced before and I’m obsessed,” Mason said.