Manhwa is the indigenous term for comics in South Korea, just as Japanese comics are known at home as manga and the French know them as BD.
The city of Bucheon holds the Korean Comics Museum, the Cartoon Information Center (a disused industrial plant repurposed to hold over 40,000 crossindexed graphic novels), and is the location of an annual comics festival. The government, I've read, created a Korean Culture Contents Association, intended to support the spread of manhwa worldwide. Hell, there's a Korea Cartoonist's Association. Previously known for bootlegging manga -- and that's apparently still a big chunk of the annual publishing volume -- the general resurgence in the arts in South Korea seems to have buoyed comics up with it. There are thousands of graphic novel rental outlets, and online comics have been developed to take advantage of the boom in internet-cafe ("PC Room") activity.
Korean comics are now entering the Anglophone market in translated editions. I think Curtis Comics and Comicsone are currently involved in bringing manhwa to America.
But I wanted to get a look at the sort of thing available in South Korean graphic novel stores right now. A very kind person called Pat Spacek, living and working in South Korea today, scanned a pile of that week's acquisitions for me. A comedy book. A baseball "melodrama," a romance comic for girls, and something called "Deerger", of which Pat says: "My personal favourite. I have no idea what the fuck this is."
Consider them snapshots of another world.
And thanks, Pat.