Ize Press, the Korean-content imprint from Yen Press, has quickly risen to become a market leader in the print publication of Korean comics since its founding in 2022. With a robust catalog of titles such as Villains Are Destined to Die, Solo Leveling, and Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint, Ize Press aims to deliver high-quality physical editions of many beloved stories to fans eager to add them to their collections.
At a time when comics and webnovels from Korea are rising in popularity at the speed of K-pop, Ize Press is releasing the English print editions of HYBE’s own IP-based original story webcomics from K-pop royalty BTS (7FATES: CHAKHO), ENHYPEN (DARK MOON: THE BLOOD ALTAR), and TOMORROW X TOGETHER (THE STAR SEEKERS) in Fall 2023. These three titles were originally released in ten languages on WEBTOON Worldwide Service, collectively garnering over 70 million views in a single month.
This all-star lineup of manhwa begins with 7FATES: CHAKHO, as Volume 1 is available now wherever graphic novels are sold. 7FATES: CHAKHO is a dynamic action fantasy comic made in collaboration with BTS. The first volume focuses on one of our seven protagonists, Zeha, as he begins his journey to become a strong Beom hunter. Guided by deity Haru on his path of revenge against the Beom who killed his parents, Zeha eventually meets our third protagonist, the perceptive marksman Do-Geon. With quite the cliffhanger, 7FATES: CHAKHO, Vol. 1 leaves readers wondering how fate will bring all seven young men from the prologue together as the Beom-hunting team eventually forms. The official description for Volume 1 is below:
Created by HYBE, With BTS
One day, Zeha wakes up in a hospital bed with a nasty wound on his chest and no memory of what happened. Before he can get his bearings, a city detective reveals that he was found collapsed on Inwang Mountain, the sole survivor of a grisly mass murder. This was only the beginning. The Beom, monstrous entities from another world, stalk the streets, mauling and devouring anyone they can find. When Zeha learns that he is somehow at the center of it all, he decides to stand up and fight. But first, he will need allies—a team of seven individuals drawn to each other, as if guided by fate itself.
Many webcomic readers may be wondering what the print edition brings to the table. Well, we have the answer for you! With shiny covers printed on silver paper, 7FATES: CHAKHO features exclusive cover art drawn by DUBU (REDICE STUDIO), the late artist of the hit manhwa Solo Leveling. Volume 1 also includes a gorgeous double-sided insert poster that readers can easily remove and hang in their walls, and interesting background notes at the back of the book, such as the incorporation of the legend of Dangun and the origin of the name Chakho. Spoilers: Team Chakho derives its name from chakho gapsa, a group of tiger hunters from the Joseon dynasty. Plus, there’s nothing like flipping through the pages of a new book!
How will these young men bound by fate become a unified group and unlock their destiny? You’ll have to read 7FATES: CHAKHO to find out! Filtered through HYBE’s imagination, the story reimagines traditional Korean tiger tales and a mythological world of wild beasts, and readers will find themselves rushing to grab the next volume, which releases in January 2024.
The next HYBE title released under Ize Press is THE STAR SEEKERS, made in collaboration with TOMORROW X TOGETHER. This fantasy tale follows a group of young men in a pop band called Star One, living in a world where magic is part of everyday reality. The group awakens one day to discover they possess dormant magical abilities, boosting the popularity of Star One and making them targets of a terrorist organization that is against magic idols. Originally on a mission to eliminate them, the mysterious antagonists reveal their interest in bringing one of the Star One members into their fold.
Readers will become enraptured with the creative magical abilities and the perserverance of the main cast of characters. Those familiar with the K-pop industry will be able to relate to the group’s struggle to gain popularity and respect. The English print edition of THE STAR SEEKERS, Vol. 1 boasts a gorgeous, starry cover that one really needs to see in person to appreciate. The dynamic illustrations of the action during magical battles and the flashy performances will immediately hook readers. THE STAR SEEKERS, Vol. 1 is available now in-stores and through online retailers, and the official description is below:
THE STAR SEEKERS
Created by HYBE, With TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT)
In an age when magic idols reign supreme, Star One is just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, Tier-Two boy band at best. Though the five members have been giving it their all for the past three years, their lack of magic remains a hopelessly insurmountable wall, and with their company turning its back on them, it seems to be the end of the road for their careers. Just when things can’t get any worse, a sudden attack during a performance puts their lives in danger—until leader Soule unleashes newfound powers! Will this finally be the big break the group was hoping for?
Last but not least, Ize Press will be releasing DARK MOON: THE BLOOD ALTAR in collaboration with ENHYPEN. We’re introduced to Sooha as a young girl who people consider to be a vampire due to her abnormal strength. After a traumatic incident with a childhood friend, Sooha comes to hate vampires and adamantly denies being one to anyone who catches her using her strength. On her first day at her new school, she meets the seven most popular boys and makes quite the impression. The boys quickly reveal that they have special abilities of their own ranging from telepathy to pyrokinesis. Unfortunately, they hid the fact that they’re vampires!
Mixing urban fantasy and teen romance, the story follows the confrontation, confusion, and chemistry between a group of vampires, a pack of werewolves, and the mysterious new girl, Sooha. Combining a heroine with incredible abilities, youthful friendships, and a powerful secret, DARK MOON: THE BLOOD ALTAR brings new levity and energy to teen romance. The English print edition of Volume 1 releases December 12, 2023, and the official description is below:
Created by HYBE, With ENHYPEN
The seven most popular boys at Decelis Academy all share a secret—they’re vampires. Keeping their identities concealed and dealing with their werewolf rivals is trouble enough, but the appearance of a mysterious new student only further complicates things. The girl, Sooha, also has hidden powers, and the boys can’t help but feel an inexplicable attraction to her. As Sooha and the vampires find themselves increasingly drawn toward each other, murky pasts and intertwined futures threaten to turn their world upside down. Just what fate awaits them under the dark moon…?
The English print edition of DARK MOON: THE BLOOD ALTAR, Vol. 1 features elegant silver accents and exclusive cover art never before seen by webcomic-only readers. This first volume ends with an intense reveal, and the compendium in the back hints to quite a dramatic reunion upcoming. Readers will quickly fall in love with the dazzling art style, the quirky cast of characters, and the titillating drama foreshadowed.
Of course, we’d be remiss not to briefly talk about the relation to the K-pop bands. Each character is inspired by a real member of the associated band. At the back of each book, you can find a brief character description quoted by the group member on the cover. For example, BTS’s Jung Kook describes Zeha in 7FATES: CHAKHO, Vol. 1, TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s Soobin describes Soule in THE STAR SEEKERS, Vol. 1, and ENHYPEN’s Heeseung describes Heli in DARK MOON: THE BLOOD ALTAR, Vol. 1. Superfans of the bands should definitely grab a copy to add to their bookshelves, and enjoy some of the related music videos released by the bands while reading!
For more information about the English print editions of the HYBE comics, visit izepress.com