Joining me this time as Webtoon in Depth‘s Guest Creator is MAF KEUN. MAF KEUN is the creator of the comic Pit Bull and Mew on Tapas, another popular webcomic app and platform used by many readers and creators.
For those unfamiliar with it, here is the synopsis to Pit Bull and Mew:
“Mew is like a grumpy cat: quiet, collected, a college student who all the girls swoon for despite her rejecting them. Pit Bull, well…let’s just say between his bold advances on women and reckless stunts, he needs a muzzle, or twelve. Clashing like cats and dogs with their friend Sansan caught in the crossfire, can the two really get along?”
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you started making webcomics.
MAF KEUN: Hi, I’m MAF KEUN. I’m currently a freelance artist from Indonesia.
It was around 2015 when LINE Webtoon Indonesia was booming here. They held their first contest to find a few local artists to be their official artist. I had no idea at all about webcomics, but I was tempted to join because of the reward. So I created my first webcomic called Honesty and Kindness under “Peach”/“ikure” as my penname. But my skill was not enough back then. I found myself to enjoy creating webcomics, but I was still a ‘moody’ type of artist and easy to get lazy due to college homework. So I decided “I guess I’ll just do webcomic as a side hobby”.
After that, around 2017, I decided to discontinue my first comic and start everything fresh and new. I changed my penname to MAF KEUN and decided to create a new comic that I will work seriously on (in concept, story, and art quality), but I was still not expecting it to be official. My second comic was Pit Bull & Mew and I first posted it on LINE Webtoon Discovery (both English and Indonesia version). Then 2018 came. A Japanese webcomic site called Comico finally released their Indonesia version, and I got an offer to be their official artist. I was almost finished with college at that time, and I had nowhere to go. So I thought I’d just give it a try, and I did. As time passed by, few comics from Comico was sent to Tapas and vice versa. Pit Bull & Mew was one of the chosen one to be sent to Tapas.
As a creator who has their comic officially on two different webtoon platforms (Comico and Tapas), what is your experience so far in using/partnering with them? (For example, gaining readers, establishing your name as a creator, etc.) Is there a difference between the two and do you prefer one over the other?
MAF KEUN: Gaining readers of course one of the experiences that I feel the most about and the difference is pretty far apart. Because Comico is still new in my country, there’s not many people who know about it. My comic barely got any response because of that. After it went to Tapas, I was quite surprised with the number of comments, likes, and subscribers/favorites. The impact is pretty big for me. It gave me more spirit to keep drawing as a webtoon creator. Even someone that I didn’t know recognized me in my newest comic that I’m working on it right now on LINE Webtoon Discover. I still love Comico because they are like a family to me, but if I had to choose for the sake of my comic, I probably prefer Tapas for now.
What inspired you to create the concept, story, and characters of Pit Bull and Mew?
MAF KEUN: At first I was only planning to create a common love story between a tomboy female character and a cheerful male character. But at the time, there were these moments where I kept finding news or stories about dogs, especially pit bull breeds—most of them always a bad story. Either the dog is being put down, abandoned, used in dog fights, or some other news regarding pit bull attacks. It might sound stupid, but I thought if I can help spread awareness through my comic about how most of pit bull was treated badly (discriminated), then I’d just give it a try. I’m a dog lover, I never had a pit bull before, but I believe any kind of dog deserves to live. Then I decided to create the story Pit Bull & Mew. Mew itself is just an additional idea to make the story more interesting and cute. So it became a story between two best friends that have a relationship like a dog vs cat.
I heard the unfortunate news that Pit Bull and Mew had to end sooner than expected. Although the last chapter (55) is already up on the Indonesian version on Comico, the English translation on Tapas is only up to chapter 44. Without giving any spoilers for the readers who still have to wait, what kind of ending can they expect?
MAF KEUN: Ah yes, about that. The ending might leave many unfinished mysteries/stories, but at least I could deliver something that’s still worth it to be an ending. More like an open ending, so that hopefully people won’t be too disappointed about it. Also of course, it’s something that hopefully will warm the reader’s heart as always. :’)
You mentioned earlier that you’re working on a new comic on LINE Webtoon Discover. Can you tell me what it’s about?
MAF KEUN: The title is PRESENT. It’s just about the daily life of high schoolers with a small touch of supernatural regarding past and future time. The secret of the supernatural will be revealed as the story goes. It will be a super common and chill comedy-drama story, and I’m not planning this comic to be an official one anymore. I created it as an apology in regard to my second comic and will work on it just as a side hobby.
Other than PRESENT, which you will continue to work on, do you have any future plans to create another webcomic series?
MAF KEUN: For now, I will only focus on this comic. If I finish with this comic, then I will probably create another one. Or probably create some one-shot stories while I’m working on this comic.
Lastly, what’s a message you’d like to give out to your readers?
MAF KEUN: If you read any of my comics, thank you very much for that. It means a lot to me. I’d be glad to hear any opinion anytime to help me improve in the future. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the story :D.
And that concludes this interview with MAF KEUN! If you haven’t read Pit Bull and Mew, you can it find here on Tapas. If you want to read more of MAF KEUN’s works, their first comic Honesty and Kindness can be found here while their current comic PRESENT can be read here. You can also find and follow MAF KEUN on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on their own website here! Now go read some webtoons!
Feature Image © MAF KEUN
MAF KEUN. “Pit Bull and Mew.” Tapas. Tapas Media. tapas.io/series/pitbullandmew. Accessed 10 June 2019.
MAF KEUN. Personal Interview. 3-7 June 2019.