Anime & Comics

Solo Leveling fans react to the tragic passing of Webtoon artist, Dubu

Fans of the Solo Leveling series are paying tribute to artist Seong-rak Jang, better known as Dubu, who sadly passed away this week.

Solo Leveling is arguably one of the most well-known and successful webtoon series of all time.

With the recent confirmation of an anime adaptation from A-1 Pictures that is set to premiere in 2023, fans had been celebrating its success and the bright future ahead of the series.

Sadly, celebrations of success turned into celebrations of the life and work of illustrator ‘Dubu’ after news of his passing was shared online.

With the entire webtoon community in mourning for the incredibly talented artist, fans of the Solo Leveling series are sharing heartfelt tributes to Dubu on social media.

Solo Leveling | Official Trailer

Solo Leveling | Official Trailer

Solo Leveling illustrator sadly passes away, aged 40

On July 25th, the Redice Studio Twitter page revealed that Seong-rak Jang, better known as Dubu, had sadly passed away at the age of 40.

Dubu was the illustrator for the Solo Leveling, also known as Only I Level Up series, webtoon which was serialised between March 2018 and December 2021.

According to the Twitter post, reported via Comicbook, Dubu passed away from an unnamed health issue that resulted in a cerebral haemorrhage. No further details on his passing were shared, other than that a private funeral was held.

Per a fan translation of the original Redice Studio post, “According to the wishes of the bereaved family, the funeral was held at a family funeral home with only the bereaved family and acquaintances. The deceased had a chronic illness and died of cerebral haemorrhage resulting from it.”

Since the webtoon’s conclusion in 2021, there had been speculation online that a series of side stories were to be produced in late 2023.

However, according to IGN Sea, “Redice Studio, the company responsible for making Webtoon animations of Solo Leveling, declined to speculate on how Dubu’s death would affect Solo Leveling in the future.”

Fans pay tribute to Solo Leveling illustrator

Almost immediately after news of Jang’s passing was shared, fans from around the world begin paying tribute to the webtoon illustrator on social media.

One user noted, “So sad to hear about the passing of the Sung- Rak Jang rest in power! Solo Levelling will always be the goat.

“Another life changing figure has passed away and that’s none other than solo levelling’s artist :( rest in peace, you’ve done god’s work my g.” – User valibrary, via Twitter.  

Another user stated how “Solo Leveling’s art showed the talent he has” and adding “we lost a good one.”

“Solo levelling’s art was truly a masterpiece. Thank you for bringing the story to life, may you rest in peace and my condolences to the family.” – User luckysyub, via Twitter.

User Saltbutt1 said, “That f**** sucks man ive seen so many people inspired by his illustration style” with another fan adding “I enjoyed his writing and art a lot, he created a beautiful manhwa and world.”

“Your story may end here but your legacy continues, Rest in peace to the artist behind Solo Levelling and CEO of Redice Studio, Jang Sungrak (aka Dubu). You will always be remembered as nothing less than a Legend. The OG. The reason behind the popularization of manhwas.” – User KimCLSshi, via Twitter.

User shofyeizartzy noted how, like so many other fans, Solo Leveling was the series that introduced them to webtoons.

“Even though i don’t follow Solo’s really a sad news to hear about the author/creator’s..condolences to his families and friends.. We have seen many authors/creators voiced out their health issues. I really hope there would be a better system in near future..” – User ladyofethylene, via Twitter.

Our condolences go out to Jang’s family and friends; rest in peace to a true icon of modern webtoons, your legacy will continue with the upcoming Solo Leveling anime adaptation.

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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Tom Llewellyn

Tom Llewellyn is the Head of World Content, Anime, and Comics at HITC Entertainment and also helps oversee all things deemed ‘nerd culture’ at Forever Geek. After gaining a BSc degree in Animal Behaviour, Tom continued his education with a Master’s degree in Science Communication (MSc) and post-graduate research; with his own independent project being published in the Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens in 2021. Since joining GRV Media in early 2020, Tom has amassed over 48 million views on his content and has conducted interviews with various actors and filmmakers from the wonderful world of anime.

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