Creator of the World’s Most Popular Comic Takes a Sabbatical

Rachel Smythe is the creator of Lore Olympus, one of the most popular comics in the world. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not on WEBTOON. With more than 85 million monthly active users, it is the most-read digital comics platform in the world. Lore Olympus, which is a retelling of “The Abduction of Persephone” chapter from Greek mythology, is WEBTOON’s most popular story. Since its launch in 2018, Smythe’s tale of Persephone and Hades’ messy, modern romance (as well as the other social exploits of the gods and goddesses) has racked up over 1.3 billion views on the app, and has also been published in graphic novel form across four (and counting) volumes.

© Rachel Smythe

Last month, the 37-year-old New Zealand artist announced via Twitter that the comic would be going on a hiatus of “up to four months.” Though the comic goes on regular hiatus, this represents its longest pause yet.

Kayti Burt, at Paste, profiles and interviews Rachel Smythe about the comic and the need for a rest.

“So, I work all the time,” Smythe tells Paste Magazine, on a Saturday morning at San Diego Comic Con. “I won’t lie. I know people would love for me to say, like, ‘Oh, I work five hours a day, and then I garden.’ But it’s just not like that. I work everyday, in some shape or form.” It also doesn’t escape my notice that, while Smythe may technically be on break, I am talking to her at San Diego Comic Con, where she is engaging with a different kind of work.

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