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‘Solo Leveling’ manhwa illustrator Dubu has passed away

Jang Sung-rak, widely known as Dubu, is the illustrator of  the extremely popular manhwa titled Solo Leveling. On July 23, Dubu sadly passed away at the young age of 40 years old.

REDICE Studio tweeted about Dubu’s passing, and the announcement was roughly translated below:

“On July 23, 2022, the late artist of [Solo Leveling Warrior], Jang Sung-rak, left us due to a sudden worsening of health. A funeral will be held by the bereaved family. Only bereaved family and friends will be in attendance. The departed had a chronic illness. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage caused by this. We thank the readers for their love and support in the meantime, and ask for their condolences so that he may go to a good place. The production crew of [Solo Leveling Warrior] and the employees of Redice Studio pray that Jang Sung-rak, who deeply loved his work and his readers, may rest in peace.”

Dubu actually adapted the Solo Leveling web novel (written by Chugong) into a webtoon. The original web novel was written by Chugong and started in 2016 and ended in 2018. The following webtoon made by Dubu began in 2018 and was recently completed in 2021. The story of Solo Leveling truly caught the public’s eye when Dubu adapted it into a manhwa. It became so popular that it spawned an upcoming anime adaptation led by A1 Pictures and a role-playing video game developed by Netmarble.

Here is the synopsis for the anime adaption of Solo Leveling:

“It’s been over a decade since the sudden appearance of the ‘gates’—the paths that connect our world with a different dimension. Since then, certain humans have awakened to supernatural powers. We call these individuals ‘hunters.’ Hunters make their living by using their powers to conquer dungeons inside the gates. In this world of tough customers, the low-ranked hunter Jinwoo Sung is known as ‘the weakest hunter of all mankind.’ One day, Jinwoo gets fatally injured when he runs into high-rank double dungeons hidden within a low-rank dungeon. Just then, a mysterious quest window appears in front of him. On the verge of death, Jinwoo decides to accept the quest and starts leveling up… while the others aren’t.”


Dubu already had problems with his health before he passed, as he took several breaks from illustrating new chapters for his manhwa due to an undisclosed illness. He was even quite excited for the anime adaption to come out, but he sadly left us too soon.


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