Cover-to-Cover is a column where I’ll choose my favorite cover from a particular series. This time around it’s the first manhwa (Korean comic) I’ve ever read: Goong! Goong is a wonderful series that takes place in alternative version of modern Korea in which the monarchy still reigns over the country. Chae-Kyung, an ordinary 16-year-old girl, is arranged to be married to the cruel crown prince Shin because of a promise their grandfathers made long ago. As the two slowly learn to love each other, Chae-Kyung must adapt to the ways of the palace, while the threat of political turmoil is ever-present. With interesting characters, a great setting, and several well-balanced plot threads, Goong is an extremely addictive series. And while I’d probably still love Goong even if the characters were drawn as stick-figures, the series also benefits from having beautiful art. The character designs are sharp and attractive, while the costumes are detailed. Thus, choosing a favorite cover for this series is going to be tough. Immediately when I thought of which cover I liked best, the cover of volume three came to mind. The characters are in a great pose, and the energy of the cover matches the dynamic between Shin and Chae-Kyung really well. Chae-Kyung’s face is also very cute. Meanwhile, another cover that stands out to me is volume eleven‘s. While the pose Shin and Chae-Kyung are in is sort of cheesy, the colors are lovely and the characters are well-drawn. And yet, as I thought about which cover to choose, one volume’s cover kept coming back into my mind: volume four.
When I saw the cover of volume four online, I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until I saw the image in person that I realized how pretty it is. I think I’m a sucker for poses like this one: Chae-Kyung is kneeling over to embrace a sitting Shin, and it comes across as sweeter than any of the series’ other covers. What’s more, unlike several of the other covers that feature Chae-Kyung and Shin in modern clothing, volume four’s cover shows Chae-Kyung wearing traditional Korean attire worn by the female members of the royal family. I must admit, it took me awhile to warm up to the Korean costumes presented in the series – at first I thought they were kind of bulky and awkward. But since then they’ve grown on me, and the style has begun to suit Chae-Kyung as much as she is slowly beginning to become suited to her role as crown princess. Yet, even with as ornate as the cover of volume four, the couple here seems very quiet in comparison to the ‘spark’ they have on other covers, or even within the series itself. Even though Chae-Kyung and Shin constantly have trouble communicating their feelings for one another, it’s hard not to become swept up in the few tender moments they’ve had with each other. Volume four’s cover is probably the most intimate Goong has had yet – and that’s exactly why it’s my favorite cover.