Because of the dislocating nature of the Korean War, it was a long time before culture could take a firm hold in Korea. After the war in Seoul’s Myeongdong neighborhood, there was a coffee shop called Mona Lisa that was a hub for the artists, writers, and journalists of the day. The scent of makgeolli (Korean rice wine) and bindaettoek (mung bean pancake) often wafted outdoors from the pubs across the street, where these artists, writers, and journalists liked to gather in the late afternoons.
Even though Gobawu first appeared in the December 30, 1950 issue of Sabyeongmanhwa, it was not until after Seoul’s recapture and the eventual Armistice that monthly magazines intended not for soldiers but for a general audience, such as Sintaeyang and Huimang, began to appear. Starting in the last half of 1954, the size of newspapers began to increase to the size we know them to be today, and their number of pages began to increase as well. Old Man Gobawu’s first appearance in the Dongailbo was on February 1, 1955. It started off as just a cartoon, a form of entertainment meant to evoke humor, but as it transitioned to newspapers in the mid 1950s, it gradually began to embrace more satire and political commentary. Let’s take a look at some of the important historical events in Korea from 1955-1961 Korea's Famous Current Affairs Cartoon, Gobawu.