Dokebi Bride

(30 reviews)
  • Art/Story: Marley
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: 13+
  • Imprint: NETCOMICS
  • Updated: 09/16/07 Next: TBA

Price: $0.25 / Ch. 48hr

Free Offer: First 1 Chapter

/ Vol.6+ Read
Korea's most talked-about series in recent years!
Born into a shaman family, Sunbi has inherited the power to see and communicate with spirits just like her grandmother, a notable shaman and savior of their little fishing village in the South Sea. Early on, she sees things like an imposter shaman being thrashed by a dragon of the deep, and doesn't understand that none of her schoolmates can see such things. Her powers make her the amorous target of hedonistic demons even as a child. Long shielded from the reality of her power, she finally learns the secret of her mother's death, and why her grandmother was never able to leave their village.  Enter Sunbi's world in this mind-boggling psychological chiller!

This series has been put on hold after volume 6. We will notify when it resumes.
Just like her grandmother and mother, Sunbi inherits the ability to see demons, spirits, and gods. After her mother passes away, Sunbi grows up under her grandmother's sheltering wing.
Okboon is Sunbi's granmother on Sunbi's mother's side. Okboon was once a powerful shaman in their little fishing village, but when the village loses its vitality Okboon's spiritual power also becomes weak and she discontinues her ritual performances.
Solbang is Sunbi's family and only friend that grew up together with her since Sunbi was a little girl.

Physicists think the world is made of atoms,
biologists think the world is made of cells,
musicians think the world is made of vibrations,
painters think the world is made of lights,
and Marley thinks the world is made of stories.

More about Marley
Marley is enveloped in a feeling that her self
is always reflected on her characters because
she tends to conceive her stories from a casual
process similar to journal writing. She hopes
to create stories that everyone can respond to
regardless of his/her gender, race, and nationality.
She loves all the dreamers and storytellers in this land.

This moody, beautiful tale follows the life story of Sunbi Shin, a teenage girl forced to leave her small Korean fishing village after her grandmother's death to live with her estranged father's new family in Seoul. Raised by the grandmother, Sunbi barely knows her father, who abandoned her long-dead mother years before. But Sunbi's colorful past is filled with Dokebis, mischieveous Korean spirits and demons. Like her mother and grandmother, Sunbi can see and communicate with these demons, an ability first manifested at a village ritual that calls forth a dragon to help bring the village a prosperous year. The dragon responds but can only be seen by Sunbi and her grandmother; there we begin to learn the story of a family of spiritual seers, simultaneously respected and feared for their supernatural abilities. Sunbi's spiritual gifts mark her as different, alienating her from adults and from classmates. Marley's b&w drawing of the dragon undulating across the page is breathtaking. Her drawings are crisp, natural and packed with the graphic details of Korean traditional dress and rich in the vivid emotions and mental states of her characters. As Sunbi comes to grips with her grandmother's death and her new family, we're introduced to the mystery surrounding her mother's life and death, clearly setting the scene for much more to come in subsequent volumes.

- Publishers Weekly


One of the interesting things about this series is that each book, which contain
two chapters each, pretty much stand alone as a reading experience. It is clear
as you begin that the main character, Sunbi, can interact with the spirit world.
She can see and talk to ghosts and demons others cannot see. She is also being
threatened by evil beings that want to posses her. So this time she looks to
enlist the aid of friendlier Dokebi by tricking one into her servitude.
Meanwhile a classmate of hers is convinced there is something about Sunbi that
she is hiding and he plans to find out what it is.

The interaction of the characters in this drama is critical to understanding
them. There are friends, relatives that are forced together, flashbacks to other
times and the spirits take us to another whole world with their own habits and
rules. For example, the Dokebi don't even have names - the concept is new to
them. One particularly fine segment is Sunbi's attempt to help a displaced
spirit find its proper place in the restaurant of a friend. It is cleverly
plotted and executed. This all is wonderful exposure to the folklore and culture
so foreign to us in the west. Her bonding with this Dokebi helper is fascinating
on several levels. We see a somewhat adversarial beginning turn to friendship
and no doubt loyalty in the future. The story is sure to turn dark later but
this issue was pretty uplifting overall and a good choice to see if it deserves
your attention.

- David LeBlanc, Comic Book Network Electronic Magazine


"Dokebi Bride" concerns a different breed of confused youth. This beautiful manwah (Korean manga) concerns Subi, a young girl who can't control the needy spirits who claw at her. Her shaman-mother is dead, and lacking guidance, the schoolgirl tricks a dokebi, a crude but clever forest god, into a magical marriage so that he will protect her. Between her own powers, and the antics of her mystic and ill-mannered husband, she helps those who have unresolved issues with the dead.

The shenanigans of the dokebi, who drink, belch, scratch and love strange foods, contrast nicely with the strict society in which Sunbi barely gets along. Subi's pathos is a long time building, so it's best to start with Volume 1.

Here, in Volume 5, she runs away after a rival shaman claims her grandmother's spirit tools. Leaving behind her magic wedding ring, Subi ends up working in the convenience store of a low-level gangster with a troubled conscience while her spirit-husband searches for her.

The adults around her have no patience for a young girl whose pain they can't understand. Yet "Dokebi Bride" is not simply a story of supernatural teen angst. Despite her anger, Subi uses her pain to gain wisdom and, slowly, compassion.

April 29, 2007 - The San Diego Union-Tribune


Sunbi returns home after reuniting a ghostly grandmother with her grandson to find that the heir to her grandmother's shaman artifacts has arrived to claim them. Furious and grief-stricken over their loss and at the betrayal of her family (who callously delivered them to the interloper), Sunbi uses her mystical sword to break the tie with her hated father's home. Sunbi is taken in by Jonghan, a young man who assists runaways to find work and shelter. His favoritism toward her, his emotional instability, and Sunbi's frigid reserve lead to jealousy in her new household. Meanwhile, Sunbi's dokebi protector, Gwangsoo, discovers that a young man has taken over Sunbi's place in her father's house. This mysterious stranger, with compelling eyes like Sunbi's, also claims that Sunbi is his bride, which ignites the ire of the powerful and violent Gwangsoo. Marley is adept at presenting various theories on spiritual and psychic phenomena, as well as creating grittily naturalistic characters who can perceive and be possessed by spirits. Sunbi's struggle to survive mundane societal demands while nurturing her spiritual power fuels the conflicts in the manhwa. Readers interested in folklore and spirit mediums, as found in Her Majesty's Dog and Yurara, will be interested in this more complex and realistic series. Appealing to both older teens and adults, Dokebi Bride is strongly recommended for public libraries.

Starred review
August 1, 2007 - Library Journal

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User Reviews Write Review Total 30 reviews Average rating
07/22/11 21:34
Dying to get my hands on Vol. 7!

Dokebi Bride is one of the best graphic novel series that I have ever read. The setting is culturally enlightening, the characters are complex, the storyline is intriguing, and it's just a great read! The art is beautiful and expressive.

I'm dying to get my hands on Volume 7, but I can't find it anywhere. What do I have to do to get this book? This is a wonderful series, and it'd be a tragedy to not see it through to completion.

shinhaku shinhaku 06 / 11 / 13

on mangaupdates it says the series ends at vol 6

02/09/11 11:09
Unique and fun.


Sunbi has arrived at Dogai Station, and is in need of a place to stay, eat and relax before her journey continues. As she goes in search she finds there is no one who will put her up unless she has the relevant money, as no one will take in a stranger knowingly. Hungry and tired, she decides to wait a while and finds a strange young boy with a peculiar face following her, who eventually says he has a place where he will put her up.
When Sunbi has reached the cabin in the woods, she finds herself alone in a sealed room where the door has disappeared from view.

Originally she thinks her captor the enemy, but the boy tells her he has sealed her inside this clear room for her own protection from outside influences for now. The three disasters caused by fire, water and wind. The eight hardships to do with illness, parents, siblings, loss of wealth, marriage, studies, management of wealth and debauchery. Sunbi though thinks differently and tries to convince her captor to release her.

Marley has created an original world where the normal world does not apply with the people who live in it. Sunbi has her own inner strength and the problem of others who are deceptive around her to deal with.
She has her own people and animals who have searched far and wide to save and protect her, yet she does not know who to trust in this strange world any more.

The artwork is detailled and interesting to view and works well as part of the story. The enemies are well shown as unusual or horrific in some way and that works also.

IN SUMMARY: This is a unique and surreal adventure where the character enters a strange new world. Marley's art and story depict the drama brilliantly.

08/13/09 21:41
Vol. 7 is unavaliable

I checked to see if the post that someone wrote in the review is true and it is not out and it seemed to be on hiatus.Please update soon. .. and please finish the series. . Or did I invest in an incomplete work? Please give us some updated information as to the reason why it is so long in the making?

06/29/09 10:15
beautiful art and story

I loved this comic so much. The story is so interesting and I love how it's embedded in Korean culture. The balance between darkness and a deep spirituality make this a captivating read. Not to mention that the art is amazing. I can't wait for this author to get off hiatus and start writing again!

05/05/09 03:31
soooo long!!!!!!!!

yeahhhhh! dont forget about this series.