Analysis: Humans Are the Real Monsters in Shotgun Boy


Carnby Kim’s work explores various themes of revenge and redemption; the latter is explored even for those who are da worst of the worst.

Kim’s first work, Pigpen, poses the question of whether or not a murderer (the MC with remarkably few survivor subtly skills) can be redeemed, but the answer is left up to readers to determine. This idea is followed up in Bastard, where Jin is an actual murderer albeit mostly because of his terrible, serial killer father. Ultimately, Jin too is redeemed in the sense of both forgiving his father and going to prison to atone for his own sins. Though this redemption doesn’t come without a little bit of outside help.

Sweet Home deals with redemption more loosely with Hyun going from a bullied, bitter trash-talker to a literal knight in not-so-shining amour who saves everyone, eventually laying down his life for his friends. His monstrous form resembles a knight because Hyun’s greatest desire was to protect those closest to him (and see Maria in The Sky lol).

Shotgun Boy is the perfect follow up to Sweet Home, focusing on the terribly bullied Gyuhwan. Being it’s prequel, it centers around a bunch of kids sent to a woodland retreat who are attacked by tentacle monsters (not that way, you heathen). Monsters that seemed to have escaped a government laboratory.

Gyuhwan is bullied relentlessly by HBIC Seongbin, who has negative zero redeemable traits and is actually unhinged even before his slow descent into a monsterhood. Almost, because Seongbin does show occasional shades of being not utterly awful, such as not sacrificing his ride-or-die. Alas, of all the monsters in Shotgun Boy, he proves to be the most troublesome.

Shotgun Boy is full of literal monsters out to kill the main characters. Why? In part, because humans treated them terribly via experiments and other torture for dubious reasons. In a way, it was the monstrosity of humanity that led to the monster’s current behavior and their desire to instill terror in humanity simply for the sake of it. This monstrosity exists in the form of Seongbin’s violence towards Gyuhwan and everyone who doesn’t do what he says, but also in the indifference of the teachers, and others, who are simply glad they aren’t on the receiving end of Seongbin’s bullying.

This is probably best illustrated in the form of Zero, the HBIC of monsters. Zero is out to eliminate what he sees as a disease of humanity, something that manifests in the story as a blackness over the human heart. Yet, it’s only after observing Gyuhwan, and the complexity of humanity, does he change his tune. Even going so far as to sacrifice himself in order to save the others.

Horror stories never end happily. However, Shotgun Boy does see the majority of our main characters live to see the apocalypse in which monsters slowly take over humans, feeding off their true desires, and turning them into the things they’ve always desired.

Desire can be monstrous, quite literally. However, the achievement of it can lead to a rebirth or metanoia of sorts in which a persons true nature, for better or worst, is revealed. In Shotgun Boy, Gyuhwan becomes the very thing he dreamed of at the start of the story – a kid with a shotgun; the one with all the power.

Initially, he desired to use this weapon to off Seongbin and all those that looked the other way during his bullying. But when he gets the very thing he wanted, he uses it to protect even those who harmed him from the monsters. When given the chance, Gyuhwan doesn’t immediately put a bullet through Seongbin’s skill but opts to fight him one-on-one. It’s this selfless attitude that ultimately helps Zero realize that humans aren’t all bad, all the time. Rather, they’re complex creatures with the potential for both good and bad.

Shotgun Boy Rating: 9.2/10

Webtoons To Read If You Want PTSD

Have you ever been in the mood to be absolutely miserable?


Obviously there isn’t enough trauma in real life, so here are some webtoons that will leave you traumatized for life.

*mild spoilers*

Days Of Hana

Haru and hook sitting in the green grass beneath a tree, vibing

It’s the year 2024. Covid is a distant memory. You’re on a plane going to Hawaii for a week of fun vacation, vibing to The Killers. 4 hours and 22 minutes into your flight, the oxygen masks pop down. You frantically pull yours on whilst glancing out the window only to realize the plane is spiraling straight into the ocean. Bam! Somehow, you’re alive yet seriously injured as “When You Were Young” plays softly through your AirPods, though not quite loud enough to muffle the screams and cries of those around you, who realize they’re about to drown as the plane fills with salt water.

That’s what reading Days of Hana is like.

Days of Hana is basically a long metaphor for racism – werewolves are slaves to humans, not allowed to be educated or have any of the basic rights humans possess for no reason other than they’re “dangerous”. Initially, the story comes off as a romance between the human Hana and the werewolf Haru.

It’s not.

Days of Hana Rating: 9/10


Uriah is still ongoing and just returned for season 2. It’s basically about red-haired Thumbless, who wakes up alone in a car (missing a thumb) with the word murderer carved onto his back. He’s also on an island where there’s a 90% chance whoever he comes across is an escaped prisoner; the other 9% of people he might see will force him to make a snuff video.

On the bright side, Thumbless finds quite literally the only person on the island who won’t hurt him on site: the goddess Nathalie. On the downside, the people who want to snuff him are still alive and actively looking for him. One of them is a cop too.

ACAB (jk). You will need eye bleach after reading this though.

Uriah Rating: 9/10

Distant Sky

Jupiter is in Earth’s orbit, causing entire cities to sink hundreds of meters below the Earth’s surface. People turn into mindless cannibals at the speed of light. There’s no food to be found anywhere, but there are talking heads on the ground. The government is shady and useless as is typical for apocalyptic fiction and reality. There are giant bugs, birds, frogs, etc. all of which want to throw hands. In all this mess, two kids, Heeyool and Haneul, are trying to survive.

Fittingly, there’s a panel where a ship named “Hope” sinks into a turbulent ocean.

That’s basically what reading Distant Sky feels like.

Distant Sky Rating: 8.5/10

Killing Stalking

Reading Killing Stalking is sort of like jumping into an active volcano. As you hike to the volcano’s rim, you’re breathing in sulfur and whatnot that’s basically killing you softly slowly. Yet, for some reason you keep going. Somehow, you arrive at the volcano’s rim, still alive. You know exactly what will happen if you jump, yet you still take the plunge. Unsurprisingly, you die. If somehow you don’t instantly die of oxygen deprivation as you fall towards the lava, you’ll probably catch on fire and burn to death.

Killing Stalking follows Yoon Bum, a stalker with a crush on Sangwoo, who turns out to also be a stalker-serial-killer-rapist-psychopath that develops a “crush” on Bum, except there’s literally nothing romantic about anything in this story. The only acceptable ships here are SangwooxPrison, SangwooxLethalInjection, YoonBumXJesus, and YoonBumxTherapy.

Killing Stalking is straight up psychological horror where the ending will leave you feeling like justice was served… but also weirdly conflicted that justice was actually served.

Killing Stalking rating: 9.5/10

Forest Of Humans

Forest of Humans is basically “another one bites the dust” in webtoon form.

Ru, a young woman, gets invited to be part of some sort of shady test on serial killers I have trouble believing anyone would accept. However, she does accept the gig and winds up in some no-security facility where predictably the serial killers get loose and do as serial killers do: kill.

Things rapidly go from 0 to 100, but fortunately one of killers decides to help a sista out because obviously we needed something to ship in a story as grim as this. Ru is tasked with trying to maintain her humanity and sanity, while trying to escape a den of murderers.

Forest Of Humans Rating: 7.7/10

Melvina’s Therapy

If by therapy, you mean successfully making one of her patients rip her own eyeballs out, Melvina is a great therapist. If you define therapy by literally any other definition, no.

Melvina’s Therapy is an interesting look at mental illness and what it looks like when a person is essentially abused into insanity, but also has supernatural powers. The plot is hard to explain, but basically Melvina is a therapist who typically makes everything for her clients worse, and by worse someone ends up in a casket.

Melvina’s Therapy Rating: 8.5/10


Pigpen is what I imagine feeling high is like. You really don’t have any idea what’s going on for the majority of the story, and neither does the main character. Nevertheless, it’s a fun time.

A man washes up on a weird island with no memories and soon discovers a weird Bed and Breakfast owned by an ever weirder family who owns a bunch of weird pigs. Everything is incredibly sus from the moment this dude wakes up and he has almost no survival subtly skills, yet he somehow remains alive.

The tale’s part psychological thriller, part horror that has a twist ending that’ll leave you feeling some type of way.

Pigpen Rating: 8.5/10

Sweet Home

Sweet Home introduces us to Hyun Cha, a depressed, bullied recluse, whose parents are killed in a car crash within the first episode (seemingly by someone who was undergoing monsterization…). He’s now alone and planning to commit suicide after Maria In The Sky comes out. Unfortunately, the world ends and people start turning into monsters before Maria makes her grand re-appearance and Hyun goes from King of Internet Trolls to King of the Electric Spear all whilst literally battling his own inner demons enticing him to become a monster.

Sweet Home is an interesting look at human nature and desires, particularly how even seemingly innocent desires (like wanting to become strong) can manifest themselves in dangerous ways (Brotein, anyone?).

It’s also a k-drama.

Sweet Home Rating: 10/10

Shotgun Boy

Shotgun Boy is ongoing and is the predecessor to Sweet Home. It’s basically if Hyun was planning to become a school shooter rather than a hikikomori (side note: is Carnby Kim okay? Many of his stories involve some seriously disturbing bullying…).

The main character, Gyuhwan, is bullied violently, ostracized by his classmates, ignored by his teachers, and then sent on some dumb retreat where whilst fleeing from his bully he stumbles upon a shotgun in the woods. A shotgun which becomes the only thing standing between his classmates living to see another day and the death of everyone by the hands of literal tentacle monsters.

He’s finally given the chance to do what he wanted everyone else to do murder all his classmates fight for what’s right even when it seems hopeless. Nevertheless, it’s an overall bleak tale about a bullied kid forced to battle shapeshifting monsters in order to save human monsters.

Shotgun Boy Rating: 9/10