This article considers the cultural status of the “webtoon,” the internet-based comics as new-media contents in terms of its relation to the specific generation (youth in their twenties) mainly in charge of its production and consumption. For the younger generation of 21st century in Korea, the internet – or web-space – has tremendous meaning as an existential basis for molding a specific collective model of subjectivity. Briefly put, the internet as virtual space - a new semiosphere indispensible for the social existence of the new younger generation. The contemporary webtoon realm is one of the most densely populated places in this semiosphere, and its cultural significance appears to be increasing more and more.

In the article, I will attempt an inquiry into one of the most interesting phenomena in the contemporary Korean webtoon realm, which is called “cripple taste [byongmat] comics.” Nowadays, byongmat comics are a distinctive new trend in the realm of Korean webtoons and are gaining tremendous popularity among the younger generations. What is the essence of byongmat comics, and what characterizes their linguistic particularity? To answer these questions, I will make a close inquiry into Lee Mal Neon’s webtoon as a representative case study in terms of the sense of parody and surplusage, which constitutes psychological and esthetic essence of byongmat comics.


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pp. 101-123
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