This article examines the webtoon (wept'un)—a term coined in Korea to refer to webcomics—which is arguably the most pervasive and powerful form of digital serial production in twenty-first-century Korea. Webtoons have developed by utilizing various potentials that the digital platform offers, such as open solicitation, (partial) free web/mobile distribution, profit from advertisement and page viewing, and transmedia production. As a new cultural medium, the webtoon is thus inseparable from its platform and organically tied to its distinctive platform ecology, which is different from the ecosystems that other (global) mega-platforms create. Engaging with the insights from recent studies of platforms and utilizing empirical media analysis, I argue that Korean webtoon platforms demonstrate the continuing and intensifying dependency of art on platforms—a process that I call “the platformization of culture”—and that this specific type of platformization is reinforced by what I call “the artist incubating system.” The case of webtoon platforms reveals a number of telling aspects of media ecosystems for art production in the digital age—aspects that are spreading and expanding to various fields of art.

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