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A Lead-Up to Asian Comics

A Lead-Up to Asian Comics

Early Asian Visual Humor and Narrative

(p.9) Chapter 1 A Lead-Up to Asian Comics
Asian Comics
John A. Lent
University Press of Mississippi

Before there were comic books and newspaper strips, there were precursors of comic art found in paintings, scrolls, sculptures, etc. The argument here follows Kunzle’s that comics are not a new form after all. The countries treated are mainly China, India, and Japan, although a few others are mentioned. Examples described are thousand-year-old scrolls, perhaps the world’s first comic books (kibyoshi), Hokusai’s manga, ukiyo-e, and shunga (erotic humor) of Japan; Kalighat temple satirical prints, grotesque and narrative sequence pictures of India, and New Year’s pictures, spring paintings (erotic humor), funereal and other decorative art of China. The discussion revolves around caricature, satire, wit, humor, and playfulness, sequential narration.

Keywords:   Caricature, satire, wit/playfulness, sequential narration, shunga, kibyoshi

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