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(p.31) Chapter 2 China
Asian Comics
John A. Lent
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter defies a long-held notion that humor and comics, as well as political cartooning, have not existed in China. The country has a rich history of using satirical drawings and lianhuanhua to point out governmental and societal problems and to entertain readers with strong, often moralistic pictorial stories. In the latter Qing Dynasty and leading up to and including the 1911 Revolution and its aftermath, China had a number of humor/cartoon magazines and pictorial periodicals that nourished the country’s first generation of cartoonists. The chapter deals with the difficulties cartoonists faced (imprisonment, banishment to countryside) from 1949–1976, (during Maoist campaigns and the Cultural Revolution) relating their sad accounts told to this author, as well as their lasting optimism. Besides humor/cartoon magazines and lianhuanhua, also new forms of comics, such as xinmanhua, are analyzed.

Keywords:   lianhuanhua, xinmanhua, Cultural Revolution, cartoonists propaganda brigade, manhua

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