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Comics Art in China$
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John A. Lent and Xu Ying

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496811745

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496811745.001.0001

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Cradle of Chinese Cartooning

Cradle of Chinese Cartooning

(p.3) Chapter 1 Cradle of Chinese Cartooning
Comics Art in China

John A. Lent

Xu Ying

University Press of Mississippi

Visual humor and narrative, both of which can be components of comics and cartoons, existed during the pre-twentieth century, dynastic eras of China. Attributes such as caricature, satire, parody, humor, wit, playfulness, narration, and storytelling were evident in paintings, burial materials, jars, and sculptures thousands of years ago. However, Chinese humorous and narrative drawing with Western characteristics first appeared in the late nineteenth century, mainly because of public dissatisfaction with the Qing Dynasty and the introduction of better printing technology. These cartoons first were used in humor magazines, such as The China Punch in the 1860s, followed by Puck, or the Shanghai Charivari, and Shanghai Puck, all of which emulated American or British counterparts. About the same time (1870s-1880s), pictorial magazines, ushered in with Ernest Major’s Yinghuan huabao, became homes for cartoons, usually those of a political nature. Pictorial magazines nourished the first generation of Chinese cartoonists and kept the revolutionary fervor heated with vitriolic cartoons. By the beginning of the twentieth century, palm-sized pictorial books (lianhuanhua), a bit like Western comic books, appeared, rounding out the formative years of Chinese comic art.

Keywords:   Caricature, parody, satire, narration, storytelling, humor magazines, pictorial magazines, lianhuanhua, Puck

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