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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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Manhua’s Golden Age

Manhua’s Golden Age

(p.23) Chapter 2 Manhua’s Golden Age
Comics Art in China

John A. Lent

Xu Ying

University Press of Mississippi

The 1920s and 1930s were very important in the development of China’s comic art tradition. Lianhuanhua greatly expanded in number; the first successful newspaper strips (Ye Qianyu’s “Mr. Wang,” Zhang Leping’s “Sanmao,” and Huang Yao’s “Niu Bizi”) appeared; cartoon/humor magazines flourished (about twenty in the mid-1930s), and a sense of professionalism enveloped the field. The period’s many periodicals became the training grounds for a second generation of cartoonists, eager to enter the field despite low or no payment. They were young (some teenagers), determined to show the grimness of China, and often initially influenced by Japanese or Western cartoonists. By the late 1930s, the cartoonists leaned more toward the Sinification of comic art, or, as in the case of Feng Zikai, a hybrid of Western and Chinese styles. Cartooning took on more respect in the 1930s with intellectual/writer Lu Xun’s treatise in defense of comics, the creation of professional organizations, an exhibition, training schools, and the publication of cartoon anthologies.

Keywords:   newspaper strips, Ye Qianyu, Zhang Leping, Huang Yao, Lianhuanhua, humor magazines, professionalism

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