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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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Cartoons as Wartime Weapons, 1930s–1949

Cartoons as Wartime Weapons, 1930s–1949

(p.47) Chapter 3 Cartoons as Wartime Weapons, 1930s–1949
Comics Art in China

John A. Lent

Xu Ying

University Press of Mississippi

As war clouds gathered in the 1930s, Chinese cartoonists became propagandists against the Japanese invaders. Some went to the Communist base in Yan’an to join Mao Zedong, others drew as soldiers with military units, and still others formed the mobile National Salvation Cartoon Propaganda Corps that warned citizens city to city about the advancing Japanese through murals, banners, pamphlets, etc. By the late 1930s, the style, format, and techniques of Chinese cartooning changed considerably in what was called the New Art Movement―masses-appealing, more realistic, and socially- and politically-oriented, modifications needed for “cartoon warfare.” Among propaganda purveyors were cartoon leaflets, usually dropped from aircraft. Themes of leaflets and other cartoons usually were Japanese brutality, Chinese traitors, or Japanese imperialism. The civil war between the Communist and Guomindang parties was rekindled after Japan’s capitulation. As newspapers were suspended by the Guomindang, cartoonists resorted to exhibitions and underground means to relay their messages.

Keywords:   World War II, cartoon warfare, National Salvation Cartoon Propaganda Corps, New Art Movement, Propaganda, Leaflets, collaborationist cartoonists, Guomindang, civil war

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