History of Manhua

In his book The Comics of Hong Kong: The History of Manhua ( ISBN 1-56898-269-0 ), Wendi Xuyi Wong writes that Chinese comics “include caricatures , comics and lanhuantu (a traditional Chinese illustrated book of short stories with pictures) of various forms and styles.” Lianhuantu (连环 图 – literally “a chain of pictures”, “related pictures”) differs from traditional comic books in that the pictures in them occupy the whole page and are accompanied by simple signatures without “clouds”.

Drawings resembling modern comics and cartoons have existed in China since ancient times and throughout its history. The most ancient examples of such images were preserved in the form of stone bas-reliefs and drawings on pottery , as well as satirical drawings of the Ming period (1368-1644 AD) and Qing (1643-1911 AD). As the time of origin of traditional Chinese manhua is usually considered a lengthy period from 1867 to 1927 . Traditional manhua actively developed up to the “cultural revolution”(1966-1976 gg.), In fact, interrupted the natural cultural development of China for 10 years. At the same time, modern manhua began to develop actively in Hong Kong and Taiwan – largely influenced by the Japanese manga.

In the 1980s. the art of traditional manhua was gradually reborn, but in the early 1990syears. in the mainland China began to penetrate the modern manhua from Hong Kong and Taiwan and the Japanese manga. They quickly conquered the PRC market, leaving little chance for traditional Chinese manhua. Now many in China, especially young people, associate the word “manhua” only with modern comic books. In the 90’s. in the PRC was extremely undeveloped legislation on intellectual property rights, which led to the rise of pirate manhua. The Chinese government reacted with a large campaign to regulate the market of manhua, in the heat of the fight against piracy, closing the first manga and manhua magazine, The King of Comics (“画 书 大王”) in China. At the same time, to protect the market, the PRC government launched the “Project for the development of children’s manhua in China” (abbreviated “Project 5155”), thanks to which in China appeared a lot of magazines of comics and artists of manhua. At the same time, in most cases, the Chinese mainland manhua is still inferior in quality and quantity of Hong Kong and Taiwan’s manhua, which are most popular among readers of the People’s Republic of China with the translation Japanese manga.

The beginning (headline and first 6 shots) of the special manhua edition of the newspaper “Xin Nunda”, the organ of the Red Guards of the Beijing Agricultural University, entitled “Down with Tan Zhenlin!”. The issue was published in May 1967 and was part of a campaign of criticism of this member of the CPC Central Committee; is a fairly typical example of the Red Guards of Manhua. On the last, 33rd frame (not shown on this fragment), comrade. Tan Zhenlin clogs a king of monkeys Sun Wukong in a cap with a star.

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