This will be the first of a few posts with scans of comics I got while I was in China in 2004. They're all old, as I didn't see much of anything contemporary. If I ever go back I'll try to do some legwork beforehand and find out where a comic shop is.
Anyhow, first up is Sanmao, who's a very popular chracter over there with a long running strip. Sanmao literally means "three hairs" or "three whiskers," and he's a put-upon, typically homeless urchin just trying to get by. These comics are from the late 40's during China's cultural revolution, so you see lots of political stuff going on. I'm not sure if the book I have starts with the very first strip or if it's a ways into the story, but here he's just heading to the city and seems pretty naive:
He's taken in by a kindly old fisherman, however:
After being back on his own for a few strips he's taken in by a family, until their house burns down, then he's back on the street alone again. In the book he goes through a series of these kinds of ups and downs, matching wits with other street kids, overfed fat rich people, wild animals, the thoughtless, the greedy, the mean. He dreams of a better life, but not much comes of it, even though he's a good guy.
That's it! Mostly pretty good comics, but maybe a little melodramatic or political in places. They're almost all wordless, too, for easy reading.
Labels: comics, history, international comics