Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 60

56 Populär Culture Review manhua. As mentioned above, the first correspondent department of comics directed by Lu Shaofei indicated that they were recruiting students of huajihua and fengcihua. The blurb alleged: Spending one hour each day in practicing, using the cheapest pen and ink, can enable you to achieve an important undertaking. With a piece of blank paper, a bottle of ink, and a pen, you can succeed in becoming a great artist. The position and reputation of artists of “satirical picture” and “humoristic picture” in the modern times can be seen: (a) There have already been over two or three thousands newspapers all over China in need of talents in this field; (b) There are tens of thousands joumals all over China in need of talents in this field; (c) To win great honor intemationally all over the world, our nation needs talents in this field. Our agency is the right Organization particularly dedicated to training talents in this field. You can do it within the scope of your own life and profession. {Shanghai Sketch 59, 5) The emphasis on the market for comic works and the attempt of linking the mass media-based art to the national honor display the complex motivation of promoting comic art in China. It was at once commercial and ideological. The flourishing printing industry provided the demand and market for the art in a practical way, while nationalist discourse offered a loftier cause to legitimize its position in official culture. The implication o f the amateur nature of the genre—any one can make it through practice— also showed a more democratic attitude toward art, which tried to de-mystify the hierarchy of art and to bridge art with Contemporary social life. Art in the form of manhua can be an integral part of everybody’s life. It was initially in Shanghai Sketch that two of the most famous comic characters in China—Mr. Wang and Xiao Chen—were created by Ye Qianyu. The comic Strip series Wang xiansheng (Mr. Wang) may be the first Chinese comic Strip with continuing characters and consistent graphic narrative with embedded text. Mr. Wang was also one of longest running and most influential comic Strips. It ran from the first issue to the last of Shanghai Sketch almost never interrupted. After Shanghai Sketch was merged into Modern Miscellany, it was continued in Modern Miscellany, and later expanded to various joumals, such as Shanghai huabao (Shanghai Pictorial), Liangyou (Young Companion), Tuhua chenbao (Picture Moming News), etc., until the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan in 1937 (Bi and Huang, 1986, p. 119-120; Shen, 2001, p. 113-14). The Mr.