Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 63

The Coming of Age of Chinese Comics 59 home—indicated Chinese society undergoing substantial changes. Visually representing the modern life style through mass media no doubt further reinforced Shanghai urbanites’ imagination of and identification with Western modemity. « x n * Figure 1: The first episode of “Mr. Wang” in Shanghai Sketch 1 (April 21,1928). The creation of the images of petty urbanites in Shanghai showed an observable departure from the strong nationalist and political concems in earlier Chinese comic works. Although Ye Qianyu was also active during the North Expedition and participated in the Propagandist activities of the Nationalist army before he took over the position in Shanghai Sketch, he was one of the first major Chinese cartoonists who concentrated on social or nonpolitical humor in the manhua genre. And without doubt, he was very self-conscious about the rules of commercialism in Shanghai. Starting from the first episode, the Strip claimed to have Copyright protection from being copied. Ye claimed that he “was not conscious about exposing something or satirizing something” when he created the two crowns Mr. Wang and Xiao Chen.18 Limited by the scope of the life experiences of a 21 year old as Ye was when the series was launched, the whole set of a hundred episodes of Mr. Wang series in Shanghai Sketch mainly focused on the light humor that emerged from the domestic conflicts between husbands and wives in their quotidian life, such as how the pleasure-seeking men struggled for any chances of escaping their wives’ control to go out for fun, how Xiao Chen tried to pursue Mr. Wang’s pretty daughter but was always sabotaged by his