Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 67

The Coming of Age of Chinese Comics 63 “avant-garde” in modern Chinese comics and filled up the space of comic publication in the 1920s, which foresaw the coming of Chinese comics’ golden age in the 1930s and 1940s. University of Nevada Las Vegas Ying Bao Notes: *See Shen 2001, 110; Bi and Huang 1986, 72. According to Feng Zikai, the definition of manhua is very vague: “actually, it is still questionable if my drawings are manhua or not, because there was no such term in China before...There is neither a clear definition of the so-called manga in Japan. But as far as I know, Japanese manga covers Chinese jijiu hua (hasty painting), jixing hua (improvising painting), and Western cartoon and caricature.” See Feng Zikai, “Manhua chuangzuo ershi nian,” cited in Bi and Huang, 1986: 72. 2 The term, “petty urbanites” is a common translation o f the Chinese “xiao shimin,” a term that has been in use since the early twentieth Century, referring to a broadly and vaguely defined urban d a ss who were non-elite, non-traditional, nonagrarian, modestly educated and marginally w ell-o ff— such as small merchants, clerks, students, housew ives, and middle-lowerclass men and wom en in general. 3 Bi Keguan and Huang Yuanlin’s Zhongguo manhua shi (History of Chinese Comics) (1986: 83) dates that the Cartoon Society was established in the autumn of 1927 and had eleven members. However, Huang Ke’s Shanghai meishushi zhaji (Reading notes of the history of art in Shanghai) (2000: 54-55) suggests that the eleven-member Organization was established in December 1926. Huang Ke’s article also notes that it was in July 1926 that the Cartoon Society published the first book of the “Manhuahui congshu” (the Cartoon Society Series)—Huang Wennong’s Wennong fengcihua ji (Collection of Wennong’s satirical pictures). One of the initial members of the society—Ye Qianyu—touches slightly upon the event in his memoir. He vaguely recalled that it was shortly after the publication of Shanghai Sketch and there were only seven persons. This could be one of the many inaccurate records in his memoir. See Ye, 1992, p. 82. 4 Ibid, p. 84-85. 5 The joumal claimed that they were the only weekly of photograph and comics in modern China {Zhongguo jindai weiyi zhi sheying manhua zhoubao) in their advertisement for the publication of their ten-issue collections. See Shanghai Sketch, 71: 6. 6 Here I borrow Michel Hockx’s explanation of “tongren.” See Michel Hockx, “Creation by Association and by Dissociation,” available at http://mclc.osu.edu/rc/pubs/institutions/hockx.htm.