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Kickstart This: Underground Chinese Comics Anthology


Hey, this is cool: New York-based publisher Paradise Systems has teamed up with artist Yan Cong to translate and publish Naked Body, an ambitious, 100-page anthology of underground comics from China. The original, Chinese edition of Naked Body came about after Yan Cong put out a 2014 open call on Weibo with the simple requirement that submissions should be five pages long, in full color, and that the figures in the panels should all be nude.

“The resulting mix of authors included veteran cartoonists such as Zuo Ma, author of several graphic novels, and WangXX, author of the ongoing Seal Life series, but also talented up and coming artists Inkee Wang.”

Naked Body had a small print run in China, circulated mainly among local artists and fans and never quite surfacing overseas. Given the subject matter, the original edition was spread via underground-by-default distribution methods, and is a hard item to track down today.

The newly launched Kickstarter project aims to get a second edition of the anthology in print, which will be co-edited by Yan Cong and Paradise Systems and comprise the “first major anthology of independent Chinese comics published in the US.”

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, there are a lot of cool perks for backers, ranging from copies of the book, to giclée prints, to original commissions from participating artists. Find the full pitch — which also includes a concise summary of the underground Chinese comics scene and its key players — right here, and read more about Paradise Systems’ mission to bring underground Chinese illustrators to the English-reading world here:

Paradise Systems is Bringing the “Reality-Bending Features” of Chinese Comics Overseas

Cover image: Two pages from the Chinese version of Inkee Wang’s comic in Naked Body (via Kickstarter)

Josh Feola
Josh Feola is a US-based writer and musician, and RADII's former Culture Editor. His coverage of Chinese music and art has appeared in The Wire, Dazed, MIT Technology Review, Artsy, Bandcamp Daily and more. He's been active in China's underground music scene since 2010 via his booking platform pangbianr.com, and is a former member of Beijing bands Chui Wan, SUBS, and Vagus Nerve.

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