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Paradise Systems’ New Book “First Wave” Showcases Covid-19 Comic Art from China

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When Covid-19 quarantines first hit China, millions of people tried to make sense of what was happening and looked for whatever coping mechanism they could. For many of the country’s comic book artists, that meant drawing — drawing their experiences, their paranoia, their escapist fantasies.

Now, as we finally head toward the end of 2020, publisher Paradise Systems is releasing First Wave, a 123-page ebook that collects together “comics from the early months of China’s outbreak.”

Related:

Chinese Cartoonists Grieve, Pray and Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Edited by Xinmei Liu, the anthology “collects over 100 pages of comics that were published in China from January to March, 2020. Ranging from autobiography to science fiction, the work by these cartoonists captures the anxiety and resilience of those living through the first wave of the global pandemic.”

Artists include preeminent Chinese comic illustrator Yan Cong, as well as punk musician, electronic music producer and artist Yang Ji.

The book is being released with a pay-what-you-want model and there’s also a digital launch event taking place where “Paradise Systems editor Jason Li has created a digital event space based on Toyoya’s illustrations. The space runs through your web browser and will allow you to walk around and text chat with other folks at the event.” That’s on Wednesday 16 December from 8-9 PM EST — more details on the digital launch here.

For more on pandemic art from China, check out the post linked to above and for more on Paradise Systems, take a look at our feature on the publisher here:

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

Cover image courtesy of Paradise Systems.

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.