Artists at Chen's studio share his passion for fantasy animation images. Jia Lei for China Daily
Chen was born and grew up in a remote city in Northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. His parents had been among those sent from the cities to the countryside during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76).
He went on to study oil painting at Hangzhou Normal University.
After graduating, he went to Beijing, joining a group of young painters at the Old Summer Palace, who lived meagerly off the sale of their art.
In 1995 Chen landed a design job at an advertising company in Tianjin. But what he always wanted to do was to create comics. He left the company a year later and started his own studio, Creator World Comic.
Since that meeting with Han, his Korean publisher friend, the success of the four Chinese classic comic-book series has brought Chen fame and wealth.
Chen's studio too has developed into a business group that incorporates a creative branch, copyright company and website service.
"For years, most of China's cartoonists have been starving," says Chen, now 44. "They earn very little from their drawing - 200 to 300 yuan for a page. Even if they become popular, there will be many copycats right away. That is what I'm trying to change through our group."
And, comic illustrators across the country are being inspired by his story and dreaming of emulating his success.