Internet fuels Chinese comics industry

By Jiang Yijing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-18 07:58

Internet fuels Chinese comics industry

Chinese comics artists create comic strips with colorful topics, from Taoism, to fox-demon fantasy. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The growing number of comics artists and their stories online have certainly helped to raise the quality of work, say many artists and their readers.

Yiren Zhixia, created by Mi Er, reveals the unusual lives of several people who are able to master superpowers related to traditional Chinese culture, such as the qi energyflow concept in Taoism. Huyao Xiao Hongniang, a web comic created by Tuo Xiaoxin, tells of a series of interesting and mysterious love stories between Taoists and fox demons.

Both the stories are based on traditional Chinese culture and the cartoon versions of them have been introduced to Japanese TV audiences over the past two years.

According to statistics released by the Qianzhan Industry Research Institute in March, at the end of 2016, China had 150,000 web comics created by more than 90,000 artists, receiving more than 200 billion hits from 70 million readers. Many of them had the habit of buying comic books or magazines in the past.

Zhang Han, 25, who works in the Ministry of Transport, is one fan who switched from magazines to websites. Zhang has been reading comics since elementary school. The habit helps her relax and she continues to read comics on her computer before going to sleep every night.

"I used to finish reading a whole magazine once I bought it, and wait for the latest installment in the weeks ahead. But the number of magazines were limited and sometimes I could not get hold of one," she says.

Online comics can also be much cheaper than the magazines of the past and many fans are reading them on the go via mobile apps.

"Many of my friends began to read comics on apps and I have tried that, but the pictures and words on smartphone screens are too small and my eyes can hurt," says Zhang. She usually follows several storylines at the same time but reading them all on her mobile device means she would have to download many apps and deal with limited digital storage, she says.

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