Cruel Resurrection: Chinese Comics and the Korean War

I wrote this article in the early 2000s under the direction of the ageless Chinese art historian Shen Kuiyi, with whom I did a “cognate field” during my doctoral studies at Ohio University, and with inspiration and advice from Temple University’s John Lent, a pioneer in  global comic book scholarship whose research on cartoonists (漫画家) and cartooning in the early PRC has been foundational to the expanding English language studies of that field.

The article demonstrates how Chinese Communist comic art during the late years of the Chinese civil war and the Korean War reprised and repackaged anti-Japanese themes of atrocity in the service of the new anti-American struggle, and analyses the role played by comic books, cartoons, and visual satire.

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Accordingly, there is also some analysis here of work by Mi Gu (米谷) and Zhang Ding (张丁), two important cartoonists in their own right, as well as passing references to Hua Junwu (华君武) , the communist Northeast Daily and then the People’s Daily cartoonist whose work was reprinted and imitated by North Korean cartoonists. The article draws primarily from a rare collection of cartoons gathered by the anti-communist writer and reporter Edward Hunter, the physical copies of which I had access to thanks to the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago.

The International Journal of Comic Art indexed archives online reach only to 2006, and the full text of my article from that year, entitled “Atrocities, Insults, and Jeep Girls,” has been available on this site for a while. But I am pleased to finally offer a full pdf. / scanned version of my 2004 article to readers without any paywalls or passwords attached, via the link below. Enjoy.

Adam Cathcart, “Cruel Resurrection: Chinese Comics and the Korean War,” International Journal of Comic Art Vol. VI, No. 1 (Winter 2004), 37–55.

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