Comic Book Communism
February 14, 2011 4:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for the name of a book I read back in the late 60's or early 70's. It was an illustrated, I'd almost say sequential art (that'd be comics to you and me...) book all about the Chinese Communist revolution.

I think they were a translated series that was used to propagandize the barely literate. Stories of peasants and cruel landowners and the glorious people's revolution. Stuff like that. I've tried the google-machine, to no good result.

I got it out of a public library when I was in Jr. High, so that'd be around 1972?

Thanks in advance.
posted by jpburns to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Was it The People's Comic Book?
posted by Comrade_robot at 5:20 AM on February 14, 2011


This will make me crazy.

I've looked for these graphic novels before (there was a series...and when my mother was dabbling with Socialism in the early 70s, I'd sit on the floor at the bookstore where her meetings were held and read them...) but have had no luck. I can't believe no one has scanned them as I remember the artwork being way over-the-top. About the peasants, yes, but also about heroic and acrobatic kids wearing red scarves and there was even one book which combined the ideals of the Red Guard with the mythology (and monkey warriors) of ancient China.

I will try another GIS.
posted by squasha at 5:59 AM on February 14, 2011


Usually single picture to a page, with text beneath? Such sequential picture books were known as lianhuanhua. If you google that term, you'll find a wealth of info about them. Some good pics under google images as well.

(I've just worked this one out after years of looking for them myself. I learnt to read English as a very young child from translated Cultural Revolution era versions.)
posted by Ahab at 6:33 AM on February 14, 2011


Online exhibition.
posted by Ahab at 6:37 AM on February 14, 2011


Publisher of reprints.
posted by Ahab at 6:49 AM on February 14, 2011


wow...definitely the right track, Ahab!

Both Monkey Beats the White-boned Demon and Li Shuangshuang look like they have the artwork I remember, but the books I read had color illustrations in the typical propaganda style; perhaps when they were reprinted the artwork was updated?
posted by squasha at 7:11 AM on February 14, 2011


what I meant by typical...this.
posted by squasha at 7:12 AM on February 14, 2011


Yep. Know what you mean, I remember them being in color too. Slightly different art and higher production values for foreign markets perhaps?
posted by Ahab at 7:40 AM on February 14, 2011


Wow! That was quick, Comrade_Robot. That's certainly the cover.
Thanks!
posted by jpburns at 7:53 AM on February 14, 2011


Guess there was a vaster selection of these than I'd imagined...and maybe San Francisco got the "good" books because there was a bigger market? Thanks, Ahab!
posted by squasha at 6:53 AM on February 15, 2011


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