Comics Culture in the People’s Republic of China (ChinaComx)



In the ERC funded project Comics Culture in the People’s Republic of China (ChinaComx), we set out to investigate the intellectual, political, social, historical, and transcultural dimensions of a medium still heavily understudied: lianhuanhua ( 连环画), literally “linked images.”

We study them as a medium from the People’s Republic of China (but also in its transnational dimensions) and its place within the larger Chinese and global comics culture. Studying the conditions of comic art’s production, distribution and consumption, the project sheds light on how lianhuanuha contribute to the project of nation building, to the creation of a new socialist human and to the continued legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) expressed via and through this visual medium.

In addition, we investigate how these at times highly propagandistic texts were read by ordinary citizens. In our case studies, we will analyze large amounts of literary and filmic adaptations, the conventions of text-image relations (and the breaking of these conventions), narrative qualities, as well as the visual language which is very much indebted to other visual forms of art, including traditional Chinese visual art, cartoons, propaganda posters, photography and movies.

With its focus on historical and cultural practices and meaning making, ChinaComx moreover delves into the changing global cultural, political and economic connections within the socialist cultural sphere, within the Greater China region, East Asia and beyond, tracing distinct and changing relationships of domestic and foreign elements.

The case studies cover developments since the late 1940s to the present and situate concrete phenomena within larger developments and traditions. In providing more knowledge about comic culture from China and in contributing to theoretical debates, ChinaComx aims to delineate the term „lianhuanhua“ as a distinct genre and area of academic research that bears specific characteristics, being embedded in a particular context of origin, yet, changing across time and space as Japanese manga or Franco-Belgian bandes desinnées.

The project’s homepage and social media are currently under construction, but you can reach us at or via our individual emails.


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Letzte Änderung: 24.01.2024
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