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Graphic novel series of Chinese classic draws attention in ROK
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Renowned cartoonists Liang Xiaolong and Chen Weidong have published a 20-volume graphic novel of China's ancient masterpiece, "Romance of the Three Kingdoms," in the Republic of Korea (ROK), where it's aroused discussion of Chinese traditional culture.

The two cartoonists spent three years drawing the masterpiece, which was originally a massive work of fiction based upon events in the turbulent years near the end of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD) and the Three Kingdoms era (208-280 AD).

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is one of the four great classic novels of Chinese literature: the others are "Outlaws of the Marsh", "Journey to the West" and "The Dream of the Red Chamber". All were part of a six-year project of the Tianjin-based Shenjie Cartoon Studio to transform them into graphic novels, which are scheduled to be completed in August.

Chen said publishing such books was a way to popularize Chinese culture because they could be enjoyed with few language barriers.

Chen, director of Shenjie, said the series used traditional Chinese painting techniques and highlighted traditional Chinese aesthetic concepts.

A spokesman for the ROK-based Wisdom publishing house said it had been impressed by the high quality of the work, which was totally different from American or Japanese graphic fiction styles.

More than 40 ROK media organizations covered the release of the series and ROK cultural experts published commentaries about the books.

(Xinhua News Agency April 18, 2008)

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