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Comic Carnival 2004 Held in Beijing

The Oriental Animation & Comic Competition 2004 and Animation & Comic Carnival 2004 opened at the Beijing-based National Museum of Military History on the morning of August 7. More than 30 world-renowned cartoonists are showing their works during the six-day festival for animation fans.

The comic carnival -- the biggest of its kind in China -- has attracted thousands of cartoon lovers, who can enjoy playing live, interactive games and joining or watching stunning cosplay (costume play) shows. Of course, they also have the chance to meet master animators and cartoonists and listen to talks by experts on their favorite subject.

The China Oriental Culture Research Society and Comic Fans magazine, one of the most popular regular comic publications in China, jointly organized the events. Other domestically famed comic and animation organizations participating in the exhibition include Fantasy magazine, Cartoon Monthly, Game Software and the Animation School of the Beijing Film Academy.

Some of the highlights, aside from the shows to be presented on the central
stage, are autograph sessions, animation screenings and exhibitions of products and works of acclaimed artists. This last comprises more than 1,000 works by 30-plus cartoon masters from around the globe, including such notables as Mark Brooks, the creator of the ever-popular animation series, Transformers

A representative of Malaysia's Art Square Group said, "This event can introduce the fine cartoon works of Malaysia to the Chinese people while also establishing a platform for the different countries and areas to learn from each other and exchange ideas."

Japan and Korea took the lead in the development of the animation and comic industry in Asia in the early 1980s. China's Hong Kong and Taiwan Province have also formed their own distinctive cartoon industries. Although growth has been rapid in recent years, the industry still has enormous development potential.

The Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Administration of Press and Publications jointly launched the 5155 Project in 1995 to spur development of the cartoon and animation industry on the mainland. The project has helped to establish animation as an important part of mainstream popular culture, and the number of publishers of animation and comic magazines and books, manufacturers of affiliated products and developers of game hardware and software has mushroomed nationwide.

The great comic carnival will close on August 12 in Beijing and will then move to Guangzhou and Shanghai.

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(China.org.cn by Li Xiao, August 10, 2004)

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