Henan native Chang Zhanbo, 24, studied painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. After graduating in 2002, he teamed up with writer Ding Dong to produce a slick and gritty comic book entitled Backfire.
That's: How did you become interested in comic books?
Chang: I've always been into comics and cartoons. When I was very young, I saw a lot of the Disney cartoons. Then, when I was about 13, I got into Dragon Ball [an action-packed Japanese cartoon]. Later, I became very interested in other Japanese titles like Fist of the North star, Saint Seiya and Ghost in the Shell.
That's: How did you develop your style?
Chang: I have a background in painting, and I appreciate the detailed style of Japanese comics.
That's: And how did you decide on the story for Backfire?
Chang: Ding and I thought that the domestic market was lacking this style of comic book. We saw a demand for it. It's a style for young people, but not for children. It's violent, and serious, and also has complex characters. Backfire takes place on Earth after a race of aliens has conquered it. The main characters are a band of surviving humans that rise up against the aliens. It's not a unique story, but there is nothing like it available in the domestic market except for pirated stuff from Japan.
That's: Is Beijing a work of art?
Chang: Yes. All cities are works of art. All homes are works of art. People are works of art.
(thatsmagazines.com October 8, 2004)