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Cartoonist Pioneers Comic Book Market

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)

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