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Animation, Comic Fiesta Under Way

The Oriental Animation & Comic Competition 2004 and Animation & Comic Carnival 2004, both the first of their kind in China, were launched earlier this month in Beijing and will wind up in mid August.

Approved by the Ministry of Culture, the events were jointly organized by the China Oriental Culture Research Society and Comic fans magazine one of the most popular regular publications for fans of animation and comics in China.

"These events are aimed at discovering, encouraging and rewarding promising young animators and comic artists, and helping to nurture a stronger animation and comic industry and market in China, which will in turn contribute to the country's economy," said Jin Cheng, deputy director of the organizing committee.

Over the past few years, the rapidly developing animation and comic industry has become an important part of China's popular culture, especially for teens, say experts.

As a result, the sector has drawn increasing attention from investors, manufacturers and the general public.

The number of publishers of animation and comic magazines and books, manufacturers of tie-in products such as stationary, toys and models, and developers of electronic games and online game websites is climbing throughout China.

The deadline for animation and comic entries for the competition is June 15 and the short-listed works will be judged in July, followed by the award presentation ceremony, which will be televised live at 7 pm on CCTV on August 6.

The events will wrap up from August 7-12 at the National Museum of Military History, where enthusiasts will have a chance to experience exciting interactive, live action games and costume play, or cosplay, shows, in addition to hearing lectures and meeting master animators and comic artists from home and abroad.

Two comprehensive awards -- the Best Comic Story and Best Animated Short Film -- are up for grabs, in addition to 20 other awards across four categories.

Also, the results of the Top 10 Animation and Comic Works of the Year, to be judged separately for the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, will be revealed in Beijing in early August.

The carnival features a series of activities such as cosplays to be held first in major cities such as Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai, and then in Beijing a singing competition, academic lectures, book launches and signings, and activities for fans such as a summer camp at the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall.

During the competition and carnival, the Great Wall International Animation and Comic Artists' Corridor will open to the public as a new attraction at the Jinshanling section of the Wall.

(China Daily May 14, 2004)

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