MANHUA: The final entry in this list of East Asian exports is manhua, which are comics created exclusively in China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong.

The first published manhua was the 1904 “Current Affairs Comics’, which offered a commentary on war and politics of the time. Over the next two decades, this new art form began to lay down its roots, and in 1928, the first-ever dedicated manhua magazine, Shanghai Sketch, was born.

The magazine sparked a small yet thriving manhua scene in both mainland China and Hong Kong, and by the mid-1950s, a second popular publication, Cartoons World, entered the market. This introduced a whole new generation of fans to manhua and solidified it as an important part of national culture.

But just like Korea’s manhwa, manhua has fallen victim to governmental suppression and control over the years, and since the birth of the internet, many satirical or controversial comics have been censored and removed.


Manhua: What Makes it Unique?

MANHUA: Manhua comics and graphic novels can be read from either left to right or right to left, depending on where they come from. Generally speaking, manhua produced in mainland China is read from left to right, and those hailing from Hong Kong or Taiwan are read from right to left.

A person who creates manhua is called a “manhuajia,” and just like Korean manhwagas, a manhuajia depicts their characters in a more realistic and less stylized fashion than their Japanese counterparts.

Manhua comics tend to be produced in full color rather than black and white, especially in their more popular digitized formats. And in recent years, manhua has taken on a brand new animated form through series such as Yi Ren Zhi Xia and Soul Buster.

Manhua is becoming more and more popular by the day, and there’s a growing demand for these comics and graphic novels around the world.

But unlike the diverse themes of manga and manhwa, manhua generally falls into one of just four categories; politics, comedy, action, and kids, so whether it will ever rival the success of manga remains to be seen.


The Key Differences Between Manga, Manhua, And Manhwa

MANHUA: Here’s a recap of some of the major differences between these East Asian publications.
  • Manga is from Japan, Manhwa is from South Korea, and manhua hails from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.Manga is read from right to left, whereas manhwa is read from left to right, and manhua varies depending on its place of origin.
  • Manga artists depict characters highly stylized, whereas manhwa and manhua comics feature more realistic-looking characters.
  • Manga is published almost exclusively in black and white, whereas manhwa and manhua can frequently be found in full-color formats, especially online.
  • Multiple manga issues are often collected into chapters and sold as volumes. In contrast, manhua and manhwa are almost always stand-alone and published weekly on webtoon platforms or in print.

Post a Comment