井底之蛙

2/28/2012

War cartoons

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 2:58 pm

I’ve been doing a class that deals with cartoons, and Feng Zikai is a major part of it

One problem with teaching popular art is that a lot of the work of someone like Feng has never been collected or is hard to find. I was therefore very happy to see that Hong Kong Baptist has put Feng’s 1945 book of wartime cartoons on-line, and thus I was able to show my students two of my favourites of his which I have not seen re-printed elsewhere.

The first is entitled Yesterday’s Hero

The second is Battlefield Dog

One thing I find interesting is that Yesterday’s Hero is from 1933 and Battlefield Dog is from 1938. So I would guess that the Hero was someone who had fought the Japanese in 1932 or so and has now been forgotten. I would guess that in 1933 Feng had not thought much about where his foot ended up, but after a few years as a refugee being bombed (and encountering wild dogs) made him think more about these things. In 1945 he put them facing each other on two pages, so I would guess he would see them as a matched pair the same way I do.

2 responses to “War cartoons”

  1. C. W. Hayford says:

    This must be a quite revealing course. Could you put up a post with the syllabus or maybe just a list of the books and internet links?

    There are quite a few cartoons in David Arkush and Leo Lee’s Land Without Ghosts, including a six page series by Ye Qianyu on the “American style of life” based on his visit to the States in 1945-46. You can preview part of the sequence here (search “Ye Qianyu”).

  2. Anonymous says:

    Charles,

    I’m afraid it was not a very China-y class. It was a colloquium type thing in our honors college where I was supposed to look at art from the perspective of a historian. In the past I have looked at Chinese bronzes, but the last couple of times I have done cartoons with the help of Feng Zikai and Bill Mauldin. It has worked o.k., but I am not wildly happy with it.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22475217/Classes%20s12/HC%20S12/CoreC.s12.html

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