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Friday, 13 March 2015


This was the introduction to my old 4T Chinese Manhua site. It still exists (it was set up in 2003) but has not been up-dated for years.  As I like to keep reminding people that Chinese Manhua has some incredible art...

It will be necessary to explain the differences between Chinese,Korean and Japanese comics.


Manhua is the Chinese word for comics. The character used are the basis of the characters used in both Manwha [Korean for comics] and Manga,the Japanese for comics.

There is a certain annoyance amongst some fans of the medium that three terms are being used to designate which comic comes from where. This seems more than a little odd but there are all sorts on the internet!

Wendy Siuyi Wong,in her fabulous book,HONG KONG COMICS:A HISTORY OF MANHUA [Princeton Architectural Press,2003],has divided Manhua into four categories:

[1] Satirical & Political

[2] Comical

[3] Action

[4] Childrens [adaption of ancient Chinese legends,etc.]

The term Lianhuantu will also be encountered when looking into the subject. Lianhuantu is a traditional illustrated story book consisting,usually,of full page illoes with captions but no word balloons.

Korean Manwha tend to be read left to right as per in the West. There is less focus on big eyes and more on expression and personality.  The spikey hair of Manga is replaced also for a more natural look. Characters don't usually possess magical powers but are instead fierce fighters -far more human.

The Korean Manwha I have seen [black and white samples] tend to use more ink spattering and other techniques -rather like old UK b&w comics.

Both Korean ,and especially the Hong Kong Chinese creators,have been influenced by Japanese Manga as they grew up. Therefore,strong Manga influences are evident.

However,it is only when you look at a selection of Manwha,Manhua and Manga that you begin to spot the real differences and how unique each can be. In 2003 there were more than forty locally produced titles in HK -excluding Japanese material.


The foundations for the development of Manhua as an artform,according to Wendy Siuyi Wong,came in the 1920s. The word "Manhua" got more widely used after the famous writer Feng Zi-Kai published his very first collection of cartoons,Zi-Kai Manhua,in 1925.

Feng's fame drew attention to his use of the phrase "Zi-Kai Manhua" and it was soon in common use,associating his art style with Japanese  manga.


It would be near to impossible to try to show the wide variety of Hong Kong comics,past and present,on this site. There are so many!

The best I can do is advise anyone interested to purchase a copy of Siuyi Wong's book -you may find a cheap copy on e-bay.

This site and the discussion group below are intended to at least give those interested some idea of what is out there and its not all DC or Marvel comics.


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