Archive for September, 2010

Secrets of effective cartooning

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

In a comment to a microblog post by cartoonist B. Kuang (atop the image at right, he notes, “Thirty years of thought and a morning of drawing. I need a title. Thanks”), another microblogger asks:

Let me ask the OP: What aspects of drawing should a fifteen-year-old girl who has never studied drawing before but wants to be able to draw comics in the future study? What first? And what next? I await your instruction. Thanks.

Kuang replies:


First, you’ve got to have a grounding in sketching so your skills will match your ambition. So many cartoons in this country covered in textual notes because the expressiveness of the drawing is insufficient. Second, read widely, increase your life experience and heighten your consciousness, for without a deep experience of life, your work will only be superficial.

and continues:


And then start a microblog. This is an ocean of knowledge, so go on and receive “education” and edification from all corners, and strengthen your citizenship, and then your work will have life. Don’t you realize that many truths of history are not contained in our textbooks? I have gained much here, and I am grateful…

Kuang’s work is immediately recognizable when it is published in the print media or reposted online. His drawings are detailed, but they also contain bold, easily understood elements which, per his instructions, don’t require much captioning at all.

Translation vs. copyright

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

There’s been an interesting series of conversations on Sina’s microblog service this week about works of classic literature translated in the 1980s — before China signed on to international copyright conventions.

Some examples:

Janson Yao writes:


Today I read an article by Huang Luo about the translation of short detective fiction in Taiwan, and it looks like the situation in Taiwan and the mainland is pretty much the same. Early on, copyright wasn’t observed, and works were translated at will. By the nineties, under copyright restrictions, translations declined. Huang noticed that there have been some mystery anthologies published in recent years, but it seems like most of them are anthologies from an individual author. In collections of works by multiple authors, rights must be obtained separately for each piece. The cost is high, and it takes time.

Wu Yan comments:


I read that the translator of Walden Two said that when he took the very first edition to get Skinner’s autograph, he had to cover it up because he didn’t have the rights, lest the author see what book it was.