World War Two and earlier British comics are understandably hard to come by, but their counterparts in China are nigh on impossible to find. So my thanks to collector Adam Teitge for highlighting the sale of some rare early Chinese ‘manhua‘ currently up for auction at the sale room. One of them has a name of ‘黑猫’ “hei mao”, ‘Black Cat’.
Part of a private collection of a German artist and collector living in Southeast Asia, on offer from Austrian auction house Galerie Zacke are five sets of modern early comics (manhua) with two, four or eight volumes inside, executed mostly in black print, with multi-coloured covers.
“Chinese humorous and narrative drawing began to take on characteristics of Western-defined cartoons of the period at the juncture of the 19th and 20th cent,” the auctioneer states. “Growing dissatisfaction with Qing dynasty reign and revolution in 1911 increased the contact with the outside world that brought in different ideas and modern printing technology, including lithography.”
These are real rarities, going on sale on 15th June 2021.
“I worked over there for five years, and even within China, they are extremely difficult to find,” notes Adam, who runs Stafford Books and Comics, where he sells spare books from his collection to find purchases of titles he’s collecting.
With thanks to Adam Teitge