- An independent comics anthology featuring some of the most active members of the mainland China comics community.
- The first major anthology of Chinese comics published in English.
- 100 full-color pages of playful, intimate, and loopy comics, with a focus on outstanding illustration.
In 2014, cartoonist and contemporary artist Yan Cong put out an open call for a new anthology on his Weibo account. The only requirements for submissions were that they be 5 pages long, in color, and all of the main characters be nude.
The resulting mix of authors included veteran cartoonists such as Zuo Ma, author of several graphic novels, and WangXX, author of the ongoing Seal Life series, but also talented up and coming artists Inkee Wang.
Naked Body will be the first major anthology of independent Chinese comics published in the US. Though the anthology's small print run was well received in China, it was never distributed overseas. This English edition will give a second life to the volume, allowing it these cartoonists to reach a much wider audience than they would have otherwise.
The English edition of Naked Body is being developed in close collaboration with the original editor, Yan Cong, and the cartoonists who took part in the book and Kickstarter rewards. If the project is funded, every contributing author will be compensated for their work.
Mainstream print publishing in China is tightly controlled. Those publishing through independent channels or on social media play an ongoing game of cat-and-mouse with censors, sometimes finding it impossible to publish any works featuring nudity or overt references to politically sensitive topics. Nevertheless, a thriving comics scene continues to navigate these challenges in order to publish their work.
Naked Body's subject matter places it at the fringes of China's subculture, because printed nudity of any kind remains a focus for Chinese censors. Some contributions disregard the limits traditionally placed on print publishing, featuring explicit sexuality, or in some cases, explicit queer sexuality. These works, and the overall quality of the work, make Naked Body one of the most exciting books to come out of the Chinese comics community in recent years.
We want Naked Body to be a celebration not just of this single book, but of the Chinese comics scene. That’s why we’re collaborating with a cartoonists from the community whose work is not featured in the book, and why we are are offering some hard to attain relics of Chinese comic history, lianhuanhua.
Choose any of three stunning 6.5” by 9.75” giclée prints by members of the Chinese comics and illustration community, including Yan Cong, Inkee, and Jun Cen. See larger images of the print below.
Closet — a new, 18 page, black and white comic by Shanghai cartoonist Woshibai — will be included with your order! Closet describes Woshibai’s childhood understanding of how babies are born, and how he learned the truth.
Lianhuanhua are vintage pulp comics from China, remnants of one of the largest comics industries that ever was. We'll send you two of these classic, pocket-sized Chinese comics, bagged in plastic to protect them. All comics are in Chinese and include a notecard describing some of the history of the industry.
Increased Artist Royalties — Compensation for the participating cartoonists is the single largest expense in the budget, and the most important. As we exceed our goal, artist royalties will increase.
$13,000 — We will work with Woshibai to expand Closet into 38-page book, that will then become a part of the Paradise Systems lineup to share with folx who don’t have access to Kickstarter
$15,000 — We will include a Chinese-language insert of the original text, including the essays that accompanied it, with every physical copy of the book.
Yan Cong, co-editor of Naked Body, is one of the most prominent independent cartoonists in China. Self-publishing his own work since the mid-2000s, he has also worked to publish many fellow cartoonists, both at the indie collective Special Comix, and through his own comics magazine, Narrative Addiction.
Operated by translator and writer R. Orion Martin and cartoonist Jason Li, Paradise Systems is a Brooklyn-based comics press focusing out outstanding comics from China and the United States. Over the past few years, Paradise Systems has worked on 13 books, 11 of which are by cartoonists from mainland China. Building on our relationship with the independent comics scene in China, Naked Body will be a showcase for the vibrancy of this community and a guide to some of the most active cartoonists.
Risks and challenges
Making physical books is a challenging process, with many possible design, printing, and shipping hiccups. That’s why we’re working with talented cartoonists and publishers with dozens of Kickstarter projects behind them to help foresee and iron out any potential issues that may come up. In the event of an unavoidable delay, we will update all backers as soon as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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