Focus Taiwan App
Download

Taiwan comic artist Chang Sheng featured at 2024 Brussels Book Fair

04/09/2024 07:39 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
Taiwanese mangaka Chang Sheng poses in front of an event poster which depicts the cover art of the first volume of his superheroine comic "Yan" at Foire du Livre de Bruxelles (Brussels Book Fair). The event post also detailed Chang Sheng's appearance at the 2024 edition of the annual book fair. CNA photo April 8, 2024
Taiwanese mangaka Chang Sheng poses in front of an event poster which depicts the cover art of the first volume of his superheroine comic "Yan" at Foire du Livre de Bruxelles (Brussels Book Fair). The event post also detailed Chang Sheng's appearance at the 2024 edition of the annual book fair. CNA photo April 8, 2024

Brussels, Belgium, April 9 (CNA) Taiwanese mangaka Chang Sheng (常勝) attended this year's Foire du Livre de Bruxelles (Brussels Book Fair) where he participated in several discussion and book signing events.

With notable Taiwanese comics, also known as "T-manga," such as "The Hidden Level" (隱藏關卡), "Oldman" (奧德曼) and "Baby" under his belt, Chang Sheng unveiled the French edition of his latest series to the fair.

"Yan" (閻鐵花) is a superheroine T-manga that follows its eponymous protagonist who disguises her identity behind Peking Opera face paint to conduct her superhero activities.

During the first two days of the fair, which took place between April 4 and 7, "Yan" sold almost a hundred copies, prompting Chang Sheng's sponsors to quickly restock the title at the event.

Speaking with CNA, Chang Sheng said he believes a good work of comic should be able to be described with a simple yet powerful tagline, and in the case of "Yan," Chang Sheng said he came up with: "What if a Peking opera diva becomes a superheroine?"

"I hope that in a different country, people can see that I took something traditional and old to blend it with our modern times," Chang Sheng said. "[I] hope it will create a new visual experience."

Chang Sheng said while the popularity of Japanese manga has introduced Asian comics to European nations, Taiwan's industry has not reached the same heights as a cultural force as its neighbor.

However, Chang Sheng said that now was a great time for Taiwan to promote its diversity to the world through comics.

"Diversity will give our [Taiwan] works of manga more potential and future, which means we [Taiwan mangakas] must all work harder."

Bringing T-manga to the world

Chang Sheng is a renowned comic book artist, having won the Golden Comic Award in Taiwan and the Kyoto International Creators Award in Japan.

The rights to a number of the Taiwanese mangaka's catalog have been sold to English, French, Italian, Turkish, Japanese and Korean publishers.

So far, "Yan" has been translated into English, Italian, Russian and French editions.

Aside from participating in forums to present his ideas to the audience at the fair, Chang Sheng also hosted autograph events at the "Le Quartier Manga" (Manga Theme Pavilion) operated by the French digital comic platform Mangas.io.

Chang Sheng's appearance at this year's fair was made possible thanks to the partnership between the French platform and the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) over the last two years.

Taiwanese mangaka Chang Sheng engage with audience members and fan during a panel at the 2024 Foire du Livre de Bruxelles (Brussels Book Fair). Photo courtesy of Taiwan Creative Content Agency
Taiwanese mangaka Chang Sheng engage with audience members and fan during a panel at the 2024 Foire du Livre de Bruxelles (Brussels Book Fair). Photo courtesy of Taiwan Creative Content Agency

Mangas.io's head Yun Inada told CNA that the European market has recently observed an influx of Taiwan's comics, adding that he believes young readers of Japanese manga could become prospective followers of T-mangas.

Inada also said with Taiwan's unique history with the Netherlands, China and Japan alongside a connection to modern-day Western culture, comics from the nation provide a unique dynamism that is not found elsewhere.

The recognition of T-mangas was most obvious this year when TAICCA brought 14 other Taiwanese comics to the fair to accompany Chang Sheng's work.

Frederico Anzalone, Foire du Livre de Bruxelles's manga events curator, told CNA that his section at the fair was established to tailor to the rising demands of Japanese manga in French language markets in recent years.

Anzalone explained that as the head of the fair's manga event, he decided to invite Chang Sheng to the latest edition of the fair after being introduced to his works while attending an annual Angoulême International Comics Festival in France recently.

"An interesting aspect [of T-mangas] is the blending of cultures, like what's observed in Chang Sheng's style, one that I am astonished by," Anzalone said. "His style is very technical, so I thought he'd be a good candidate to invite [to the fair]."

Chang Sheng will also promote "Yan" at the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2024 between April 8 and 11.

On his expectations for "Yan," Chang Sheng said that he wished to take his manga on an international tour to show the world what kinds of fictional superheroes Taiwan has to offer.

"[When] the world is in chaos, aliens are invading and the world is about to go to war; the United States will have heroes from Marvel while Japan will have Gundam [giant robots]. I hope [people] will think of 'Yan' [as well], and that will be great."

(By Tien Hsi-ju and James Lo)

Enditem/ASG

    0:00
    /
    0:00
    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.
    172.30.142.104