Defying Chinese censorship: a comic dedicated to nakedness


This post is by Noah Berlatsky from Books | The Guardian


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When artist Yan Cong was told he could not print any nudity in his books, he set out to produce an anthology with characters in the buff

Back in the early 2010s, Beijing comic artist Yan Cong (a pseudonym that translates to “chimney”) was told by printers that they wouldn’t wouldn’t publish any of his books with nudity in them. Both irritated and inspired, he decided to respond to the censorship with an anthology in which all the main characters were nude. Naked Body, published in Chinese in 2014, highlighted the humour, loopiness, horniness and astonishing breadth of the Chinese alternative comics scene. It is finally due to be published in English this year.

Japanese and European comics have had a strong influence on US creators, but Chinese comics are less well known; partly because of the censorship that inspired Naked Body that means the state keeps a tight ...