Review of Yan Cong's
"Comics Funeral" (Eng/Ch)

This text was prepared for a discussion of Yan Cong's 19 page comic, "Comics Funeral." The round table discussion was organized by Special Comix, and posted on their WeChat account, 异常漫画研究中心.

What is it about Yan Cong’s drawings that makes his comics so charming? Is it the soft pencil shading of the figures? The way we can sometimes make out previous drafts underneath the final illustrations? Is it the seemingly casual disregard for human anatomy? In Comics Funeral, we are drawn to the funny, sometimes impossible ways that bodies appear in his work — the missing necks and rounded figures. The artist’s own hand going into his bag of chips never looks much like a real hand, but always gives us exactly what we need to read it.

Yan Cong’s art has an undeniable graphic quality that has taken years to develop, but I actually think his greatest strength as a cartoonist is his casual, fluent approach to storytelling. The conversations in Comics Funeral are simple snippets of life. If you showed me video footage of these chats, I’d skip through them. It is Yan Cong’s careful rendering that makes us want to engage with them. The steady pacing of the dialogue, broken by atmospheric views of their surroundings, provides a gentle tug on us, pulling us from one page to the next. Yan Cong’s comics range from surrealist narratives to deeply personal explorations of depression, and through all of them, it is his frankness, the feeling that he is ready to share something with the reader, which draws us in.

究竟是什么让烟囱的漫画如此令人喜爱呢?是人物阴影的铅笔轻描吗?那种能让我们隐约分辨出藏在成品下面的草图痕迹?亦或是对人体结构看似漫不经心的忽视呢?在他的作品《漫画葬礼》中,我们被滑稽的,且常常是不真实的人物身体所吸引——缺失的脖子与浑圆的体态。画中艺术家插入薯片包中的手看上去绝不像是真的,但却能恰到好处地让我们理解。

烟囱艺术中所呈现出绘图素养是一种无可否认的厚积薄发,但我却认为他作为漫画家最大的优点在于他随意而流畅的叙事手法。《漫画葬礼》中的对话都来自简单的生活片段。如果你给我看这些对话的视频,我只会一晃而过。而烟囱在其作品中的细腻描绘却让我们有兴趣深入其中。不紧不慢的对话中插入对环境气氛的刻画,有一种微妙的吸引力让我们爱不释手。从超现实叙事到对抑郁的自我深描,烟囱所有漫画作品中一以贯之的是他的坦诚,是他乐意与读者分享的感情让我们为之深深吸引。

Translation to Chinese by Phoebe

中文翻译:费比


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