Da-an China



Keywords: Da-an China
Description: Xia Da, an up-and-coming Chinese comics artist, has suddenly found herself famous in Japan. It's not for the reasons she wanted, though. Xia, one of Chinese comics' biggest young stars and an

Xia Da, an up-and-coming Chinese comics artist, has suddenly found herself famous in Japan. It's not for the reasons she wanted, though.

Xia, one of Chinese comics' biggest young stars and an admirer of Japanese manga (comic books) since her childhood, hoped to be recognized overseas for her bold style and serious topics. But instead, she found legions of drooling fanboys ogling pictures of her in a schoolgirl costume.

The photos show Xia, 29, without any make-up and wearing a student's outfit, a look always guaranteed to stir up the libidos of Japanese comics fans, among whom the loli style, showing young girls, is disturbingly popular. They describe her as being as pretty as any of her child-like characters. The pictures spread rapidly on the Japanese Internet since first being published in March, and have earned her the name of "China's cutest young cartoonist."

A colleague of Xia's said, "A photographer friend of Xia's took these for fun a year ago, and put them on her blog. Then they were picked up by the editor of an online game, who photoshopped the pictures into a promotion for the game."

"Our studio had words with them and stopped that, but when Xia's work started being published in Japanese magazines, people wanted to know what she looked like. Then somebody found the pictures online and things spread from there, starting in Japan and now back in Chinese forums."

Xia has been a fan of comic books since she was a schoolgirl. Her first work, Chengzhang (Growing Up), was published when she was in high school, running in the popular magazine Beijing Cartoon. While studying design in a college in Hunan Province, her comic strip Siyuewuyu (April Story) was published in Beijing.

Inspired by these successes and her love of comics, Xia turned down the prospect of a job in her Hunan hometown after graduation and moved to Beijing to become a professional comics artist. There she became part of a group of young artists and joined a comic book studio, Summerzoo.

Her continuing work in Beijing Cartoon gathered her more fans, especially the strip Midelande Chenxing (Midland Stars). Another work, Luoxuewusheng (Silent Falling Snow) was adapted for TV.




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