Sat, May 07, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Storied cartoonist picks Hsinchu over China enticements

By Huang Mei-chu  /  Staff Reporter, with CNA

Renowned cartoonist Liu Hsing-chin (劉興欽) said he has refused a lucrative offer to work in China.

Photo: Huang Mei-chu, Taipei Times

Renowned cartoonist Liu Hsing-chin (劉興欽) said he has refused a lucrative offer to work in China.

Liu, born in Hsinchu County in 1934, rose to fame because of his comic series titled Brother A-san and Great Auntie (阿三哥與大嬸婆). The series reflects life in early Taiwan and its subsequent economic boom.

At an exposition on Wednesday showcasing clay tablets designed to be Mother’s Day gifts and based on paintings by Hsinchu painter Han Chin-tien (韓錦田), Liu revealed that Chinese officials from Shanghai and Hangzhou, involved with the field of animation, contacted him earlier this year and extended an invitation that he pursue his career in China.

Liu said the offer included a mansion that would be his if he lived in it for at least three months a year.

The mansion would act as his studio and after his death it would be turned into a memorial hall in his honor, Liu said, adding that the mansion was so big that you needed a bicycle to “ride around it.”

Liu also said he has heard that another Taiwanese cartoonist, Tsai Chih-chung (蔡志忠), is making NT$2.5 million (US$87,140) a month since going to China and that Chu Te-yung (朱德庸) had made millions of New Taiwan dollars for selling his work in China.

Chu, who became famous after drawing four comics that focus on male-female relationships, signed a 20-year lease with China’s Hanzhou City Government to operate a workshop in a sprawling animation complex within the city that also includes artist workshops and luxury hotels.

However, Liu said that no matter how good China’s offer was, he wouldn’t accept it.

“Hsinchu is my home, it’s where I grew up and the place I deeply love,” Liu said, adding that the intention of his return from the US was to establish a permanent residence in Taiwan.

On Tuesday, an original illustration from the new book People are Sick by Chu sold for 448,000 yuan (US$69,000) at an auction in China. The piece sold for 40 times the reserve amount.

Chu never put up his illustrations up for auction in Taiwan because he said there were no credible companies operating in the country that could handle such an auction.

“The successful auction of my works in China has made me more confident that creating comics and illustrations is a refined art,” Chu said.

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