Thu, Oct 12, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Blend of humor and horror inspires artist A-man

By Wu Po-hsuan and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A-man promotes his new book at a launch event in Taipei on Sept. 15.

Photo: Wu Po-hsuan, Taipei Times

An artist known by the pseudonym A-man (阿慢), 33, has been creating serialized cartoon strips that are a blend of humor and horror.

Last month, A-man published his fourth comic book. Hundred Ghosts of the Night: Demons and Creatures (百鬼夜行誌:妖怪卷) is the fourth book of the series.

“I like creating contrast. It is a fine line between the terrifying and the hilarious — I draw inspiration from folk legends, but I give them a funny twist at the resolution,” he said.

In Taiwanese folk legend, divination by chair is performed by summoning the spirit of a murdered young woman known as the yizi gu (椅仔姑, chair maiden).

The spirit answers questions directed to it by knocking the ground with the chair’s leg, he said.

In A-man’s story, a desperate male bachelor tries to escape his single life by consulting the spirit’s wisdom, which leads to the punchline that dispels the horror surrounding the myth.

He said his love of the manga horror genre begin at a young age when he read The Hanging Balloons by Japanese artist Junji Ito.

A-man began creating horror comics as a hobby during the four years he worked as a sales clerk at a department store, which he has published on the Internet since 2009, he said, adding that after meeting an editor interested in his work, he quit his job to become a professional artist.

His first book, Hundred Ghosts of the Night: Run Away (百鬼夜行誌:塊陶卷), was published in 2013 and he began to serialize a comic on Line a year after that. It is updated every two weeks, he said.

“When I want to create a bit of social commentary, I turn it into a Web comic. Modern people and kids do not like being lectured, so I try to influence them through comics,” A-man said.

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