Manhua (Traditional: 漫畫 Simplified: 漫画; pinyin: mànhuà) is the general term for Chinese-language comics and print cartoons, and is applied both to works originally written in Chinese, and translated comics. The Chinese characters for manhua are identical to those used for Japanese manga
and Korean manhwa
. On the same note, the term for the creator of comics in Chinese is 漫画家/漫畫家 (màn huà jiā), its characters the same as the ones in Japanese mangaka
(漫画家) and Korean manhwaga (만화가, hanja form 漫畵家).
Manhua can be considered simultaneously the older and younger relative of manga. Manhua works were widely published and read in China from the 1920's, often with political or satirical content, predating Japan's manga development in the post-WWII period. However, after WWII, China didn't get the same luck like Japan did - the Chinese Civil War placed creative development on hold for another few years, and creative oppression on both sides further strained production, long enough for manga to become a serious powerhouse on the international scene, though Hong Kong remained somewhat independent and developed on its own.
Even after things got better in the 80s, development was slow and manga influences were visible. Modern works have mainly been published in Hong Kong and Taiwan, though Mainland China also has a growing scene post-2000. Today, manhua can be found on sale anywhere with a large Chinese-speaking population.
Singapore also has Mandarin Chinese as one of its official languages, so some of its comic books can also be considered manhua.
The art style in manhua is generally more realistic than is typical of Japanese manga, and normally drawn in full color. The order Chinese manhua are read in depends on the situation: more traditional ones tend to be read from right to left, while more modern ones tend to be read from left to right.
See also Manga
(Korean), OEL Manga
(English), and Web Comics
(digital publishing). For the ease of categorizing, Chinese webcomics will also be listed on this page.