Manhua: Thirteen Dot Cartoons
A "13-dot" means roughly The Ditz
in old Shanghai and Canton slang — which is an apt description to the protagonist of this Hong Kong manhua
published between 1966 and the mid 70s. An always cheerful
, fashion-crazy girl from an impossibly rich family, 13-dots and her friends go on wacky adventures in each issue. Hilarity Ensues
, but everything turns out all right in the end.
A total of 178 issues have been published. During her heydays in the late 60s and early 70s, 13-Dot
was extremely popular among working-class women in Hong Kong, who lived vicariously
the life of the rich and glamorous through their favorite heroine. Factory girls would style their home-made clothes after her. Incidentally, this may be why artist Lee Wei-Chun's attempt to re-launch the comics in the 2000s was a failure: Hong Kong was far wealthier by then; fashion was easy to come by; while girl manga
have all but captured the imagination of today's youngsters.
13-Dot Cartoons contains examples of:
- Food Porn — another attraction of the comics.
- Infinite Supplies — 13-Dot and her family get all the coolest things, and clothes.
- Punny Name — The name of 13-Dot's father means "made of money", her mother's "hot for her age". The names of most regular characters are likewise puns.
- Unlimited Wardrobe — the reason why 13-Dot was popular: how unlimited? how about 1,728 outfits in 28 issues, or an average of 62 per issue?