rtist and a soldier of fortune. More than a mere mercenary, he ho
nors a heroic code, placing a high value on the ties of kinship and loyal friends.
?亚博体育yb夜生活女神会所One day, he is entrusted to escort a mysterious masked man-actually a rebel leader-on a hazardous journey from Xi
yu, or the western regions, to the imperial capital (now Xi’an), forming the basis for a suspense-filled and thrilling tale.
Xu says that he set the story during the short-lived dynasty because he wanted to give it a?亚博体育yb夜生活
solid cultural and historical foundation, showing how people struggle with fate and fight against it in troubled times.
It took him several years of preparation before he started work on the comic, during which time he practiced drawing stor
?亚博体育yb夜生活yboards and read reference books like Zizhi Tongjian, (Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government) and Suish
u (History of Sui), and sought for advice from experts on the design of weapons and costumes.
“The creation of Dao Ma’s image was inspired by historian S女神会所ima Qian’s description?亚博体育yb夜生活
of xiake (meaning swordsmen, or vigilantes) who stand for free will, upholding justice, and fighting a
gainst a rigidly stratified society,” says Xu. “I suppose the Chinese ‘xiake spirit’ will resonate with readers around the world.”
?亚博体育yb夜生活Last April, the first book of the serialized comic was launched and its sales exceeded 10
0,000 copies in its first month. Japanese manga artists Rumiko Takahashi and Tooru Fujisawa lavished high
praise upon Xu’s work for its fascinating characters and enjoyable film-like narration.?亚博体育yb夜生活女神会所
Unlike many other influential comic strip artists, who learned to paint or draw from a y
oung age, Xu, who was once an advertising major at Northeast Normal University, barely has any such training.
?亚博体育yb夜生活After the failure of his advertising startup and, in his o
wn words, “hitting rock bottom”, he changed professional tack co
mpletely, deciding instead to pick up a pen and delve into the depths of his imagination.?亚博体育yb夜生活女神会所
“I became obsessed with the fantasy world that I
would read about in comics and see in animated films when I was a litt
le boy,” recalls Xu, who’s based in Xiamen, Fujian province. “After going through twists and turns in my first 25 y
ears, I thought it was time for me to follow my heart and become a storyteller.”