Crazy Crab’s Chinese Dream: Political Cartoons 2012-2013 includes 40 images drawn exclusively for China Digital Times, with explanatory text written by Executive Editor Sophie Beach and a Q&A with the cartoonist.
“I hope to make change, to draw something that we have never thought about, or dared to draw, before,” Crazy Crab tells China Digital Times. “I also want to use cartoons to…spread some question marks in the censorship system.”
All cartoons in the eBook were drawn between February 2012 and September 2013, when Crazy Crab was a contributing cartoonist for China Digital Times. His drawings covered a busy period in Chinese political history, from the downfall of former Chongqing Party Chief Bo Xilai to the transition of power from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping.
Crazy Crab is the pen name of a Chinese political cartoonist who draws the series Hexie Farm. His images have been widely and enthusiastically distributed through online channels by both Chinese netizens and fans around the world. The cartoonist, who is currently living overseas, also launched the Dark Glasses: Portrait campaign to show support for activist Chen Guangcheng when he was under residential surveillance in Shandong.
A crackdown on free speech and activism that began as soon as President Xi Jinping took office in 2012 only intensified and broadened throughout 2014. A steady stream of filtered search terms and propaganda directives guided coverage and discussion of a broad variety of topics and stories, from Xi’s visit to a steamed bun shop to the arrest of former security chief Zhou Yongkang. The 25th anniversary of June 4th and the protest movement in Hong Kong were both among the most strictly censored stories in China in recent memory.
But the harsh tactics used by authorities to silence their critics did not work to intimidate the most outspoken Internet users, who continued to find creative ways to express themselves.
This yearbook is not an effort to chronicle everything that happened in China this past year. Rather, it provides a unique lens on some of the biggest stories in China in 2014 by compiling the best of the news reports & analysis, Internet commentary, propaganda directives, cartoons, and other images. “Covering China from Cyberspace in 2014” is a valuable resource for China analysts, journalists, students, and others who wish to broaden their knowledge and understanding of recent events in the country.
In this third edition of “Decoding the Chinese Internet,” we have added both new coinages and iconic turns of phrase. Organized by broad categories, “Decoding the Chinese Internet” guides readers through the raucous world of China’s online resistance discourse. Students of Mandarin will gain insight into word play and learn terms that are key to understanding Chinese Internet language. But no knowledge of Chinese is needed to appreciate the creative leaps netizens make in order to keep talking.