Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nezha Stirs Up the Sea


When I was very young, my aunt gave me a strange little picture book called "Nezha Stirs Up the Sea." The book is actually a collection of stills from a 1979 Chinese animation of the same name.


The story is about a magical boy named Nezha who goes around defending children from the evil Dragon King.


When Nezha kills the Dragon Prince, and the Dragon King demands Nezha's life in return. In order to spare his father from the duty of killing his only son, Nezha slits his own throat with a sword.


Yes, this is a children's book.


 Stay with me here.

Nezha is reincarnated as a "youth with three heads and six arms" and a skirt!!!!


He wreaks his holy vengeance on the evil Dragon King, who never returns to threaten humans again.


This book heavily influenced how I drew dragons. I really liked the twisting, ribbon-like forms of the Chinese dragons, and you can still see that in my artwork today.


Growing up in California, I had never seen anything else like this. I spent my childhood wondering about this obscure, bizarre little book. Then, a few years ago, it occurred to me that I was just a Google away from having all my questions answered. I found the original Nezha animation, watched a few seconds of it, then decided that actually I preferred my book, in all of its strange, unexplained glory.

1 comment:

  1. So neat to see how things from your childhood influenced your style and taste of art. I really enjoy your blog and your work- so I nominated you for a Liebster Award! http://laceandfogauthoress.wordpress.com

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