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Not Human, modernizes Chinese mythological beings

Updated: 2016-04-27 14:02:23

( chinadaily.com.cn )

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A strip from Not Human. [Photo/Sina Weibo]

"Although I have been a fan of Japanese comics for more than 20 years, this is the first time I have been into a Chinese comic," said a Wechat user of Not Human, a comic strip that was first posted on Sina Weibo and Wechat on August 21, 2015.

Within less than one year, it has 828,502 followers on Sina Weibo and 9,527 on Wechat.

"Please, I want to see more stories", "So funny, I can't help laughing" are the most frequent occurring comments made by its followers.

Paper copies are now available on many online bookstores from April 25.

Updated every 2-3 days, the strip illustrated the modern lives of gods and fairies in Chinese myths and buddhist texts.

The gods and fairies are often depicted as elementary and high school students or office workers, who lead a similar life to their followers.

The nine-tailed fox in Not Human. [Photo/Sina Weibo]

The nine-tailed fox, an auspicious animal appearing with xiwangmu (the Queen Mother of the West) in Shan Hai Jing (an ancient Chinese text from at least the fourth century BC), was depicted as a nv han zi (meaning tough women).

Nalakuvara in Not Human. [Photo/Sina Weibo]

Nalakuvara, or Nezha, becomes a cute boy in elementary school in the comic. Since he got a new body made from lotus root in the myth, he is nicknamed as ou ba (lotus root king) that has a similar pronunciation of "old brother" in Korean.

Aolie in Not Human. [Photo/Sina Weibo]

Aolie, the third son of the Dragon King of the West Sea, turns into a tall young man with a dragon's head. If you look into his mouth, you can see the ocean and fishes. In one story, Aolie vomited because of too much drinking. Guess what he threw up? Fresh seafood!

Guanyin bodhisattva in Not Human. [Photo/Sina Weibo]

Guanyin bodhisattva is one of the most popular characters in the strip. Unlike the normal image of a merciful woman, Guanyin has been turned into a charming middle-aged man. He is fond of Starbucks and the jade bottle and willow branch that Guanyin often holds become a Starbucks paper cup and a green drinking straw. He is gentle, caring, and good at singing and has magic powers, which make him popular among female followers.

Yutu in Not Human. [Photo/Sina Weibo]

Yutu (the jade rabbit) who lives with chang'e (the goddess in the moon) in Chinese myths is a lovely high school girl in the comic story.

Each strip is about a story that often happens in school, such as forgetting to wear your school uniform, as if they are real people who study like their fans and meet the same difficulties.

The comic strip keeps adding new characters from Chinese myths. The creator changes the original features of each god into something modern and funny, which explains a lot of the strip's appeal and popularity.

Clean and cute, the art style also makes the strip look fresh and approachable.

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