He Youzhi was a self-taught comic artist, and considered one of the grandmasters of Chinese comics. Born in Shanghai, he started drawing in 1949 and created more than thirty comic books between 1952 and 1980. His early works generally defended the communist ideas of the time, and sold millions of copies. His best-known stories and plays are 'Chao Yang Gou', 'Li Shuangshuang', 'Lou Ah Shu' and 'Hua Tuo'. Some of his works were made in traditional Chinese painting style. Youzhi's comic book 'Shan Xiang Ju Bian' won the first prize in the National Comics Contest in the 1960s. Criticized during the Cultural Revolution, he was sent away as a worker in the countrysides.
In the 1980s, he became a professor in comic book artist at the School of Fine Arts in Beijing, while also making paintings and books for children. He made several autobiographical works during the 1990s and 2000s, and also worked for the press. He exhibited his work and oversaw a masterclass at the Angoulême Comics Festival in France. He Youzhi was still making new plans for upcoming expositions, when he passed away at age 94 in March 2016.
Li Shuangshuang (1964)