Drawing the News: Full Moon Fantasy

Drawing the News: Full Moon Fantasy

For the Mid-Autumn Festival, cartoonist zwxrl illustrates a story he likes to tell his friends. In a distant land, an old woman waits for her son to return from war victorious, but doubts she’ll ever see him again. She has no idea what will come knocking at her door.

CDT has broken the full cartoon into panels for ease of reading in English. View the original format at CDT Chinese.

Full Moon

In this poor, remote mountain hamlet

Lives a heartbroken old granny…
From the moment I sent my son to the battlefield… I had no hope that he would ever return…

TaTaTa! the rush of footsteps

Ma! I’m back!


I’d rather you had died for your country than desert and run home! What a disgrace!

Ma! The war is over!


Did we lose? Am I a slave without a country? Our Facesavedonia

thunk – kneel


It’s true that we lost… But Goodlookinstan promised to give us… universal health care…


Oh, so I can get a refund on my medical bills? Now that’s not half bad~


We have health insurance… But we’re fourth class citizens…

It is unclear exactly what zwxrl means by “fourth class citizens.” On Baidu Knowledge, one netizen explains that fourth class citizens in China are part of an ethnic hierarchy, though (s)he does not explain further. An anonymous commentary from the overseas news site Boxun says that fourth class citizens have “black hukou,” or illegal household registrations. The hukou system makes it difficult for migrants to legally reside in cities.


Fourth class citizens? So we have to work like dogs and eat poison and get bullied and we can’t complain and we have to give all our money to the state?


No… We’ll get along just like we did before, but sometimes we’ll have to vote in elections… Next month they’ll scrap the hukou system, and then we’ll take our turns getting residency cards…

zwxrl literally writes “blue cards” (青卡), which seems to imply official residential status.

I’ve lived over 80 years, and I’m finally going to see a ballot and a residency card! So, what about first class citizens?

We vote for them… And then they work like dogs for us…



Son, look. The moon is so full~

I sincerely give this cartoon to all of my “penny” friends.

Someday, when the time is right, I’ll find a cartoon to give to all of my “fifty cent” friends.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival 🙂

P.S. I used to just tell people little stories like this and not bother putting them into cartoons. But my friends liked this one, so I decided to put it to paper. I’ll be more diligent from now on. See you all in the future~
September 1, 2014


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