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.

圆月01
Full Moon


圆月02
In this poor, remote mountain hamlet


圆月03
Lives a heartbroken old granny…
From the moment I sent my son to the battlefield… I had no hope that he would ever return…

圆月04
TaTaTa! the rush of footsteps

圆月05
Ma! I’m back!

圆月06

圆月07
I’d rather you had died for your country than desert and run home! What a disgrace!

圆月08
Ma! The war is over!

圆月09

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

thunk – kneel

圆月10

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

圆月11

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

圆月12

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 system makes it difficult for migrants to legally reside in cities.

圆月13

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?

圆月14

No… We’ll get along just like we did before, but sometimes we’ll have to vote in … 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.

圆月15
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?

圆月16
We vote for them… And then they work like dogs for us…

圆月17

圆月18

Son, look. The moon is so full~

圆月19
I sincerely give this cartoon to all of my “penny” friends.

圆月20
Someday, when the time is right, I’ll find a cartoon to give to all of my “fifty cent” friends.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival 🙂

圆月21
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~
zwxrl
September 1, 2014

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