Cartoon industry rebuilds with dreams and subsidies

11:58, August 15, 2010      

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When Yao Feila published the first instalment of "Mengliren" in 1995, he had no idea how the theme of the comic would come to reflect the trajectory of his own life and career.

"Mengliren" -- Chinese pinyin for "The Dreamer" -- was a series of tales about a schoolgirl superhero who saves the world in her dreams.

The tales were interwoven through the dreams, daydreams and the "real" world of Li Mengling, the main character who finds herself in impossible situations that she must dream her way out of.

The series ran for six years in "Beijing Comic," resonating among its following of teenagers and young adults with its depicition of youth and the trials of life blended with surreal and fantasy elements.

When "The Dreamer" began, Yao was just a college student who made comics from the stories he dreamed up every day, but its success prompted him to follow his own dream of becoming a professional comic book author.

"After graduation, I had a strong desire to continue the story to flesh out my memories of youth," he recalls.

"The Dreamer" became part of the collective memory of generation of Chinese and its fan website on still collects tributes.

"'The Dreamer' was a friend of mine all through my six years in middle school, and it still sometimes comes back to me," says a posting by "Winds from Iserlohn" on the site.

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