Shaoyang, Hunan, China: Meishu Chubanshe, 1981, 1982. First Edition. Wraps. Two oblong 32mo. booklets. Pictorial wraps. Light edgewear, with minor pen/soil to page block of second booklet only. Minor dampstaining to back cover of second booklet only. Light foxing/toning throughout. Very good plus (Star Wars) and very good (Empire). Very good. Item #23482
Set of two Chinese comic-book adaptations of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, in the lianhuanhua (sequential drawings / linked picture book) style: each page shows a single panel with caption. Covers in color, with faithful depictions of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher; interior pages drawn in black and white. Lianhuanhua adaptations of popular foreign movies appeared as early as the 1920s and '30s, when they could be sold for less than the price of theater admission. Their availability declined during and after the Sino-Japanese War, but enjoyed a revival as cheap, readily available popular literature in the 1950s and decades following. The lianhuanhua format was heavily used for political narratives and adaptations of traditional Chinese operas and folk tales, and in the 1970s and '80s, adapted and retold stories from American and other media were widely produced and enjoyed great popularity. Multiple lianhuanhua editions of the Star Wars films were produced by different artists; these versions are notable for their visual fidelity to the films but still incorporate notable changes, particularly in The Empire Strikes Back: Yoda appears more man than muppet; the concept of the Force is entirely removed from the story; Luke appears to exit the volume with both hands still attached; a badger and a vampire make brief cameo appearances. Great liberties are taken with Leia's hairstyle.