Chen's cartoons are not just for fun, they have their serious side
Chinese cartoonist Chen Lei, founder of Half Hour Cartoon, has been named an "outstanding youth" in Jiading District.
His work educates and informs the public on various online platforms, and his efforts were honored when he was presented with the Shanghai Youth May 4th Medal in 2020.
Recently, he took part in a series of activities in schools.
"His cartoon books inspired me to take a great interest in the history of China," one student said after Chen's visit.
Chen, who studied mechanical design in college and industrial design as a graduate, worked at Volkswagen as a car designer in Jiading.
He would draw in his spare time and eventually started to share his knowledge of history, science and culture online in the form of cartoons.
He opened a Weibo account in 2012 to share his cartoons and was surprised when, in 2014, a cartoon about Confucius was shared more than 600 times on the first day it appeared.
Since then, he has also published his work on his Hunzi account on WeChat.
"I hope to inspire everyone's interest in knowledge. Maybe in five minutes, some seemingly profound knowledge can be easily mastered with my cartoons," Chen said.
Today, there are more than 70 people on Chen's team, and the Half Hour Cartoon series involve various disciplines. A book, "Hunzi Comics – Essential Poems for Primary Schools," was published last year.
Earlier this year, Chen and infectious diseases expert Zhang Wenhong, launched the cartoon book – "Bacteria, Humans and History," which detailed pandemics throughout history.
"We have been devoting a lot of attention and time to each cartoon work to meet the demand for knowledge from society," Chen said. He and his team hope to raise the awareness of science among youths by cartoon works.
Though he's always busy and often on business trips, Chen tries his best to take part in various activities held in Jiading, especially when he is invited to talk about his experience of making cartoons, and he always reminds the audience to be open-minded.
His latest cartoon work on the May 4th movement was read by more than 100,000 netizens on its official WeChat account.