Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Dreadful Doctor Fu Manchu

This is from a series of illustrations I did for an article on the villain character "Fu Manchu," who had been an evil mastermind in film, radio, and drama since the early 20th century. The silhouette of Fu can be seen behind an elaborate incense burner, smoking something nefarious in his little pipe. You can see the famous stringy mustache on the profile. Fu Manchu has from the beginning been a controversial figure. His authors, including his inventor Sax Rohmer were accused of a racist portrayal of an Asian. The author replied that Fu was based on actual Chinese gangsters (see the interesting Wikipedia article about him). He never intended to generalize the "Yellow Peril" to all Chinese. It's an attitude that's still prevalent today.

If I may say so myself, and I will, this is a nice little drawing. And it was done in 1980! It's as good as anything I could do now. 

Black ink on illustration board, 4 1/2" x 4 1/2", November 1980.

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