異才‧鄭問

台灣‧原創
:::

2018 / 6月

文‧鄧慧純 圖‧莊坤儒


他以傳統中國畫筆融為漫畫裡寫意的線條,開創出漫畫的新紀元。

他被日本《朝日新聞》譽為:「20年內無人能出其右之天才、鬼才、異才。」

他曾榮獲「日本漫畫協會優秀賞」,是首位受此榮譽的外國人。

他的足跡遊走台灣、日本、香港、中國,其漫畫風格在漢字文化圈內獨樹一格,並啟發整個世代的創作者。

日本編輯以「亞洲‧原創」為他宣傳。

他是「台灣‧原創」的漫畫大師──鄭問。


去年3月,鄭問猝逝,許多構想中的創作嘎然而止。今年6月,鄭問成為全世界第一位進入故宮的漫畫家。「千年一問」,「一問千年」,何以千年才出現一位如鄭問般的奇才?大俠已遠行,但他筆下的武俠世界卻讓人流連,教人一探再探。

究天人之際,開漫畫之境

1984年,鄭問在《時報周刊》上發表第一篇漫畫作品《戰士黑豹》,開啟漫畫家的生涯。不到兩年的時間,鄭問又以《刺客列傳》驚艷漫畫界的武林。當時台灣坊間的漫畫風格,無論是線條、筆觸、人物設定受日本漫畫影響極深,唯鄭問以東方的水墨線條,立下自己的漫畫語彙。他在《刺客列傳》自序中說,想表達刺客題材,卻發現「用沾水筆太硬,用水彩則像中國樂曲用了交響樂來伴奏的不倫不類。」靈機一動,拿起毛筆描繪起心中的刺客形象。

毛筆略帶隨性而狂放、不受控制的筆觸,意外地貼合只重大義,不計個人死生的刺客氣度,筆刷的自由度讓人物的動勢更顯靈活。《刺客列傳》後,鄭問受邀於新創刊的《星期漫畫》連載《阿鼻劍》,由馬利(現大塊文化董事長郝明義)編劇,鄭問繪圖。編劇的工作委外,鄭問得以專注地思考畫面的處理,在《阿鼻劍》中,鄭問盡情地實驗創作,將寫實與寫意的筆法交錯在同一分格中,或用沾水筆細描、精刻建築物及武功招式,而讓毛筆的重線條在重要場景跳出,讓故事自己說話。例如,在主角于景和史飛虹兩大高手過招156手緊湊的動作分格後,翻頁一見滿版的跨頁留白,鄭問以疏放的線條勾勒兩人的身影,畫史飛虹一劍刺穿于景的心臟和于景中箭後撐張的五指;留白的另一頭是年幼的何勿生目睹了這一切,畫面瞬間靜了下來,像掐住了讀者的呼吸一般,這也是馬利自言最被震懾的一幕。

1990年,接受日本講談社的邀請,鄭問轉往日本發展,在週刊《モ-ニング》(Morning)發表《東周英雄傳》,繼之在月刊《アフタヌーン》(Afternoon)連載《深邃美麗的亞細亞》,鄭問的弟子鍾孟舜正參與此時期的製作。

鍾孟舜表示,當初講談社向鄭問邀稿,鄭問提出的條件就是不使用沾水筆跟傳統網點,因此在《東周英雄傳》書中,可見鄭問開發許多漫畫的技法,也納入更多的工具創作,《東周英雄傳》秦皇兒時的封面彩頁,背景的兵馬俑是用砂畫出來的;還有用牙刷噴濺、用手掌為畫筆、用火燒、用塑膠袋定型,甚至在顏料裡調入糖,放到垃圾桶裡,讓蟑螂代為完成作品。漫畫家常用網點製造陰影及特殊效果,但鄭問不願依循傳統,他先畫成水墨稿,再送去印刷廠製成特製的網點,呈現特有的暈染效果。

漫畫是與時間賽跑的創作,截稿壓力極大,鍾孟舜回憶說,在時間壓力下,鄭問對於細節的堅持仍不馬虎,仍堅持要用毛筆完稿。當時的鍾孟舜不懂,但二十多年後,鍾孟舜說他想通了,「對他而言,這是他的藝術,不是漫畫。所以要堅持那種質感,那是他的藝術品。」

大師之所以為大師

外行人看熱鬧,內行人看門道。初接觸鄭問的作品,一定會被他的畫風震撼。但身為內行人,鍾孟舜說他第一次碰到鄭問,也是問他那些畫「怎麼畫的」?

傳統的美術教育靠著靜物素描來了解人體寫實的樣態,因此在人類體能極限之外的動作無可借鏡。今日藉著電腦3D建模的技術,方可憑空繪出超越極限的動作姿態及奇幻寫實的角色,但鄭問早二十幾年前就能在腦中完成3D建模;鍾孟舜舉電玩遊戲《鄭問之三國志》〈長坂坡〉插圖說明,趙雲抱著劉禪騎在馬上,馬身懸在空中,首朝下,趙雲的身體挺直向上,手中的長槍還高舉著,整幅圖呈倒三角形的構圖,情勢驚險,戲劇效果十足。「他先做出理想的構圖,其他物件再去配合。一切就靠著鄭問在腦中虛擬構圖,再呈現在畫紙上。」

傳統分鏡有近景、遠景、鏡頭高底等變化選項,一種角度就是一種選擇,鄭問則把選項開發得更多元,比如用中西的畫法做對比、搭配,或是前景工筆、後景寫意的組合,還有抽象跟寫實的分鏡。選擇變多了,思考變得更複雜且困難,在截稿的壓力下,鍾孟舜說:「他這樣做其實很自虐。」

但鄭問樂此不疲,他不斷嘗試新的題材和表達方式,享受不斷突破往前衝刺的愉悅感覺。有許多讀者跟鄭問反映哪類型的作品好看,應該繼續創作下去。但鄭問回應:「我無法停下來原地踏步,重複著以前的腳步,我想原因只有一個:堂堂的創作者就該不斷的進步與衝刺,就算跌倒了,也能驕傲的爬起來。」

身為一位漫畫家,鄭問的生命不斷地追尋創新,想一究天命與人事的分際,看自己的漫畫創作還能到達何種境界。

鍾孟舜則表示,鄭問的創作欲望太強了,催使他不得不一直創新。這樣其實不利於商業發展,這是鄭問的缺點,卻也是他的「不得不」,「所以說他是藝術家,不是漫畫家。」鍾孟舜總結。

亞洲的鄭問

鄭問的足跡走過台灣、日本、香港、北京,作品被翻譯成英、泰、德、韓,義大利、法文等語版也在洽談中。

1990年,鄭問受邀在《モ-ニング》連載作品,與他同期的作品還有川口開治的《沉默的艦隊》和弘兼憲史的《科長島耕作》。他是首位成功打入日本主流漫畫市場的外國漫畫家,1991年,鄭問以《東周英雄傳》獲「日本漫畫協會優秀賞」,更是首位受此榮譽的外國人;日本獲得同級獎項的作品如尾田榮一郎的《海賊王》、浦澤直樹的《20世紀少年》等等,其地位可見一斑。

在香港,鄭問亦擁有極高的知名度。鄭問曾與黃玉郎合作《漫畫大霹靂》;馬榮成邀請鄭問畫《風雲外傳:天下無雙》,鄭問昔日的漫畫編輯黃健和透露這合作案還有段趣聞,他曾請教馬如何與鄭溝通討論,結果居然兩人沒碰上一面,作品就完成了。就像大俠過招,劍不必出鞘,在意念間就定了結局。創作《刀劍笑》的馮志明曾以短篇畫出他期待到台灣與鄭問見面的過程,黃健和曾詢問馮:「鄭問的作品對你而言有何特別?」「在他之前,我不知道漫畫可以這樣畫。」馮志明如此回覆。

不只在漫畫界有鄭問的傳說,在遊戲界也留有他的傳奇。2001年,由鄭問擔任美術總監同時冠名的《鄭問之三國志》PS2遊戲發表,裡面超過兩百位三國人物的肖像皆由他親自操刀;或有西方肖像的寫實筆法,或有東方抽象的寫意形式,有毛筆揮灑的粗獷,亦有工筆雕刻的細琢。看鄭問的人物設定很過癮,從人物的神情、神態一眼就能知道角色的個性設定,人物的豪邁、深沈、威嚴、勇武躍然紙上。2003年,鄭問轉往中國大陸發展,擔任《鐵血三國志》的美術總監,當時的工作室也被稱為培養遊戲人才的基地,今日中國的遊戲美術主管幾乎都從那兒出來。

今年6月,鄭問要進故宮了,是世界漫畫家的第一人。

鄭問過世後,鍾孟舜籌辦老師的後事,他首個願望是鄭問能進故宮辦展。「鄭問的畫是超越人類極限的,這也是他被許多人推崇的原因。」在各界的協助下,「千年一問──鄭問故宮大展」搭上熱門的6月檔期,將展出250幅原畫,鍾孟舜有些著急的想告訴大家,「鄭問何以為鄭問」?

鍾孟舜取消隔離觀眾與原畫的紅絨柱,讓民眾近距離親睹鄭問的原畫,看鄭問持放大鏡畫出如指甲般大小的人物,以各種稀奇古怪工具創作出的彩圖,還有鄭問藏在畫裡的「彩蛋」(如百兵衛從形似F1駕駛座的垃圾堆出場、要離的成名之路,將上吊的繩子結成一個「名」),看人類繪畫創作能達到何種極限與境地。

當前五、六年級的青壯世代,他們的青春歲月都曾有個鄭問,有個拿棍子、掃帚當劍的武俠夢。當年,在出租店中,或在課堂上偷偷看著鄭問漫畫的孩童長大,成了社會的中堅。

小說家吳明益寫下:「身為一個讀者,我深感有幸能與他在同一個時空相遇。」陳克華和阮光民也字字句句寫下對鄭問的思念,五月天的阿信為鄭問展量身創作,霹靂的人偶也會到場向鄭問致敬,知名設計大師馮宇義不容辭地扛下海報的設計,牽猴子整合行銷的王師、王婉柔出力拍攝鄭問的紀錄片,諸多文化人都貢獻專才。「這不只是鄭問的展而已,是鄭問×霹靂×阿信×故宮,是台灣最重要的文化大集合。」鍾孟舜說。這也是難得的機會,讓各界正視在地的文化力、展現台灣的文化自信。

鄭問生前是個寡言不愛交際的創作者,他曾說:「我想說的,都畫在漫畫裡了。」而鍾孟舜想說的,也都在展覽裡了。世界第一位進入故宮的漫畫家,其生命軌跡,不容錯過。

相關文章

近期文章

英文

Manga Master

Cathy Teng /photos courtesy of Chuang Kung-ju /tr. by Robert Green

He revolutionized graphic novels by introducing freehand brushstrokes from traditional Chinese painting into his work.

He was described in the pages of Japan’s ­Asahi Shim­bun newspaper as a talent so rare and unconventional that he will remain peerless for decades.

He has influenced a new generation of graphic novelists in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and China.

This is the Taiwanese manga master Chen Uen.


When Chen Uen passed away in March 2017, his bubbling creativity was suddenly stilled. This June he will become the first graphic novelist to be honored with an exhibition at the National Palace Museum. The master is gone, but through his work readers can linger endlessly in his tales of heroism, exploring his wuxia worlds time and again.

A pioneer of his art

Chen’s career as a graphic artist began in 1984 when the China Times Weekly published his series Panther the Warrior. Less than two years later he caused a sensation with his martial arts series Legends of Assassins. At the time, comics in Taiwan were heavily influenced by Japanese manga in both their drawing style and the characters depicted. Chen was the first to introduce elements of traditional Chinese painting into his work, establishing his unique creative vocabulary.

After Legends of Assassins, Chen was invited to create a new series for the new publication Sunday Comics. He collaborated with author Rex How, now chairman of Locus Publishing, who wrote under the penname Ma Li. Together they created Abi-Sword, written by Ma Li and illustrated by Chen. Unburdened by the responsibility of writing the plot, Chen could concentrate on experimenting with the visual images. In Abi-Sword Chen gave free rein to his creative instincts. His brushwork blends realism with the flowing strokes of Chinese painting; or he uses fine lines drawn with pen and ink to flesh out architectural detail and his characters’ martial movements, while in crucial scenes thick painted brushstrokes leap off the page, bringing the story to life.

For example, when Yu Jing and Shi Fei­hong come to blows in a climactic scene, Chen renders images of 156 striking hands in a cascading motion, in frames laid out across a two-page spread. The next spread is a sweep of blank white, with free-flowing lines showing the ­characters’ ­silhouettes as Shi Fei­hong’s sword pierces Yu Jing’s heart; Yu’s outstretched arms and splayed fingers add to the drama of the scene. The left-hand page shows the child He Wusheng witnessing the violent encounter. The sudden calm of the image is breathtaking in its effect. Ma Li described the scene as one of the most startling in the series.

In 1990 Chen accepted an invitation from Ko­dan­sha, a major Japanese publisher, to produce his Heroes of the East Chou Dynasty, which was serialized in the magazine Weekly Morning.

His erstwhile apprentice ­Zhong Meng-shun explains that when Ko­dan­sha representatives asked Chen to produce Heroes, Chen told them he did not want to use ink drawing and screen­tone shading. Instead he wanted to experiment with new techniques. The colored cover image depicting the childhood of the emperor Qin Shi ­Huang, for example, shows terracotta warriors that Chen painted with sand. He also used a variety of other unconventional tools and techniques, including a toothbrush to splatter paint on the page, his palm to apply paint, burning techniques, and a plastic bag to create a textured effect. While many manga artists apply screen­tone to create shading, Chen instead used ink-painting techniques to create a screen­tone with a unique blurred effect, which he had specially printed for his own use.

Creating comics is a constant race against time. The pressure to turn out new images was intense, but Chen still labored over the details of his work, and used fine brushwork for all of his illustrations. ­Zhong says that at the time he didn’t understand, but more than two decades later it makes perfect sense to him. “For him it was art, not just a comic.” ­Zhong says.

The quest for innovation

Chen’s artwork makes quite an impression on most viewers, but as a professional, ­Zhong wanted to understand how Chen managed to produce such effects.

Today 3D computer modeling techniques allow for action characters to perform almost any feat and to bring a fantasy world to life. Chen mastered this technique without computers. In the videogame Romance of the Three Kingdoms, for example, Chen depicts a scene from the Battle of Chang­ban that shows Zhao Yun holding on to Liu Chan on horseback. The horse is suspended in midair with its head facing toward the ground. Zhao Yun’s body is bolt upright as he clutches a raised spear. The image is composed as an inverted triangle, creating a thrilling spectacle and capturing the drama of the scene. “He first conceptualized the ideal composition for the scene, and then filled it in with various figures,” ­Zhong explains. “Chen relied solely on his imagination and then rendered his concept on the page.”

Traditionally the images in graphic novels are presented through a limited range of cinematic techniques such as close-ups, long shots, high-angle shots or overhead shooting. Each angle of view represents a choice, but Chen decided to expand the possibilities. He combined Chinese and Western painting styles, painting the foreground in meticulous detail while using freehand methods for the background and using both abstract and realistic elements in a single image.

As the choices multiplied so too did the complexity and difficulties, but Chen never tired of the challenge. He continued to experiment with new subject matter and new methods of expression, constantly enjoying the excitement of creative breakthroughs.

As a cartoonist, Chen tirelessly pursued innovation in his exploration of destiny and the affairs of mortals. He wanted to see just how far he could push the boundaries of his art.

Zhong Meng-shun notes that Chen Uen was driven primarily by a creative desire that pushed him to constantly innovate. It was not always an asset to his commercial career, but it was essential to his art. “So we must think of him as an artist, not as a cartoonist,” ­Zhong says.

An Asian original

In his life, Chen spent time in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, and Beijing and his work has been translated into Thai, German, English and Korean; negotiations for Italian and French editions are also under way.

In 1990 Chen was invited to serialize his work in Weekly Morning. He was the first non-Japanese to ­become a ­staple on the Japanese manga market and in 1991 became the first non-­Japanese to be awarded an Excellence Award by the Japan Cartoonists Association, for his series Heroes of the East Chou Dynasty.

Chen’s work is also well known in Hong Kong, where he worked with Wong Yuk-long to create Dapili (“Thunder­bolt”), based on the famous Pili puppet drama from Taiwan, and where Ma Wing-­shing invited Chen to create a spin-off of Fung Wan (aka Storm Riders). Wong once asked Fung Chi-ming, author of Dagger, Sword, Laugh, “What’s your favorite thing about Chen’s work?” “Before Chen,” Fung replied, “I didn’t realize that comics could be made like this.”

Chen’s reputation has also expanded beyond the world of comics. He is quite famous among gamers as well. In 2001 he became art director for video­game maker Game Arts and oversaw production of the PS2 game Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which included more than 200 characters from the famous historical novel, all rendered by his own hand.

In the marvelous final product, characters’ personalities are instantly recognizable from their expressions and appearance, and Chen’s art vividly ­captures all of their majesty, dignity and depth. In 2003, he moved to China to work as the art director for an online PC game that was likewise based on the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. At the time the studio became known as a talent incubator, and many of China’s well known video­game designers got their start there.

This summer, Chen Uen will become the first cartoonist ever to be honored with an exhibition at the National Palace Museum. “His painting tested the human limits of art,” says Zhong Meng-shun. “That’s why he is admired by so many people.”

The exhibit “The Legacy of Chen Uen: Art, Life & Philosophy,”curated by Zhong, is slated to open in the busy vaca­tion month of June and will feature 250 examples of Chen’s original page art. ­­Zhong hopes that visitors will come away with a deeper understanding of this remarkable artist.

Zhong has arranged for visitors to be able to get close to the original artwork, to see, for example, the thumbnail-sized characters that Chen drew using a magnifying glass, and the effects produced by the many strange tools he used to paint. Visitors will be able to discover the many hidden surprises in his work and see how he extended the boundaries of painting.

“As a reader I feel remarkably fortunate to have lived at the time he was working,” writes novelist Wu Ming-yi. Authors Chen Ko Hua and Ruan Guang­-min have also recorded their memories of Chen. ­Ashin, vocalist for the Taiwanese band Mayday, has written a song for the exhibit, and there will be performances of traditional Pili glove puppetry. The exhibition poster was created by well-known designer Feng Yu. Wang Shi and Wang Wan-jo of Activator Marketing have produced a documentary film about Chen’s life. It seems that all of the arts community want to pay their respects to this unique talent. “This is not just an exhibition about Chen but also a celebration of Pili, Ashin and the National Palace Museum,” says ­Zhong. “It is the most important gathering of Taiwan’s cultural circles.” This is a rare opportunity to showcase the power and growing confidence of local culture.

Chen was famously unsociable in person. “All I have to say is in my paintings,” he once said. All that Zhong Meng-shun wants to say about Chen Uen can likewise be found in the exhibit. He hopes that visitors will come to understand the life trajectory of this trailblazing graphic novelist.                                                              

X 使用【台灣光華雜誌】APP!
更快速更方便!