Exploding Dog in Chinese News

Have you ever heard of Exploding Dog? It’s a website where Sam Brown, the artist, takes suggestions for titles, then turns them into simple, awkward drawings that can leave quite an impression. I’ve known about Exploding Dog since way before my more recent affair with webcomics, and I’ve even linked to it here once (wow, that old entry feels a little embarrassing now…).


Exploding Dog

Anyone at all familiar with Exploding Dog knows that although the drawings are very simple, they have a very distinctive style. Therefore when 21st Century (China Daily’s youth-oriented English language newspaper) put an Exploding Dog illustration on its front cover, it wasn’t hard to recognize. The use of the image was not approved. The illustration is only marginally relevant to the text beside it, and Exploding Dog isn’t featured anywhere else in that issue.

21st Century: cover

Click on the image at the right to see a larger image of the newspaper cover featuring the Exploding Dog art. Apparently someone removed the text from the original artwork and then did a mirror image of it.

Ah, plagiarism in Chinese news. Not news, really. I just happened to notice it this time because, being an “old-timer China blogger” I was interviewed for that edition. My painstakingly crafted interview responses were then trimmed way down and branded “EASY.” Heh. Take a look.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. 1) glad to see that China’s finally getting on board with the whole copyright protection thing. quick! go out and buy all 6 seasons of csi while you still can!

    2) in john’s interview, the word “spurts”, along with a chinese translation of the word, appears in boldface in the column immediately adjacent to a surprisingly sexual cartoon. truly, a master stroke by the layout editor.

  2. 21st Century reminds me of those horribly boring, useless magazines I used to be forced to read in grade school. Mind-numbingly, non-creative garbage that hops on the social current event bandwagon about 12 months too late.

  3. When I saw the title, I thought this was going to be an entry about my favorite restuarant in Hubei.

  4. what does that “easy” label refer to? i don’t get it. i read everything, and i don’t see what it might mean.

  5. Russell,

    Season 6 is out? I need to get that!

  6. Amy,

    It’s an English language newspaper targeted mostly at Chinese kids. So the labels help them find reading material appropriate to their level.

  7. Heh, I find it amusing that I also recognise the certainly stolen comic beside your article. I suppose newspaper featuring webstuff = newspaper editor getting bored and picking random webcomics to take πŸ™‚

  8. “It’s an English language newspaper targeted mostly at Chinese kids. So the labels help them find reading material appropriate to their level.” –John

    It’s for kids, and they have a comic of a couple in bed next to your article?? ha ha ha.

    Maybe because it’s a cartoon of a waiguoren couple, it’s ok. We’re known to be promiscuous, after all. πŸ™‚


  9. G,

    Heh. I meant college kids. My bad.

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