A total of approximately NT$ 260 million has been sunk into the establishment of “Nine Station along Neiwan Railway Line─Taiwan Comics Dream Park,” and 3 comics and animation parks at Neiwan, Hexing and Zhudong Station have been under construction one after another. Magistrate of Hsinchu County Chiu Ching-Chun invited the Director-general of Transportation and Tourism Department Wang Jin-Cang and the Director-general of Cultural Affairs Bureau Cai Rong-Guang to set foot in Tamshui to call on national cartoonist Liu Hsing-Chin (劉興欽), who was born in Hengshan Township in the County. With Dr. Liu’s soft power of comics and innovation, it is hoped that the reputation of “Nine Stations along Neiwan Line” will spread across the globe.
Charles M. Schulz, a cartoonist and the artist of world-renowned comic strip “SNOOPY,” was born in America’s Minnesota State, so the state government swam with the current to shape Minnesota into the “country of SNOOPY,” Dr. Liu remarked. Through government’s great effort, colorful sculptures of SNOOPY in diverse costumes as doctors, postman, deliveryman in front of different stores and other characters of the comic strip flood the streets in Minnesota, making it a bright tourist attraction.
Liu Hsing-chin pointed out that Neiwan Railway Line experienced a makeover and is now a famed nationwide tourism site despite the fact that it was on the verge of operation suspension before, and the County government should be credited for their dedication to integrating his own comic figures Brother A-San and Big Auntie into tourism and the government’s active promotion. Taiwanese cartoonists Ye Feng-Jia (葉逢甲) and Chen Ding-Guo (陳定國) were also born in Hsinchu, and their comic works had dominated the market with the market share topping 90% in contemporary Taiwan society, Liu added. Liu also acknowledged County government’s effort to fight for Tourism Bureau’s project on international tourist attractions and to wisely combine comics with railway tourism.
The project “Nine Station along Neiwan Railway Line─Taiwan Comics Dream Park” aims to integrate the mixture of comics, railway, hot spring, aboriginal cultures and Hakka cultures into tourism, arts and cultures, commercial districts and academy, and is hailed as Taiwan’s first flagship comics and animation park, Magistrate Chiu noted. Chiu also expressed his optimism toward the prospective huge output value yielded by this park for the tourism industry in the future.
The cars of Neiwan Railway Line will be painted with Dr. Liu’s comic figures, and the Neiwan district is to follow the example of SNOOPY Country in Minnesota by placing several sculptures of comics at local stores, open landscape and parks, thus surprising all visitors. With the goal to promote local tourism, the Riverbank Park will have Dr. Liu’s comic figures blended into its landscape and facilities. Dr. Liu composed a doggerel, and it is written as below:
I unconditionally labor for Hsinchu,
My heart is uncomplainingly true,
After local prosperity successfully intrude,
Allow my credits to protrude.
Dr. Liu is also optimistically looking forward to seeing the future success of this project.
Writer: Fan Rui-Yun, Press Section
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