That's awesome, Chen! Do it again!
- Date Discovered: 4/2008
- Discovered On: Pixiv
bkub is an artist from Japan known for his four-panel comics. While he's created comics both with original characters and characters from Lucky Star, Heartcatch PreCure, and other anime and manga, his most well-known creations are his comics based on the Touhou Project characters. Mainly focusing on Chen (a character who only appeared as a mid-boss in one stage in one of the games, here portrayed as short and mute), the comics are rather indescribable - many of them don't have clear punchlines, but there's something undeniably appealing about them. bkub started drawing Touhou comics in late 2007, but they began spreading around 4chan in early 2008.
4chan first got wind of bkub's comics in early 2008, when they were posted to /a/ and /jp/. Smitten by the goofy but adorable portrayal of Chen, the comics became relatively popular in short time. But bkub's work would really take off in terms of popularity in the summer of 2008, when a new trend began.
Users would take bkub's comics, and use image-editing programs to cut-and-paste panels and dialogue from the various comics to construct new ones. For example, one of the most popular edits takes the HONK HONK comic, repeats the second panel several times with a speed counter added to the top corner of each panel, then cutting back to the first panel once it reaches 88 miles per hour.
While the trend of editing the comics was most popular in the summer of 2008, bkub has remained popular on 4chan. Whenever he uploads new comics, threads are made shortly afterwards, and "Chen Threads" are a staple of /a/ and /jp/. In these threads, people dump original bkub comics, cut-and-pasted hybrids, and reaction images made from his comics.
A series of fan-comics based on the Touhou Project franchise, expanding to meme-status on 4chan.
While the editing of bkub's comics doesn't occur as often as it used to, his original comics still remain popular on 4chan. Even boards that normally ignore or dislike Touhou, such as /a/ or /v/, have a soft spot for these comics.
- bkub himself was unaware of his international popularity until late 2009. Apparently, it still surprises him to this day.
- As a result of his newfound international popularity, bkub has made a tradition of going to the New York Anime Festival every year, where he sells short booklets with new comics.