Zhang Guangyu’s 張光宇 (1900-1965) overlooked masterpiece, Manhua Journey to the West 西遊漫記 was originally created in the fall of 1945 while Zhang was living in the wartime capital of Chongqing. Deeply critical of the ruling KMT government, it was eventually banned and did not see print for another 13 years. For the sake of introducing Zhang’s out-of-print work to a larger audience, I’ve taken the liberty of translating the entire 60 page comic into English.
In the final part of this 6 part translation, the pilgrims have just escaped from the forces of False Qin and are sitting down to rest when a “black force” 黑气 approaches and steals their shadows. The black force is revealed to have come from the nearby the “black market” 黑市场, a shadowy realm of ghosts and demons guarded by a giant cat with one eye open and the other eye closed. Mice are said to be flowing into and out of a hole in the wall of the market, “like cars speeding back and forth on a motorway.” Eventually the pilgrims’ shadows make their way into the market where they immediately fall into a slimy pond full of talking carp who tell them to, “Seek profits! Seek profits!” They are rescued by a giant skeletal hand only to find themselves facing the “Spirit of Idle Capital” in the “Hall of Laughter and Curses.” The spirit takes a fancy to Zhu Bajie and follows his shadow back into the human realm to take over his body. Zhu Bajie then apparently abandons his body, somehow tricking the spirit.1 Once back in the human realm, Tripitaka asks Monkey to find some food and water for him. Monkey manages to find a stream inside a cave, but just as he is about to fill a kettle with water, a three-headed dragon appears and challenges him to a riddle…
51. 那 四个影子再往前走几步，却被一堵城墙挡住，只是寻觅不着一个城门，正在迟疑间，忽然墙边有淅索之声，接着发现那 边有个小窟窿，许多耗子钻进钻出，好像马 路上的汽车一样驶来驶去，在另一个角落里却见有一对猫眼睛，一只眼开，一只眼闭，好像马路上的红绿灯一样，四个影子上前打问：“警察先生，请问如何入 城？”话还没说完，早被那猫脚爪猛的一掌，打进了城。
The four shadows walked another few steps, but found themselves blocked by the city wall. No matter how hard they looked they weren’t able to find the gate. Just as they found themselves in a state of befuddlement, they heard a pitter pattering sound, so they looked around and discovered there was a hole through which a multitude of mice were passing, like cars speeding back and forth on a motorway. To one side there was a pair of cat-eyes, one open and the other closed, appearing for all the world to be nothing else than a pair of traffic signals. The four shadows went forward to ask, “Mr. Police Officer, please, can you tell us how to get into the city?” Before they had finished asking their question, the cat had snatched them up with violent movement of his claws and pulled them into the city.
52. 四 个影子被打进城去，不偏不倚正跌中在一个混水潭里，四下乱摸，尽是泥浆，腥臭难闻，冰冷透骨，摸来摸去终摸不到岸边，大家却摸着几条鲤鱼，鱼在手中却能作 人言曰：“得利！得利！”吓得他们又惊又喜，正在这时上面伸下一只枯骨大手，一捞便连鱼带影捞出水面，顺手又把他们送进一个骷髅嘴里，直吞下肚。
The four shadows were pulled into the city, and without exception dumped into a pond. Feeling about in every which way, there was only mud, and an unpleasant fishy smell. The icy-cold water penetrated to their bones, and feeling this way and that they were still unable to find the shore. They did, however, find several carp, who they discovered were able to speak upon touch human hands, saying, “Seek profits! Seek profits!” This both shocked and pleased the shadows. Just then, a dried-up skeletal hand reached into the pond and pulled both the fish and shadows out of the water, carrying them to the mouth of a skeleton which immediately swallowed them whole.
53. 他们四个便在肚中游历，东张西望，只见黄金满屋，珠宝无数，美钞堆积，法币铺地，东边百货，西边食量，客所中悬有横额曰：“笑骂堂”，两边骨柱上有一联 云： “要钱且先伸手，不贪何来污名？”八戒看了，甚是赞赏，忽然从骨缝里冒出青磷磷一个幽灵，自称：“吾乃游资之魂” 今欲投个凡胎，寻个对象！”言时目注八戒影子，嘻嘻的笑着，直扑将过来。
The four shadows made a tour of the skeleton’s bowels, looking all around. The room was piled full of gold, and limitless pearls and jewels, piles of American dollars, French francs scattered across the floor; a quantity of various goods to the east, foodstuffs to the west. In the main hall, a hanging tablet read, “Hall of Laughter and Curses,” while the two pillars on either side of the hall bore a paired couplet which read, “If you want money, you just need to stretch out your hand. / Without greed where does a dirty name come from?” When Bajie saw this, he was full of admiration. Suddenly, a phosphorus ghost emerged from a crack in the bones, saying, “I am the Spirit of Idle Capital! Today I want to find a fetus to be reborn into, to find a partner!” As he was speaking, he eyed Bajie’s shadow, laughing happily, and rushed over.