“Comics” Field Trip and Lectures at the National University of Singapore (Dec. 2017)

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It was an honor and a pleasure to visit the prestigious National University of Singapore  with khun Cue and 15 junior students in the International Program of Communication Management (Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University), and to give a short lecture on the development of Thai Comics during the first half of the 20th century. Our warm thanks to our host Associate Professor Dr. Ian Gordon, Head of the Department of History (NUS), and to Associate Professor Dr. Titima Suthiwan, Director of the Centre for Language Studies (NUS). We also want to thank Singaporean comics scholar Lim Cheng Tju for his presentation on “Consumption of Manga and Anime in Singapore”! Glad we were able to share perspectives on South-East Asian Comics, Manga and… Superman (as Dr. Ian Gordon is the author of Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon)!

This faculty field trip also gave me the opportunity to prepare our CommArts students for next semester’s Creative/Graphic Writing for Printed Matter course! Comics Shopping Day in Singapore!

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Selection of Thai Comics Art for the “Mangasia” International Exhibition

Mangasia

Thai Comics (comic books & rare original artworks) are on display at the Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics exhibition, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy. Curated by Paul Gravett and a team of over twenty advisors, and developed by The Barbican Centre, the 5-year world-touring exhibition presents the largest ever selection of original artworks from Asian comics. For the first time at an international level, Thai Comics are well represented; original artworks from Thai master cartoonists p’Tawee Witsanukorn (and classic 5-baht ghost comic books of Krasue Sao, 1968), p’Raj Lersroung (Singh Dam), p’Padung “Aoh” Kraisri (Noo-Hin), and p’Suttichart Sarapaiwanich (Joe the Sea-Cret Agent); comic books by p’Hem Vejakorn (Ngo Paa), p’Sawas Jutharop (Phra Apai Manee), p’Pakdee “Tai” Santaweesuk (PangPond); issues of the famous KaiHuaRoh magazine; rare issues of “one-baht comics”; as well as various video clips (Noo-Hin: The Movie, Noo-Hin animated clip, Joe the Sea-Cret Agent animated clip). My heartfelt thanks to Paul, the Barbican Center, and all the Thai publishers and artists involved in this meaningful project. Special thanks to Chulalongkorn University students Birdme, Suttiarpa and Kaikaew for your invaluable assistance; I could not have fulfilled my role of “advisor on Thai Comics” without your help! Aj. Nicolas Verstappen

Mangasia Krasue
Rare original artwork & classic 5-baht ghost comic books of Krasue Sao (1968) by Thai master cartoonists p’Tawee Witsanukorn (ทวี วิษณุกร). Mangasia exhibition (Rome, Italy).
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“From left to right: Thai cartoonist p’Tawee Witsanukorn’s Krasue Sao original artwork, Azisa Noor‘s Kalasandhi, the Krasue Sao collection, four Thai one-baht horror/folklore comics, a page of artwork from
Al Sanchez for the Filipino comic Maling Akala, five-baht comics of Krasue Sao #1 and lastly Daijiro Morohoshi’s Mud Men“. Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics exhibition, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy. Picture credit: Paolo Darra.
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First issue of the classic 5-baht ghost comic book series Krasue Sao (1968) by Thai master cartoonists p’Tawee Witsanukorn on display at the Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics exhibition, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy. Picture credit: Hashimoto Izumi.
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“From top to bottom: Eldo Yoshimizu‘s Ryuko artworks, and Thai cartoonist Raj Lersroung’s Singh Dam artworks (commission for Somboon Hormtientong‘s exhibition).” Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics exhibition, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy. Photo credit: Paolo Darra.
Mangasia Raj
Two original pages of the classic adventure comics series Singh Dam (“สิงห์ดำ”, 1960s and 2013) by Thai master cartoonist p’Raj Lersroung (ราช เลอสรวง) on display at the Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics exhibition, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy. Picture credit: @diegotheghostt.
Joe NooHin Mangasia
Original page of Joe the Sea-Cret Agent (the first Thai alternative comics, launched in 1998) by cartoonist p’Suttichart Sarapaiwanich on display (next to an original Noo-Hin cover art by p’Padung “Aoh” Kraisri) at the Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics exhibition, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy. ©Suttichart Sarapaiwanich. Picture credit (detail): Palazzo delle Esposizioni.
Mangasia noo
Original Noo-Hin cover art by p’Padung “Aoh” Kraisri, published by ขายหัวเราะ (KaiHuaRoh magazine, Banluesarn). Mangasia exhibition (Rome, Italy). Picture credit: Daruma View.
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Clip of Noo-Hin: The Movie (top right). Mangasia exhibition (Rome, Italy). Screenshot from a video by Daruma View.
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Original page of Joe the Sea-Cret Agent (the first Thai alternative comics, launched in 1998) by cartoonist p’Suttichart Sarapaiwanich on display at the Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics exhibition, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy. ©Suttichart Sarapaiwanich Picture credit: Nicolas Verstappen
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“From left to right: Jim Fernandez artwork for Casa Negra, Thai cartoonist Sawas Jutharop’s adaptation of Phra AphaiManee, Thai one-baht sleep rape comic, and Indonesian Neraka’ hell comic.” Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics exhibition, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy. Picture credit: Paolo Darra.

Guests at Filipino Canadian Cartoonist Lorina Mapa’s Comics Workshop

Filipino Canadian cartoonist Lorina Mapa, author of the graphic memoir Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me, was a guest at the Bangkok Edge Festival 2018, with the participation of the Embassy of Canada to Thailand. On Saturday 20, the artist gave an delightful and interesting public talk on her work, and held a comics workshop on Sunday 21. The Embassy of Canada to Thailand opened extra seats for my students (CommDe & CommArts, Chulalongkorn University) who wished to take part in the (fully booked) workshop (KhopKhunMakKhrap khun Noppawan!)
My warmest thanks to Lorina Mapa, the Bangkok Egde Festival, and the Embassy of Canada to Thailand!

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Lorina Mapa’s public talk. Bangkok Edge Festival, January 20, 2018.
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After Lorina Mapa’s talk on her graphic memoir, a Thai monk asked the artist a few questions. The first one was on how her drawn memories related to, and maybe enhanced, the vividness of her actual memories. An interesting question, as I sense more and more that the Buddhist notion of “sati” (“mindfulness”) and graphic memoirs might have a lot in common, being both “recollections in praesentia”… A question to further explore… Bangkok Edge Festival, January 20, 2018.

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Mise en abyme. CommDe sophomore student Pin (foreground) reads Filipino Canadian cartoonist Lorina Mapa’s graphic memoir “Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me”. Meanwhile, Lorina Mapa (background) reads the comics zine Bang Bang You’re Dead gathering collaborative stories by CommArts Thai students and European cartoonists… Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018.
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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; comics composition. Art by CommDe ajarn Oat Montien (foreground), and CommDe sophomore student Pin drawing (background). Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018.
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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; comics composition. Art by CommDe sophomore student MedFai. Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018.
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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; depicting emotions. From left to right; CommDe ajarn Oat Montien, Lorina Mapa (background), and CommDe sophomore students Pin and MedFai. Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018.
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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; depicting emotions. Sketches by CommDe ajarn Oat Montien. Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018.
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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; comics composition. CommDe sophomore students Pin (center) and MedFai (right). Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018.
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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; depicting emotions. Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018.

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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018. (Photo credits: ©2018 Bangkok Edge)
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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018. (Photo credits: ©2018 Bangkok Edge)
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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018. (Photo credits: ©2018 Bangkok Edge)

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Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop; comics art appreciation. Lorina Mapa comments on CommDe sophomore student Pin’s comics pages. Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018.
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Happy bunch after Lorina Mapa’s comics workshop. From left to right; yours truly, CommDe ajarn Oat Montien, Lorina Mapa, CommDe sophomore students Pin and MedFai. Bangkok Edge Festival, January 21, 2018.
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Thank you, Lorina!

#UltraVioletChallenge constrained comics exercise; turning an abstract comics into a figurative one.

#UltraVioletChallenge: “Making Sense of Signs (and Fragments)” in-class creative assignment (“Intro Comm” & “Visual Media Studies” courses developed by the Faculty of Communication Arts; Semiotics chapter); create a figurative comics based on an imposed abstract comics (duration: 90′). Based on a constrained comics exercise used at Pierre Feuille Ciseaux international comics residency-lab.

BLURB!

“Brilliant – thanks for sharing!” Nick Sousanis (January 16, 2018; commenting the page by Fern, Lukpearr, Oom & Bank), assistant professor of Humanities & Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University. He received his doctorate in education at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2014, where he wrote and drew his dissertation entirely in comic book form. Titled Unflattening, it argues for the importance of visual thinking in teaching and learning, and was published by Harvard University Press in 2015.

Imposed abstract comics page #UltraVioletChallenge
Imposed abstract comics page #UltraVioletChallenge

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Students from the Faculties/Departments of Architecture (INDA), Communication Design (CommDe), Language & Culture (BALAC), and Engineering (ISE) creating their #UltraViolet comics. August 23, 2018. Visual Media Studies course, INDA, Chulalonglorn University.  

SOME RESULTING NARRATIVES:

Absract 01 Fern Lukpear Oom Bank
#UltraVioletChallenge final page by Fern, Lukpearr, Oom & Bank, fresh.wo.men students at CommDe, Chulalongkorn University.
05 Arty Pin Darnis
#UltraVioletChallenge final page by Arty, Pin & Darnis, junior students at CommDe, Chulalongkorn University.
01 Pim Fa Pat
#UltraVioletChallenge final page by Pin, Fa & Pat, sophomore students at INDA, Chulalongkorn University.
03 Gap Yong
#UltraVioletChallenge final page by Gap & Yong, junior students at CommDe, Chulalongkorn University.
04 Iced Deedee Fern Jam
#UltraVioletChallenge final page by Iced, Deedee, Fern & Jam, junior students at INDA, Chulalongkorn University.
02 Uang New Wee
#UltraVioletChallenge final page by New, Uang and Wee, junior students at CommDe, Chulalongkorn University.
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Students from the Faculties/Departments of Architecture (INDA), Communication Design (CommDe), Language & Culture (BALAC), and Engineering (ISE) creating their #UltraViolet comics. August 23, 2018. Visual Media Studies course, INDA, Chulalonglorn University.  

BELOW: #UltraVioletChallenge final page by Thai cartoonist Supachai Jack Jirakoup

UltraViolet Supachai
#UltraVioletChallenge final page by Thai cartoonist Supachai Jack Jirakoup