“Adjacent Panels” part 1/2; parallel Comics Open Studios led by Belgian cartoonist Ephameron and American cartoonist Anders Nilsen, with students in Communication Design, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.

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Belgian cartoonist Ephameron’s Graphic Narrative Open Studio at CommDe, Thailand
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American cartoonist Anders Nilsen’s Comics Open Studio at CommDe, Thailand

On May 14-17 2018, some 40 students at the International Program in Communication Design (CommDe, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand) attended in two groups to 4-day parallel “Open Studios” led by Belgian cartoonist and illustrator Ephameron (aka Eva Cardon) and American cartoonist and illustrator Anders Nilsen.

〈Anders Nilsen wrote his own account of the 4-day “Chulalongkorn Comics Workshop Phantasmagoria” on this blog post.〉

“It was a remarkable experience in about a hundred different ways, but in particular the students were amazing.” Anders Nilsen (blog post here)

The current post presents the two first days of the Open Studios, and a second post will soon display pics from the last two days of workshop. Students were able to experience two completely different approaches in comics composition during these Open Studios, as Ephameron focused on capturing the essence of a short story and its breakdown and visual adaptation in comics form while Anders Nilsen explored “non-standard” panel layouts and constrained comics exercises (inspired by OuBaPian experiments from the Pierre Feuille Ciseaux international comics residency-laboratory) in order to generate unexpected characters and plots. I do apologize here for the far too invasive presence of my noisy camera, and thank all participants for the patience and understanding. Nicolas

Here are the presentations of Ephameron and Anders Nilsen’s Open Studios by the CommDe program which invited the two artists and hosted the event.

L’image contient peut-être : dessin

Eva Cardon leads CommDe Open Studio on Graphic Narrative. In this open studio on Graphic Narrative each student chooses one of the short stories from American author Raymond Carver collections What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and Cathedral and turns it into a graphic narrative that explores the limits of comics, and experiments with storytelling techniques. Eva works under the pseudonym Ephameron and is based in Flanders. She publishes and exhibits internationally.”

L’image contient peut-être : dessin et texte

Anders Nilsen leads CommDe Open Studio ‘Where Do Your Ideas Come From: A Comics Workshop.’ Anders will lead students to explore their own creativity in developing characters and narratives. Anders Nilsen is the award-winning artist and author of nine books of comics and visual narrative including Big Questions, Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow, The End and Tongues. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Chicago Reader, Medium, Kramer’s Ergot and elsewhere. His comics have been translated into numerous languages and his artwork has been shown internationally. He lives in Portland, Oregon.”


DAY 1: MONDAY, MAY 14

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Getting acquainted: Anders Nilsen and student Winnie.

DAY 1 in Ephameron’s Open Studio. Part 01: story-boarding of a Raymond Carver’s short story. The Belgian artist introduced the life and works of Raymond Carver and proposes a warm-up exercise. All students had to break down an imposed short story Why don’t you dance? (from Raymond Carver’s collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love) into a storyboard of 10 illustrations.

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Ephameron introduces the life and works of Raymond Carver.
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Student Noey and her comrades go through the imposed Raymond Carver’s short story Why don’t you dance?.
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Student Darnis, Pin, Cherry and their comrades go through the imposed Raymond Carver’s short story Why don’t you dance?.
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Student Sharon breaks down Raymond Carver’s short story Why don’t you dance? in a 10-panel storyboard.
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Ephameron goes through all the Why don’t you dance? storyboards produced by her students.
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Ephameron provides comment on all the 10-panel storyboards during the first collective review.

DAY 1 in Anders Nilsen’s Open Studio. Part 01: the Comics Loop. Meanwhile in the classroom below, the American cartoonist proposes a first exercise to generate imaginative character designs. Each student randomly draws a name card on which a stock character is named (“beggar child”, “drug dealer”, “elephant”, etc.). Each student is then asked to divide an A4 page in four panels and is given a few minutes to create the character design of his/her assigned character in the first panel. When done, students are given a few more minutes to come up with completely different interpretation and graphic rendition of their assigned character, in order to avoid the obvious/common portrayal they might have provided in the first panel. When the second panel is completed, students must redraw their character in the two last panels but in graphic styles different from their personal style in order to leave their confort zone.

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Student Arty considers her “beggar child” character.

When done, the same exercise is repeated but with name cards of objects, then name cards of settings/sceneries. All character/object/setting designs are then separated and taped to a wall. Each student must then designates his/her 3 favorite character designs, then objects, then settings.

After voting, the three favorite character designs, objects and settings are brought together.

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The three selected characters (therianthropic duck, faceless millipedes-cat and hybrid elephant) after selection by the students, and editorial intervention by Anders and yours truly as two initially picked characters were too similar. As a substitution, the faceless millipedes-cat was imposed for its poetic, graphic and narrative potential.
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Board with the selected character designs; and with picked settings and objects before editorial discussion, intervention and substitution.

As the three selected objects (like the fish can or the anthropomorphic chair) could be turned into characters and would be redundant with the initially selected characters, Anders and I decided to substitute them for a meteorite (which could also be used as a setting), a “bone trapped in a crystal”. The “top of a building” setting was discarded in favor a snow globe, being an object and holding a potential setting. The 9 definitive elements were then used as references, and limitations to maintain coherence, for a collective comics composition assignment -in the form of an exquisite corpse– based on the constrained exercise La Boucle/The Loop developed by the ChiFouMi Association. This exercise had been already implemented at the Faculty of Communication Arts in 2015 with 17 participants, whether professional Thai cartoonists or enthusiasts (more info on this dedicated post). Here is the “protocol” of the constrained exercise. Let’s note here that the story remains “wordless” to facilitate the development of the narrative, as the presence of dialogues might complicate the action of linking the first and last panels together.

Step one: defining 9 elements (3 characters/ 3 objects/ 3 settings). See above.

Step two: each student draws a 6-panel regular grid on an A4 page. Every student must start the action of his/her story in the sixth (and last) panel using one or several of the 9 imposed elements. When done, he/she gives his/her page to the artist on his/her left. Time limit: 15′.

Step three: in the first panel of the page he/she got from his/her seatmate, the artist must continue the action he/she started on the previous page. Time limit: 15′.

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Student Kade reaches the end of the third step as she draws her second panel, using the therianthropic duck character and the “pound with lotus” setting turned into a “desert island”, in the top left panel of a page she received from her seatmate.

Step four: all pages, with only the first panel filled by an artist and the sixth panel filled by another artist, are gathered together. Each student randomly draws a number and -following order of the numbers- can select a page on which he/she will have to fill the four remaining panels (or panels 2 to 5), and link panels 1 and 6 into a somehow coherent narrative.

  Step five: each student must now fill the four empty panels (or panels 2 to 5) on the page he/she picked, and link panels 1 and 6 (each drawn by another student) into a somehow coherent narrative.

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Student Uang connects the imposed first panel (with faceless millipedes-cat drawn by a classmate) and last panel (with hybrid-elephant heads turned into meteorite drawn by another classmate) by filling panels 2 to 5 to form a somehow coherent narrative.

 The Final Story: As presented by the Association ChiFouMi, “the story that is made through all these joints makes an infinite loop, where all the elements that were produced before gives some kind of common road where each author can intend its own singularities and its own imagination, while following a protocol nearly invisible.”

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When the Loop is completed, pages are reassembled in correct order, and Anders Nilsen goes through the final story with the students explaining their often imaginative and exhilarating narrative twists. Here: student Kade explains her plot. Incidentally, this commented and collective reading of the resulting comics evokes the tradition of orally commented 30-meter-long graphic narrative scrolls (know as Bun Phra Wet) in North-Eastern Thailand and Laos.

It is interesting to note that a series of recurring motifs appeared throughout the narrative, without any consultation among the students. If “transformations” are obviously to be expected in order to link two disparate panels together, the frequency of “transformations by digestion” was here quite remarkable. Recurring motifs include ingestion, swallowing, vomiting, excretion (maybe in connection with the importance of food in Thai culture, or with gluttonous Brahmin Chuchok whose belly would burst in the Vessantara Jataka, or Krasue spirit with their internal organs hanging down from the neck?), and some related scatological elements, to which -and quite logically in a Buddhist culture- the recurring lotus flower raising from mud would balance. Karmic retribution, and Inception-like worlds inside worlds, were quite present too. The resulting comics was wild, and hilarious at times, as the following pictures show.

The PDF of the complete loop is downloadable on this link: CommDe Comics Loop.

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Page from the Comics Loop, with panel 1 by a first student, panel 6 by a second student, and panels 2 to 5 completed by a third student. Full story in PDF below.
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Page from the Comics Loop, with panel 1 by a first student, panel 6 by a second student, and panels 2 to 5 completed by a third student. Full story in PDF below.
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Page from the Comics Loop, with panel 1 by a first student, panel 6 by a second student, and panels 2 to 5 completed by a third student. Full story in PDF below.
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Page from the Comics Loop, with panel 1 by a first student, panel 6 by a second student, and panels 2 to 5 completed by a third student. Full story in PDF below.

The PDF of the complete loop is downloadable on this link: CommDe Comics Loop.


  DAY 1 in Anders Nilsen’s Open Studio. Part 02: the comics “scrabble/domino”. Anders Nilsen proposed another exercise to which the students were invited to participate whenever they wanted during the 4-day Open Studio. The American artist scattered some illustrations on different walls and asked the students to add new illustrations after, before, above or below his own in order to generate strips, and narratives which would slowly spread across the walls.

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Anders Nilsen taped his inaugural illustration on the wall and explains the “scrabble/domino” assignment.
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Exactly 2 minutes later, the collaborative strip already takes a… digestive/flatulent turn.
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Collective & improvised “scrabble/domino” comics, by Anders Nilsen and his students.
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Collaborative improvised comics; using characters generated earlier, Anders Nilsen and the students added panels to the strip throughout the day. Never without some cooking.

DAY 1 in Ephameron’s Open Studio. Part 02: figure drawing. Meanwhile Belgian artist Ephameron lets her students release some steam, after a challenging and focused day of short story analysis and story-boarding, by proposing a “figure drawing” session. Each student was invited to draw one of his/her classmates, respecting proportions and attitudes, and exploring various facial expressions.


DAY 2 in Ephameron’s Open Studio. Part 01: comics adaptation of various Raymond Carver’s short stories. At the end of previous day, Ephameron provided each of her students with a different short story written by American author Raymond Carver and mainly taken from the collections What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and Cathedral. Each student has the three remaining days to adapt his/her assigned short story into a comics.

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Students Mim (left) and Sharon (right) with Ephameron.
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Focused. From left to right: students Plye, Lukpear, Fern and Bank.
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Student Fai storyboarding a short story by Raymond Carver.
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Student Lukpear breaks down Raymond Carver’s short story The Calm into a 10-panel storyboard for Ephameron’s Graphic Narrative Open Studio.

DAY 2 in Anders Nilsen’s Open Studio. Part 01: Taming the Beast. As the Comics Loop resulted in a wilder-than-expected exhilarating narrative, the American cartoonist decided to go for an additional exercise in order to “tame the Beast” and channel the energy.

Anders Nilsen presented the students with Daniel Clowes‘ comics page “What Is the Most Important Invention of the 20th Century?” published on October 1989 in the first issue of his comics series EightballThe page is a visual adaptation of “the work of David Greenberger, who asked questions of nursing home residents and transcribed their answers in his zine The Duplex Planet.” Other Duplex Planet-inspired comics -with each story’s title is the question Greenberger asked, e.g., “Where Do Wiseguys Come From?”- appeared in Eightball #2 to 4, and 6 (see below for pics).

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Anders Nilsen presents Daniel Clowes’ “What Is the Most Important Invention of the 20th Century?” (October 1989).
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Daniel Clowes’ “What Is the Most Important Invention of the 20th Century?” published on October 1989 in the first issue of his comics series EightballThe page is a visual adaptation of “the work of David Greenberger, who asked questions of nursing home residents and transcribed their answers in his zine The Duplex Planet.”
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Title panel is left blank (for now). Imposed (and previously discarded) characters 1 to 5 have each to occupy their assigned panel, and explain what they witnessed during the “Event” of the Comics Loop. Students can then choose between characters 6 and 6′, who participated in the “Event”, to fill the final panel. When art is done, students add the imposed title “What Happened?”.

Here are some results from the “What Happened? – Clowes/Greenberger” assignment by the students.

What Winnie 05
“What Happened?” constrained comics by student Winnie.
What Bamie 01
“What Happened?” constrained comics by student Bamie.
What Arty 02
“What Happened?” constrained comics by student Arty.
What Rit 04
“What Happened?” constrained comics by student Rit.
What Punn 06
“What Happened?” constrained comics by student Punn.
What Wee 07
“What Happened?” constrained comics by student Wee.
What Kade 03
“What Happened?” constrained comics by student Kade.

And an extra constrained comics assignment:


DAY 2 in Anders Nilsen’s Open Studio. Part 02: Finding Anders Nilsen.  The American cartoonist did a short presentation of his journey as an artist, with the various defining steps and realizations mapping out his career path, such as stressing the importance of his sketchbooks in all aspects of his numerous projects. Some 25 of his books (from zines to graphic novels or collaborative productions) were on display in the classroom for the students to consult.

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Finding Anders Nilsen: some 25 books -from Anders’ early zines to latest graphic novels, sketchbook facsimile, coloring book or ChiFouMi collective projects- were available for consultation.

DAY 2 in Anders Nilsen’s Open Studio. Part 03: “I Almost Died!” assignment.  After a lot of fun, students were asked to work on a more dramatic and/or intimate (or humorous if preferred) 8-panel comics page starring two characters. The first character would talk about a time that they almost died. The other character only speaks once, to ask a question. Seven panels show the two characters, and one panel (selected by the student) shows something else.

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Getting serious, or trying. Anders Nilsen and student Kade discovering the “I Almost Died!” constrained comics.
Almost Died Kade 05
“I Almost Died!” constrained comics by student Kade.
Almost Died Bamie 03
“I Almost Died!” constrained comics by student Bamie.
Almost Died Rit 06
“I Almost Died!” constrained comics by student Rit.
Almost Died Arty 01
“I Almost Died!” constrained comics by student Arty.
Almost Died Punn 02
“I Almost Died!” constrained comics by student Punn
Almost Died Wee 04
“I Almost Died!” constrained comics by student Wee
Almost Died Tongkla 07
“I Almost Died!” constrained comics by student Tonkla

DAY 2 in Ephameron’s Open Studio. Part 02: comics adaptation of various Raymond Carver’s short stories. Students pursue their comics adaptations of assigned short story written by American author Raymond Carver and mainly taken from the collections What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and Cathedral.

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Ephameron and student Lukpear discuss the breakdown of Raymond Carver’s short story The Calm.
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Student Oom at work on the page breakdown of the Raymond Carver’s short story she was assigned: Tell the Woman We’re Going.

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After an exhausting second day, students Sam and Kade need a well-deserved rest…

PART 2/2 COMING SOON…


 

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“The Smurfette Principle” and “Whitewashing in Film” topics in Knowledge Comics form by Chulalongkorn students

The Smurfette Principle and Whitewashing in Film topics in Knowledge Comics form; group assignment following the lesson on Critical Tradition (Introduction to Communication Studies GenEd course developed by the Faculty of Communication Arts) and the lesson on Multimodal Narratives (Visual Media Studies GenEd course developed by the Faculty of Communication Arts) hosted by the International Program in Communication Design (CommDe, Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University).

Smurf Belgium Thailand
“2018 not only celebrates 150 years of Thai-Belgian friendship, it is also the 60th anniversary of the Smurfs,” the small blue human-like creatures who were first introduced in the Belgian comics series titled Johan et Pirlouit (translated to English as Johan and Peewit) in 1958 by Peyo [Pierre Culliford; 1928-1992]. The Smurfs have been selected as the icon of the Thai-Belgian friendship celebration.

On the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of Friendship between Belgium and Thailand and after introducing the Belgo-Palombian character Marsupilami in graphic narratives to denounce a case of black panther poaching in Thailand (see students’ comics HERE), students were invited to revisit another famous -and much scrutinized- Belgian comics character: Smurfette (or Schtroumpfette in the original version)!

Thai (and foreign) Chulalongkorn students from the two courses mentioned above were asked to create short graphic narratives (2 to 4 pages) on imposed topics related to the Critical Tradition which challenges “the control of language to perpetuate power imbalances by exploring the way communication establishes, reinforces and maintains power structures in society” (see Denis McQuail, McQuail’s Reader in Mass Communication Theory, Sage Publishing, 2002). With a vast majority of Asian and female students in my courses, the Smurfette Principle and Whitewashing in Film topics seemed to be appropriate and meaningful choices. The latter topic addresses the under-representation of minorities in the media, and more specifically the Hollywoodian habit of casting white actors to play non-white characters while disregarding the -mostly comics- source material (see articles by Steve Rose and Keith Chow). Infamous recent examples include Tilda Swinton casted as a Himalayan mystic in Doctor Strange, Emma Stone casted as a Chinese-Hawaiian character in Aloha, Scarlett Johansson playing a Japanese cyborg in the live-action feature Ghost in the Shell, or British actor Ed Skrein who decided to step down from his (half-Japanese) Ben Daimio’s role in the upcoming reboot of Hellboy. Criticism on cultural appropriation and whitewashing has also been raised towards Wes Anderson’s latest feature Isle of Dogs (see here).

“In its original sense, ‘whitewashing’ meant covering or cleaning something up. In today’s cultural landscape, it is a stain that won’t rub off. Now, ‘whitewashing’ describes the habit of casting white actors to play non-white characters, often to shoehorn in a star, sometimes out of racial insensitivity, invariably to the detriment of people (and especially actors) of colour.” Steve Rose in “The idea that it’s good business is a myth’ – why Hollywood whitewashing has become toxic”, The Guardian (source), 2017.

Dadu Shin WhiteWashing
Illustration by Dadu Shin for “Why Won’t Hollywood Cast Asian Actors?”, The New York Times (source), 2016.

In line with the Feminist Critical Tradition which criticizes communication content and practices that perpetuate patriarchal hierarchies and ideologies, The Smurfette Principle was coined and defined by poet and essayist Katha Pollitt in 1991 in the New York Times as a practice in fiction to include only one stereotypical female character in an otherwise all-male cast (see quote below).

“The message is clear. Boys are the norm, girls the variation; boys are central, girls peripheral; boys are individuals, girls types. Boys define the group, its story and its code of values. Girls exist only in relation to boys.” Katha Pollitt in “Hers; The Smurfette Principle”, The New York Times (source), 1991.

Smurfette attributed to Peyo
Original artwork attributed to Belgian cartoonist Peyo [Pierre Culliford; 1928-1992].

 If Katha Pollitt bases her criticism on the Smurfs animated TV series, the Smurfette character was first introduced in Peyo’s A Smurf Adventure: The Smurfette serialized in Spirou magazine (Dupuis, Belgium) in 1966 and written by Yvan Delporte [1928-2007] and Peyo [Pierre Culliford; 1928-1992]. The Smurfette was created from clay by evil wizard Gargamel in order to launch a feud in the all-male Smurf village. The recipe’s ingredients (see Fig. 2; “Sugar and spice, but nothing nice… A dram of crocodile tears… A peck of bird brain…”, etc.) used by the wizard present themselves as an appalling and misogynistic list of personalilty traits. Let’s point here that the recipe is accompanied by an asterisk leading to a footnote (see Fig.1 ). In the French edition (but I don’t know if the footnote was already in the first serialized publication), the footnote reads “This text only represents the views of the author of the grimoire ‘Magicae Formulae’, Beelzebub Publishing” (my translation). The 1976 English further relieves Delporte and Peyo of any responsibilities which are rejected on the “Male Chauvinist Pig Wizards” Incorporation…

Male Chauvinist Pig Wizards
Figure 1. Footnotes accompanying the French and 1976 English editions of A Smurf Adventure: The Smurfette.

Nevertheless, the Smurfette’s origin story raises more criticism. Smurfette first appears with unruly black hair, a large nose, basic dress and slippers (see Fig. 3). Feeling miserable because of her physical appearance and lack of attractiveness, she undergoes an “operation of plastic smurfery ” [sic] at the hands of Papa Smurf to become a blonde Smurfette -inspired by French actress Brigitte Bardot- with shortened nose, curled eyelashes, gown and high heels; she is now “one of a kind, full of feminine grace and frivolous. She can also be very much a woman, playing with the feelings of her sweethearts” (from Smurfette’s official bio quoted in Jason Richards’ The Problem With Smurfette). Turned into an “object of desire” and with stereotypical feminine personality traits, Smurfette -and the male Smurfs themselves by competing for her attention- will bring even more trouble in the village soon to be flooded. Let’s add, to be fair, that Delporte and Peyo do not depict the male Smurfs from their best angle either; they do not save the day (except for the more tempered Papa Smurf) and are made laughable -and “identical”- by their hazardous and idiotic behaviour.

Smurfette 12
Figure 2. A Smurf Adventure: The Smurfette by Peyo, page 12, written by Yvan Delporte and Peyo, Hodder and Stoughton, UK, 1976. First serialized in French in 1966 in Spirou magazine (Dupuis, Belgium). ©Peyo/IMPS/ Dupuis
Smurfette 13
Figure 3. A Smurf Adventure: The Smurfette by Peyo, page 13, written by Yvan Delporte and Peyo, Hodder and Stoughton, UK, 1976. First serialized in French in 1966 in Spirou magazine (Dupuis, Belgium). ©Peyo/IMPS/ Dupuis
Smurfette 28 29
Figure 4. A Smurf Adventure: The Smurfette by Peyo, 3 last tiers of page 28 and 2 first tiers of page 29, written by Yvan Delporte and Peyo, Hodder and Stoughton, UK, 1976. First serialized in French in 1966 in Spirou magazine (Dupuis, Belgium). ©Peyo/IMPS/ Dupuis

The character of Smurfette evolved positively -albeit quite slowly- over the past decade; becoming the leader of the Smurf village in the 2010 adventure La Grande Schtroumpfette, or an airplane pilot on the outside paint job of some Brussels Airlines’ Airbus A320.

Smurfette brussels airlines
Smurfette as an airplane pilot on a Brussels Airlines’ Airbus A320.

The imposed format was “knowledge (or educational) comics” in order to explore the ability of text/image (multimodal) narratives to condense and convey a large amount of information in a limited space of only a few pages. See quote below.

“Just like diagrams, info-graphics, and other forms of science visualizations, comics use words and pictures to convey information, however they also divide the information into panels [McCloud, 1994] which can facilitate the reading experience and highlight important information, such as parts and processes [Mayer and Gallini, 1990]. Furthermore, comics not only break down the information into more digestible units but can also reassemble them into meaningful compositions […]. As summarized by comic scholar and educator Nick Sousanis: “the spatial interplay of sequential and simultaneous, imbues comics with a dual nature — both tree-like, hierarchical and rhizomatic, interwoven in a single form” [Sousanis, 2015]. In other words, comics can be read linearly, panel by panel, but also lend themselves to non-linear explanations, encouraging the reader to constantly reassess earlier panels in the light of new information. Similarly, science often requires readers to make connections between multiple scales and domains of knowledge, not necessarily arranged in a hierarchical, linear order. In conclusion, while comics are often perceived as an easy and playful format, they may be exquisitely suited at presenting complex information in a rigorous yet accessible way.” Matteo Farinella, “The Potential of Comics in Science Communication”, in JCom Journal of Science Communication 17/1 (source), 2018.

Examples of “knowledge comics” provided to the students included the excellent series La Petite Bédéthèque des Savoirs (Le Lombard, Belgium) which presents itself as “pocket-sized hardcover educational books on subjects as varied as artificial intelligence, sharks, heavy metal, and the history of prostitution. Each volume in the series is written and drawn by a different writer and artist pair. Internationally-renowned experts in the fields work with comics luminaries for a unique alchemy every time” (source). Some volumes are available in English by IDW Publishing under the series title “The Little Book of Knowledge”. Other references were Nick Sousanis’ doctoral dissertation in comics form Unflattening, Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh, Jonathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon.


The Smurfette Principle and Whitewashing in Film Knowledge Comics by Chula students

Chichi 01
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 1/3) by 1st year CommDe students Grace, Chichi, Ping, Pang and Nene. March 2018. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Chichi 02
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 2/3) by 1st year CommDe students Grace, Chichi, Ping, Pang and Nene. March 2018. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Chichi 03
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 3/3) by 1st year CommDe students Grace, Chichi, Ping, Pang and Nene. March 2018. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Noey 01
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 1/3) by 1st year BALAC student Noey (BALAC: Program in Language and Culture, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University). November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Noey 02
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 2/3) by 1st year BALAC student Noey (BALAC: Program in Language and Culture, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University). November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Noey 03
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 3/3) by 1st year BALAC student Noey (BALAC: Program in Language and Culture, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University). November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Taew 01
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 1/2) by 4th year BALAC students Taew and Petch (BALAC: Program in Language and Culture, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University). November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Taew 02
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 2/2) by 4th year BALAC students Taew and Petch (BALAC: Program in Language and Culture, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University). November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.

 

 

Daria 01
“The Smurfette Principle” comics (page 1/2) by 3rd year INDA student Daria Dmitrieva (INDA: International Program in Design and Architecture, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University). November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.

 

Daria 02
“The Smurfette Principle” comics (page 1/2) by 3rd year INDA student Daria Dmitrieva (INDA: International Program in Design and Architecture, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University). November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.

 

 

Tung 01
“The Smurfette Principle” comics (page 1/2) by 3rd year CommDe students Tung, Tee, Mint and Mean. November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Tung 02
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 2/2) by 3rd year CommDe students Tung, Tee, Mint and Mean. November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Fern 01
“Whitewashing in Film” Knowledge Comics (page 1/3) by 1st year CommDe students Fern, Pun, Oom, Bank and Lukpear. March 2018.
Fern 02
“Whitewashing in Film” Knowledge Comics (page 2/3) by 1st year CommDe students Fern, Pun, Oom, Bank and Lukpear. March 2018.
Fern 03
“Whitewashing in Film” Knowledge Comics (page 1/3) by 1st year CommDe students Fern, Pun, Oom, Bank and Lukpear. March 2018.
Joy 01
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 1/3) by 1st year CommDe students Joy, Plye, Sunny and Nana. March 2018. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Joy 02
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 2/3) by 1st year CommDe students Joy, Plye, Sunny and Nana. March 2018. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Joy 03
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 3/3) by 1st year CommDe students Joy, Plye, Sunny and Nana. March 2018. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Ploy 01
“Whitewashing in Film” Knowledge Comics (page 1/3) by 1st year CommDe students Aom (P), Ploy, Mim, Mind and Tang. March 2018.
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“Whitewashing in Film” Knowledge Comics (page 2/3) by 1st year CommDe students Aom (P), Ploy, Mim, Mind and Tang. March 2018.
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“Whitewashing in Film” Knowledge Comics (page 3/3) by 1st year CommDe students Aom (P), Ploy, Mim, Mind and Tang. March 2018.
Shi 01
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 1/3) by 1st year CommDe students Shi, Kris, Aom, Wakako and Gem. March 2018. NOTE: Panels 1 and 2 refer to Jeffery P. Dennis’ 2003 essay Queertoons: The dynamics of same-sex desire in the animated cartoon where the author states that the Smurfette “was introduced specifically to provide an object for the Smurfs’ heterosexual desire and defuse conjectures that they might be ‘really’ gay”. This claim has been subjected to criticism. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Shi 02
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 2/3) by 1st year CommDe students Shi, Kris, Aom, Wakako and Gem. March 2018. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Shi 03
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 3/3) by 1st year CommDe students Shi, Kris, Aom, Wakako and Gem. March 2018. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.

Natt 01

Natt 02
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 1/3) by 3rd year CommDe students Natt, Cartoon, Nich and Champ. November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Natt 03
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 2/3) by 3rd year CommDe students Natt, Cartoon, Nich and Champ. November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.
Natt 04
“The Smurfette Principle” Knowledge Comics (page 3/3) by 3rd year CommDe students Natt, Cartoon, Nich and Champ. November 2017. Based on the Smurfette character created by Peyo; and Katha Pollitt’s Smurfette Principle.

The Smurfette origin (exploring elements from the Semiotics lessons: symbol, icon, connotation…).

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“The Smurfette Origin” Comics (exploring elements from the Semiotics lessons: symbol, icon, connotation; and with a nod to Ibn al Rabin’ silent comics), page 1/3, by 1st year CommDe students Prim, Proud, Pauline, Pop and Suang. March 2018. Based on characters created by Peyo.
Prim 02
“The Smurfette Origin” Comics (exploring elements from the Semiotics lessons: symbol, icon, connotation; and with a nod to Ibn al Rabin’ silent comics), page 1/3, by 1st year CommDe students Prim, Proud, Pauline, Pop and Suang. March 2018. Based on characters created by Peyo.
Prim 03
“The Smurfette Origin” Comics (exploring elements from the Semiotics lessons: symbol, icon, connotation; and with a nod to Ibn al Rabin’ silent comics), page 1/3, by 1st year CommDe students Prim, Proud, Pauline, Pop and Suang. March 2018. Based on characters created by Peyo.

A satirical take on the Smurfette Principle starring Pepper Potts and Tony Stark (aka Iron Man).

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“The Smurfette Principle” satirical comics (page 1/4) by 1st year CommDe students Byrd, Eve, Bask, Fahsai and Mild. March 2018. Based on the Tony Stark/Iron Man character created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby, and on the Virginia “Pepper” Potts character created by Stan Lee and Don Heck.
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“The Smurfette Principle” satirical comics (page 2/4) by 1st year CommDe students Byrd, Eve, Bask, Fahsai and Mild. March 2018. Based on the Tony Stark/Iron Man character created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby, and on the Virginia “Pepper” Potts character created by Stan Lee and Don Heck.
Eve 03
“The Smurfette Principle” satirical comics (page 3/4) by 1st year CommDe students Byrd, Eve, Bask, Fahsai and Mild. March 2018. Based on the Tony Stark/Iron Man character created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby, and on the Virginia “Pepper” Potts character created by Stan Lee and Don Heck.
Eve 04
“The Smurfette Principle” satirical comics (page 4/4) by 1st year CommDe students Byrd, Eve, Bask, Fahsai and Mild. March 2018. Based on the Tony Stark/Iron Man character created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby, and on the Virginia “Pepper” Potts character created by Stan Lee and Don Heck.

 

 

#BiggerQuestions constrained comics exercise; weaving scattered wordless panels into a graphic narrative.

#BiggerQuestions: in-class creative assignment (Intro Comm course developed by the Faculty of Communication Arts; Interpersonal Communication chapter); weaving 7 scattered wordless panels (taken from Anders Nilsen‘s Big Questions) into a 2-page graphic narrative.

BLURB!

“Great exercise!” Matt Madden (February 9, 2018), cartoonist and teacher best known for his book 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style (Penguin), as well as a member of OuBaPo (Workshop for Potential Comics), and later a French knight in the Order of Arts and Letters.

“More good stuff from [Bangkok], thanks for sharing!” Nick Sousanis (February 9, 2018), 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.

January 2018. Fifty (1st year) Thai students at the International Program in Communication Design (CommDe, Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University) received 2 pages displaying 7 scattered panels (with erased text) taken from various pages of the graphic novel Big Questions by American cartoonist Anders Nilsen. Within 90 minutes, they had to produce additional panels (if necessary) -and add dialogues- in order to bridge the imposed panels and weave a cohesive and convincing graphic narrative. Following brief comments provided on their comprehensive layouts, students finalized the artwork at home. See below for 20+ of their #BiggerQuestions constrained comics.

Inspired by on a constrained comics exercise used at Pierre Feuille Ciseaux international comics residency-lab.

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Pages from Anders Nilsen‘s Big Questions (Drawn & Quarterly, 2011).
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The 2 imposed pages -with scattered panels and blanked-out dialogues- taken from Anders Nilsen‘s Big Questions (Drawn & Quarterly, 2011).

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CommDe student bridging the gaps between Anders Nilsen‘s panels.


Click on the 2-pagers below for larger size.

01 PLYE
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student PLYE
YOSHIYUKI 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student YOSHIYUKI
BYRD 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student BYRD
02 PT
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student PT
SASINAN 01 02 def
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student SASINAN (PING)
CHICHI 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student CHICHI
OOM 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student OOM
AOM P 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student AOM (P.)
TAT 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student TAT
PHURICH 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student PHURICH
SHARON 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student SHARON
BASK 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student BASK
EVE 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student EVE
NENE 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student NENE
AOM T 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student AOM (T.)
FAHSAI 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student FAHSAI
LUKPEAR 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student LUKPEAR
SUNNY 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student SUNNY
PLOY 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student PLOY
MIM 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student MIM
KARIN 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student KARIN
MICK 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student MICK
PEACHY 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student PEACHY
KRIS 01 02
“Bigger Questions” constrained comics by (1st year) CommDe student KRIS

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

“Female Voices in Comics Art: Sharing Perspectives from Thailand, Spain, Japan and the U.S.A.” Round Table

FEMALE VOICES IN COMICS ART DEF copy

The round table “Female Voices in Comics Art: Sharing Perspectives from Thailand, Spain, Japan and the U.S.A.” was held on Friday, March 10, at the BACC (Bangkok Art and Culture Center) during the HeForShe Arts Week Bangkok (UN Women for Asia and the Pacific) in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in Bangkok (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación de España). It was a rich, meaningful and cheerful talk with an amazing panel composed of Thai artist Tunlaya Dunn, Thai-American artist Kathy MacLeod, Spanish artist Carla Berrocal (also curator of the PRESENTES exhibition, and my Thai colleague & Manga scholar Aj. Mashima Tojirakarn (PhD. candidate, University of Kyoto). I’ve been honoured to act as the moderator of this round table (thank you again Kathy for suggesting my name). The discussion focused on comics and women, and most interestingly, on gender equality in the industry, as well as on the rise of female voices in Thai Comics, and on the rich history of Spanish comics by female cartoonists (PRESENTES exhibition). I would like to extend my warmest thanks to HeForShe Arts Week Bangkok’s curators Alejandro Hita & David Fernández for the organization of this whole week, and specific event, as well as Embassy of Spain in Bangkok’s representatives Maria Salcedo Ortiz (Deputy Head of Mission) & Joan Vicens Mestre for their invaluable participation to the event, and partners Chulalongkorn University & BACC. Thank you Carla, Kathy, Tunlaya & Mashima for the great talk! ขอบคุณมากนะครับ Pathumporn Tik Thongking for the wonderful pics!

Aj. Nicolas Verstappen

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The “Here Comes Trouble” Dream Team! From right to left: my Thai colleague & Manga scholar Aj. Mashima Tojirakarn (PhD. candidate, University of Kyoto), Thai designer and cartoonist Tunlaya Dunn,Thai-American illustrator and cartoonist Kathy MacLeod, Spanish cartoonist and illustrator Carla Berrocal, HeForShe Arts Week BKK’s co-curator Alejandro Hita (UN Women), Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Spain in Bangkok Maria Salcedo Ortis, and yours truly.
Photo credits: UN Women/Pathumporn Tik Thongking
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Presenting the guests of the “Female Voices in Comics Art” round table; Carla Berrocal, Kathy MacLeod, Tunlaya Dunn & Mashima Tojirakarn.
Photo credits: UN Women/Pathumporn Tik Thongking
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Illustrator and cartoonist Kathy MacLeod discussing with the other guests of the “Female Voices in Comics Art” round table; Carla Berrocal, Tunlaya Dunn & Mashima Tojirakarn. Photo credits: UN Women/Pathumporn Tik Thongking
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Women voices in the comics industry around the world. Thai female cartoonists Tongkarn, Vic-Mon & Chingching Krittiemmek confronting “Seng” Songwit Seakitikul (in his graphic novel “Almost All of Us”, Fullstop Books, and ขอบคุณมากนะครับ Birdme for the translation) in Thailand; the “Collectif des créatrices de bande dessinée contre le sexisme” (Female Comics Creators Against Sexism) in France and abroad; and “Autoras de Cómic” in Spain.
Photo credits: UN Women/Pathumporn Tik Thongking
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My Thai colleague & Manga scholar Aj. Mashima Tojirakarn (University of Kyoto) discussing with the other guests of the “Female Voices in Comics Art” round table; Carla Berrocal, Tunlaya Dunn & Kathy MacLeod.
Photo credits: UN Women/Pathumporn Tik Thongking
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Rich, meaningful and cheerful talk withthe guests of the “Female Voices in Comics Art” round table; Carla Berrocal (talking), Kathy MacLeod, Tunlaya Dunn & Mashima Tojirakarn.
Photo credits: UN Women/Pathumporn Tik Thongking
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As a conclusion of the “Female Voices in Comics Art” round table, the presentation of a remarkable short comics (related to the topic of “violence against women”) composed for my course by Ms. Arty Nicharee (Entryh), a promising first-year student of the International Program in Communication Design (Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University).
Photo credits: UN Women/Pathumporn Tik Thongking
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As a conclusion of the “Female Voices in Comics Art” round table, the presentation of a remarkable short comics (related to the topic of “violence against women”) composed for my course by Ms. Arty Nicharee (Entryh), a promising first-year student of the International Program in Communication Design (Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University).
Photo credits: UN Women/Pathumporn Tik Thongking

“Managing Creativity for Communicative Innovation” course (Jan-Apr 2017)

The “Managing Creativity for Communicative Innovation” course (Communication Management, International Program, Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand) has three main goals:

1) select, summarize and partly translate 9 Thai alternative comics, and contact a foreign publisher to get them signed abroad.

2) Publish, promote and distribute our own zine gathering the constrained comics composed by former “Graphic Writing” CommArts students.

3) Organize an exhibition of the “Traumics” (Comics on Trauma) composed by CommArts & CommDe (Program in Communication Design, Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University) students.

OFF3
First special guest: khun Peataya Werasakwong, CEO of Kai3 (a brand of tee-shirts whose designs are extended into zines, and an indie comics publishing house), and author of the graphic novel “Pandism: Virus Panda.” ขอบคุณมากๆครับ khun Peataya!
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Second special guest: Belgian cartoonist & illustrator Ephameron for an afternoon of Comics Art Appreciation (with comments and tips). Students from the International Program in Communication Design (CommDe, Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University) presented their Traumics (or “Comics on Trauma”) in front of Ephameron and my CommArts students in order to select the trauma-related graphic narratives to be displayed in the exhibition. Bedankt Eva! ขอบคุณมากๆครับ CommDe for inviting Eva in the first place! This project was partly inspired by the literary educational comics produced by the award-winning non-profit (and our partner) PositiveNegatives.
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Ephameron giving comments and advices to a team of CommDe students presenting their Traumics (or “Comics on Trauma”).
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Third special guest (or rather host): Spanish cartoonist, curator & illustrator Carla Berrocal offered us a private tour of the PRESENTES comics exhibition (Spanish Female Cartoonists of Yesterday and of Today). Discussion on the challenges (selecting pages, copyright issues, pairing different artists by themes or motifs…) offered by a Comics Art exhibition. Gracias Carla, Autoras de Cómic, and Maria & Joan from the Embassy of Spain in Bangkok. Thank you HeForShe Arts Week Bangkok, UN Women Asia and Pacific, and BACC (Bangkok Art Cultural Center)!
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Writing the editorial content of our “Bang Bang You’re Dead” constrained comics zine, inspired by the OuBaPian experimental comics by Lewis Trondheim & Jean-Christophe Menu. Trying to explain, as clearly and shortly as possible, the multimodal challenges faced by CommArts students while composing their graphic narratives (using “iconic iteration” with limited sets of panels drawn by European cartoonists Pierre Alary, Sacha Goerg & Joseph Falzon specially for our “Graphic Writing” course).
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Masterclass on “Animated Film Festivals and Markets” with Geraldine Baché, head of Animation du Monde (MIFA-Annecy) at the RENDEZ-VOUS FRANCO-THAÏ DE L’ANIMATION (Embassy of France in Thailand, in collaboration with the World Film Festival of Bangkok, Mahidol University International College, SF Cinema and TK Park). Photograph by ‘Rendez-Vous Franco-Thaï de l’Animation.’
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Thai films selected at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. During the masterclass on “Animated Film Festivals and Markets” with Geraldine Baché, head of Animation du Monde (MIFA-Annecy) at the RENDEZ-VOUS FRANCO-THAÏ DE L’ANIMATION (Embassy of France in Thailand, in collaboration with the World Film Festival of Bangkok, Mahidol University International College, SF Cinema and TK Park).
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Our fourth special guest; Ms. Pimpicha Utsahajit, Executive Director of Banlue Publications & CommArts alumnus, hold a talk on leading multi-platform content provider Banlue Group, with Banlue Sarn (humour comics magazines “Kai Hua Roh” and “Maha Sanook”), Vithita Animation, Salmon Books (publisher of alternative comics among others), digital platform MiniMore, Salmon House (production house of motion contents), Banlue Books, trendy free magazine Giraffe, or The MATTER and Pixniq among many other innovative content platforms! ขอบคุณมากๆครับ Ms. Pimpicha for the inspiring lecture and case studies (character development & licensing), and sharing with us your experience and expertise in so many fields!
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Making Small Press the CommArts way; a Taylorist approach. For reasons beyond their will, my 20 students had only 3 hours -including their zine-making formation- to produce the 300 copies of the inaugural issue of our Constrained & Collaborative Comics Zine Series “Bang Bang You’re Dead!“. Challenge almost met with 281 issues produced, whilst avoiding too many flawed copies and finger losses…
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The inaugural issue of the comics zine series “Bang Bang You’re Dead!” edited & published by the students of the “Managing Creativity for Communicative Innovation” course, and collecting the experimental, thrilling & collaborative works of 8 CommArts students with European cartoonists Pierre Alary, Sacha Goerg & Joseph Falzon, under a cover by Thai cartoonist Note Piruck and with a free ‘Phi Krasue’ postcard by French cartoonist Tamia Baudouin (only for the first printing)! Limited to 300 copies, the zine will be distributed worldwide thanks to our French partner L’Association ChiFouMi! Our thanks are also due to khun Satya @Rabbit4Print, and Thai cartoonist Tunlaya Dunn for the logo design & inspiration!
A word from the editorial team: “As evoked in its title, the ‘Bang Bang You’re Dead!’ zine invokes the playful yet serious aspects of constrained comics composition. Based on sets of speechless comics panels drawn especially for their Graphic Writing course by European cartoonists, 34 Thai senior students of the four-year program in Strategic Communication Management at the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand), duplicated, reframed, and combined the imposed drawings -with addition of textual elements- to create imaginative stories of their own. Without any particular drawing formation and facing the numerous and overlapping challenges posed by comics composition, our Faculty seniors were able to overcome the constraint of iconic iteration by thinking out of the box, using their creativity to cross formal, modal, cultural, and national borders.”
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Field trip with the editorial & production team of the inaugural issue the EuroThai Comics Zine “Bang Bang You’re Dead!” at the Bangkok International Book Fair (Queen Sirikit National Convention Center). The zine was on sale at the booth of the Thai indie comics publishing house Kai3. ขอบคุณครับ khun Peataya. Followed by a visit of the booths of publishers who collaborated on our projects (Salmon Books, Typhoon Studio & LET’S Comic). ขอบคุณครับ!
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Copies of the inaugural issue of our EuroThai Experimental Comics Zine Series “Bang Bang You’re Dead!” have safely arrived in Belgium. The zines are now available at the comics bookstore Multi BD in Brussels.
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The inaugural issue of our EuroThai Experimental Comics Zine Series “Bang Bang You’re Dead!” is now available at the comics bookstore Multi BD in Brussels, Belgium.
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Second objective of the “Managing Creativity for Communicative Innovation” course: to promote contemporary Thai Comix abroad. 8 teams of students. 8 Thai comics profiles (with summary, chapters translated into English, author bio, and pros & cons of each book to fit the French market and a specific publisher’s catalogue). 8 Thailand/France Skype sessions with Serge Ewenczyk, founder of the French independent comics publishing house Çà et Là. Proud of my students who did a tremendous and critical work there! Merci Serge pour ta disponibilité et ta marque d’intérêt! ขอบคุณมากครับ to the Thai editors for the complementary copies! Now, let’s all cross our fingers and see what the Future holds for Thai Comics! (On the picture: Serge Ewenczyk & the “Loser Rainbow (by Puck)” Team). 
Poster Traumics DEF
The exhibition “Traumics: a Medium of Fragments for a Shattered Mind” displayed 18 short Trauma-related comics narratives all composed by students in the Faculty of Communication Arts, the Communication Design Program (Faculty of Architecture) and other Departments at Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand). From refugee stories to household accidents, from domestic violence to genocides (Congo, Shoah, Khmer Rouges), being fictional, autobiographic or based on victim testimonies, these narratives intend to raise awareness on social and human rights issues. Inspired by the literary educational comics produced by the award-winning non-profit -and our partner- PositiveNegatives, this project also highlights the ability of Comics Art -as a medium of fragments- to visually reveal how the minds of the victims were broken into pieces. As mentioned in the introduction to the Call for Papers for the conference Traumics: Comics Narratives of Trauma, comics -“with their syntax of panels, gutters, and pages and their use of the evocative power of image in conjunction with the precise communication of text- (…) are uniquely suited to delivering narratives of trauma.”
The opening night was held on the 5th of May 2017 from 5pm until 7pm at the first floor of the Faculty of Communication Arts (Chulalongkorn University), in the presence of our guest of honour Songsin Tiewsomboon, author of famous graphic novels such as “Nine Lives” and the series “Beansprout and Firehead” & “Bobby Swingers.”
The exhibition “Traumics: a Medium of Fragments for a Shattered Mind” was organized and curated by the students of the “Managing Creativity for Communicative Innovation” course, Communication Management, International Program, Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand).
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Last project for the students of the “Managing Creativity for Communicative Innovation” course; to mount the exhibition “Traumics: a Medium of Fragments for a Shattered Mind” displaying 18 Trauma-related comics narratives composed by students at Chulalongkorn University.
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“Framing – Unframing – Reframing”, or mounting the exhibition “Traumics: a Medium of Fragments for a Shattered Mind” displaying 18 Trauma-related comics narratives composed by students at Chulalongkorn University.
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Opening of the “Traumics: a Medium of Fragments for a Shattered Mind” in the presence of our guest of honour Songsin Tiewsomboon, author of famous graphic novels such as “Nine Lives” and the series “Beansprout and Firehead” & “Bobby Swingers”, of graphic designer Ms. View, and of Thai alternative comics pioneer Suttichart Sarapaiwanich (“Joe the Sea-Cret Agent”).
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With polyptych, iconic iteration, bleed, braiding, narrative use of colours, parallel timelines, palindrome-like/mirror device, loop format, and other experimental features, or being straightforward visual narratives, the 18 Trauma-related short comics composed by students at Chulalongkorn University make full use of the hybrid art form to depict the victims’ shattered and alienated minds (and bodies), in order to raise awareness on social and human rights issues (from refugee stories to household accidents, from social conformity to domestic violence or genocides; being fictional, autobiographic or based on victim testimonies). I couldn’t be prouder by the meaningful work produced by Chulalongkorn University students from various Faculties; most of them being 1st year Thai students (and with a team of European exchange students), some of them without any prior artistic formation, and creating there their first ever comics. I only wish we could have displayed more of the dozens of Traumics created over the past two years. So many were equally deserving to be shown, and they will at some point, when I find the time, over here. To all, your works being displayed or not, artists or exhibition curators from the Mngt Comm Crea Inno course, for your talent and hard work, ขอบคุณมากนะครับ! Aj. Nicolas Verstappen
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Well-deserved rest after 4 intensive months of work! ;^)