Comics Cambodia

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Lire en Fête Day 3

Today is saturday and the last day of Lire en Fête. It's also one of our biggest traffic days as many people are not working. Em Satya comes by again, as well as Or Yuthea, Sin Yang Pirom, and Chea Chhean.

I discuss with CCF librarian Pierre Andryc the possibility of more comics events.
Among others, an exchange proposal with Indonesia is being developed.

Alain Daniel is bringing back some archival comics from France. And in the market the other day, I find a comic that is obviously attempting to reprint a painted cover. It's clearly a copy of a pre-revolutionary story... who knows what hidden comics treasures are out there?

At 4:00 pm people begin taking down their displays. We load what we have into the truck, it's good to wrap things up!

Next Exposition: Siem Reap, January! See you then!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Lire en Fête Day Two

A quieter day after the frenzy of Lire en Fête's opening.

At the Bande Dessinée Khmer booth, we hand out dossiers about the local comics scene, and sell comics by Em Satya, Or Yuthea, and Im Sokha, among others. We also have some copies of 1960's Reamker comics (the Cambodian Ramayana), kindly donated from the private collection of Dr. Alain Daniel.

We keep these out to read, and receive a number of inquiries: Where can I buy these? Can I copy them? Regretfully, there is no public home for these just yet. But in the future we hope to create a historical archive of comics. The difficulty is allowing access to local readers without the comics getting into the hands of bootleggers.

Several librarians stop by to ask about including comics in their library. Just as tobacco is the 'gateway drug' to harder stuff, I think that comics are the 'gateway drug' to a love of reading. This is our pitch to them.

We also have a copy of 'Impasse et Rouge' by French/Khmer artist Phousera Ing. I am hoping someday that 'Impasse et Rouge', 'Sept Mois au Cambodge'and 'Palaces' are carried at local bookshops, that would be great to see.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Lire en Fête

Same Exposition, new role.

After a morning of preparation and rearranging by the CCF staff, the display area is changed into a conference hall.

With our comics art on the walls at Centre Culturel Français, and the comics loudspeaker truck in action, now comics meets the world of publishing at Lire en Fête, a book fair featuring most publishers in Cambodia. There's a considerable number of non profit publishers here, as well as some well organized commercial ones. Along with Monument Books, Reyum, Sovann Phoum, and the Nou Hach Literary Journal, Bande Dessinée Khmer is also given a table. This is a good move from CCF; many artists see themselves more as illustrators than authors.

Em Satya joins us for the first day and signs some of his comics. Also making an appearance is Im Sokha and Sin Yun Pirom.

The real excitement is reserved for the evening. CCF's Carnets d'Asie bookshop has its grand opening and a big crowd turns out. Party at cafe CCF, if you take a peek you can see the comics lining the walls.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Loudspeaker Truck

How do people advertise films in Cambodia? Why, they rent a truck. With a big sign, and a loudspeaker. Then they proceed to drive up and down the street, loudly advertising the show.

For this exposition, we wanted to break the 'audience barrier' and get people who usually wouldn't go to an exposition about comics. On the top of my list? A loudspeaker truck. And thanks to SDV Cambodge, here it is.

If you can loudly advertise cheap entertainment, why not extend that to comic books? We'll see what the reaction is.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Exposition Continues

So you may be asking, where did the art go? The French Cultural Centre has knocked down a wall to make more room for its book festival, Lire en Fete. The Exposition panels will be back up shortly, and the childrens' art is still at Cafe CCF.

On November 4, 5 and 6 come to Centre Culturel Français to see the artists in person as they meet the public and publishers at Lire En Fete. And those of you overseas, here is a look at this weekend's Cambodge Soir writeup. (Thanks Francois!)

Lire en Fete information

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cafe CCF

is worth a peek for the childrens' art featured there! It's from Phare Ponleu Salapak Art School in Battambang, where Sylvain Moizie and Lisa Mandel ('Sept Mois Au Cambodge') have taught.

Thanks to Piseth and Sereiroath for their help!

And speaking of Phare, Tor Vutha and Mao Soviet have brought down an 'Emaki' box to explain the art form to the students at the French Cultural Centre, Phnom Penh!

More pictures to follow!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Rencontre / Encounter


Our Rencontre (Encounter) was a success! Our panel included Uth Roeun (Association of Cambodian Artist Friends),Dr. Alain Daniel (EFEO) (above)

Y Lida (Art Teacher, Royal University of Fine Arts)

Neth Sokunthea (Cambodian Book Sector Federation, above), and Lim Santapheap, SIPAR.

One effort in particular is archiving old comics, some amazing samples of which have been provided by Dr. Daniel.

Here's CCF Librarian Pierre Andryc,

looking happy with our list of recommendations, which you can see in
French and English.