“Asian Environmental Issues”

September 21st, 2007

Stray Cat

July 7th, 2007
Stray Cat

doraemon 01

I stumbled out of bed today, unshaven, in search of noodles. On the way hit the newsstand. Then did a double-take.

Doraemon’s in Cambodia.

Doraemon’s in Khmer. At 25 cents a pop. (1000 riel).

For those unfamilar with the character, Doraemon is the embodiment of fun and adventure, star of manga and anime alike. With a 4th-dimensional wormhole pocket, he has no end of resources for his schoolboy pal Nobita. Kind of a neutered Hanuman, if you will.

I bought four copies. One to read, one to give to Khmer friends to check the nuances, one for the archives, one for the Japanese Embassy. Because it didn’t have a copyright.

I also bought a few of the 1000 riel books that have a distinctly shojo look to them.
It’s definitely time to wake up and smell the cat food.

shojo 01
shojo 02

Dropping chili paste and lime into my noodles, watching the ice sublimate off my coffee, I can see that the cheap joke books have slowly created a new market for cheap comics. Modern, well designed comics, not the 500 riel comics that are reprinted from 20 years ago.

big funny
Unfortunately, if Cambodia goes the same route as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, it will be flooded with manga. Because it’s much cheaper to translate than to create original material. And there’s a field tested, proven back-catalogue. All ready for bootlegging.

I have great affection for manga and great distaste for intellectual property theft. Not only are the Doraemon bootleggers stealing from Shogakukan and mangaka, they’re taking potential shelf space from local creators.

Cambodia’s comics scene began in the 1960s with a largely French influence. I feel a little weird, as if the tectonic plates have shifted just a little bit to the East, and I’m the only witness. A tiny event, but with tremendous repercussions for local art and literacy.

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More Silence

April 30th, 2007

More Silence

One Day Blog Silence

For today, at least.



Séra Workshop

March 28th, 2007

Séra Workshop

Séra Workshop
Khmer-French comic artist Phouséra (‘Séra’) Ing will be teaching a Workshop on Comics, aimed at young professionals.

Phnom Penh Dates are April 9 to April 12 – and after a short break, continuing/concluding April 18 – April 20th.

Séra is currently conducting a workshop at Phare Art School in Battambang.

Workshop Application – Khmer[PDF]
Workshop Application – French[PDF]

For the Phnom Penh Workshop, contact:

Responsable de la médiathèque du CCFdu Cambodge
214 rue Keo Chea (184)
Phnom Penh
(855) 012 802 702

muriel [dot] piffeteau [at] ccf-cambodge [dot] org

A Khmer Version of his graphic novel ‘Water and Earth’ will be available in Khmer shortly.
If you want to bump up the print run, pre-orders are encouraged

Emmanuelle Billier-Gauthier
Responsable du Développement/Development Manager
Centre de Ressources et de Documentation Cambodge Soir
Phnom Penh, Cambodge
ebgauthier [via] gmail [dot] com
00 855 (0)92 91 63 71

Séra Exhibition begins April 4th at Centre Culturel Français, Phnom Penh.



February 6th, 2007


Yay hooray:

While in Siem Reap, I got word that I had some mail sent to an old mail address.
(I’ve actually found mail here in ‘SR’ a lot more reliable than Phnom Penh.)


Lo and behold, a care package from Mandy Ord (above left) with some goodies, most notably the latest issue of Going Down Swinging, complete with a comic section featuring my favorite artists & assembled by our Ord!

Awww. I’m happy and homesick at the same time. There is some great stuff in this issue and the impact is naturally a bit more intense when you know the creators.

Off to a wedding. Life is schweet.

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