Posts Tagged ‘battambang’

PHARE Comics Workshop 2005

Friday, August 5th, 2005

PHARE Comics Workshop 2005

Lisa Mandel comes to meet me at Sunrise Cafe, just a few blocks from the bus station. Her recent travel was fun, she wants to see more of Cambodia.

We have a coffee and long chat. Lisa is ready to take comics to the next level here, and I’m only too game to help. We brainstorm some draft plans for teaching next year, and some follow-up publishing as well. Then we head out to see how the students are doing.

It’s always fun to visit PHARE art school. Check out this funky house the teachers live in.


Tor Vutha is away in France this time, but Srey Bandol is helping out as always.


Lisa is here for her fourth year to teach comics to the students. She and Sylvain-Moizie originally came out in 2001 to teach, and that first session resulted in the book ‘Sept Mois Au Cambodge‘. After catching the ‘Cambodia bug’ they have returned regularly to help at Phare art school and have facilitated some impressive student work. Sylvain can’t make it this year but is publishing a new book of Cambodia comic memoirs in France.

Collectively the teachers have facilitated some impressive comics, and this time the theme is ‘ghost stories’.


For the first time in several years, they’ve actually been given some money to print! Lisa and Srey Bandol have prepared French and Khmer language versions of the comic, which will be assembled with the help of Libellus Association.

But their scanner isn’t working. I set up my laptop and scanner and get moving. The students are putting the last touches on their work. The scanner is a bit wobbly at first. Lisa needs some samples to take back to France, and we should have backups of the art.


Finally I realize the voltage is incorrect, so I connect using a power regulator and the scanner starts to work. The students watch me for a while but once they realize how tedious scanning really is most drift away.

I want to scan not only the student work from this year but also earlier comics. There is some amazing art at the school that needs archiving.

Some luscious full color pages here. It’s great to see the students flex their art muscles, they incorporate elements from their own lives that really make these works engaging and fun.


After a scanning stint, Lisa uses my laptop and writes a draft proposal for next year. My French is not perfect but I’ll use the writeup as homework for my next tutoring session.

I will take the finished comic art (text will be added later) down to Graphic Roots in Phnom Penh, and share art and ideas with our small world of publishers and funders. The scanner I’ll leave at Phare for a future visit and more scanning, it’s three years old and I don’t think it’ll survive another bus trip.

Tags: Comics Cambodia