“I cut & cut”

Comics page by Lychee Vanabud, 2022.

The perks of teaching comics composition; being offered some of the sweetest gifts. My warmest thanks to former CommDe thesis advisee & soon-to-be Graphic Storytelling student at LUCA Beeldverhaal (Belgium), mademoiselle Lychee Vanabud Chaiprakorb, for this comics page which nicely encapsulates what my job is (sometimes) about, some nice comics features (non-linear narrative; De Luca/Siamese murals effects…), and an important lesson: comics help us to cut across boundaries. As Shane Denson puts it: the comics panel’s frame marks “a boundary that defines the image as a unit, thus separating it from the space around it, but it also marks a zone of connection and in fact invites the viewer to cross its threshold, to pass into the territory it defines” (Framing, Unframing, Reframing: Retconning the Transnational Work of Comics, 2013). It’s one of the many beautiful paradoxes of comics making; drawing borders that are meant to be respected AND passed through, in a constant back and forth, connecting each image with the ones around and beyond, intertwining the individual [panel] and the collective [page] in a all-at-once & one-with-everything unique experience. Little Muay gets a bit hurt at the end of the page, and that might be another lesson; comics’ scaffolding composition is no easy feat.

Thank you dear Lychee for this great page; it means a lot to me. Keep crossing borders, from Thailand to Belgium, from each panel to the others! A. Nicolas

More on Lychee’s comics thesis (a graphic novel on the gentrification and urbanization of Bangkok from the locals’ perspective): https://www.commde-creativewalk.com/#/muays-diary/

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