Four Creative Workshops (2022)

During the second semester of the 2021-22 academic year, we welcomed spearheading Thai artists Peeraphat Kittisuwat, Faan Peeti, Superfah Jellyfish and Isaree Pipatpongsa who held workshops in three different courses, with the goal of introducing our Inter CommArts Thai and exchange students to new graphic and narrative techniques in order to develop their visual literacy & composition skills in preparation of their final creative projects.


February 22, 2022. First on-site guest lecture/workshop in 2 years! The Inter CommArts students of my Creative Writing (Section 11: Experimental Comics) course welcomed Thai designer and cartoonist khun Peeraphat Kittisuwat, founder of P. Library Design Studio. After introducing us to his different works (in experimental and live-drawing animation, mural painting, book design of The Art of Thai Comics…) related to his stunning cutout & double-sided non-linear comics leporello in-between, khun Peeraphat invited our students to play with his book’s print proofs to compose new looped graphic narratives by cutting/pasting/rearranging sequences with new “twists”. The 11 students presented their narratives at the end of the workshop, getting comments and feedbacks from our guest. PS: it felt good to get back to a communal creative experience with the students (while respecting all Covid safety measures).

Some works by guest artist Peeraphat Kittisuwat:

Students at work during Peeraphat Kittisuwat’s workshop:

Students’ presentations in front of the classroom, and some graphic narratives produced during the workshop:


March 07, 2022. The Inter CommArts students of my Creative Writing (Section 10: Non-Fiction Graphic Narratives) course welcomed Thai artists Faan Peeti (book illustrator and cartoonist who explored creative panel layouts in her Manustrip series for a day magazine) and Superfah Jellyfish (painter, tattoo artist, and author of challenging old-school zines such as Having Sex First Time and The Intimates). They held two creative workshops exploring the symbolic use of comics panels/borders and body positivity through acrylic painting with markers. These were wonderful and inspiring midterm workshops meant to prepare the students for their final creative project. [All safety measures were respected with mandatory masks, hand-washing, and ATK tests before the lesson for all participants].

Our students with guest artists Faan Peeti & Superfah Jellyfish, and yours truly.

A short introduction, by yours truly, on creative uses of comics panels preceded Faan Peeti’s workshop.

Some works by guest artist Faan Peeti:

Opening of Faan Peeti’s first solo exhibition “Yindee’s Mysterious Friends” at River City, 2022.

Some works by guest artist Superfah Jellyfish:

Pictures from Faan Peeti’s talk and workshop on the creative use of comics panels/borders. Students were then asked to compose an autobiographical or autofictional comics page playing with the symbolism of comics panels/borders.

Pictures from Superfah Jellyfish’s talk and workshop on the creative use of acrylic painting and black markers to address body positivity.


March 29, 2022. Fourth and final guest lecture/workshop for the semester. The Inter CommArts students of my Imaginative Communication course welcomed Thai artist Isaree Pipatpongsa (Izary P. Pipat). Khun Isaree talked about her thesis Rape culture awareness campaign through the female perspectives and Shojo Manga influences (School of Fine and Applied Arts, Bangkok University), with an introduction to the history of Shōjo Manga, her take on the genre to address the issue of Rape Culture in Thailand, her thesis process and design concepts, and a presentation of the resulting [and stunning] A1 comics digital prints, animation and journey kit. The students then participated in a workshop, revisiting Shōjo Manga pages with various techniques (drawing, tracing paper layers, screentones, diplopia effect, collage…) to reveal insidious aspects of the Rape Culture. It was a fascinating talk and highly meaningful and creative workshop! [All safety measures were respected with mandatory masks, hand-washing, and ATK tests before the lesson for all participants].

Pictures from Isaree Pipatpongsa’s talk, with an introduction to the history of Shōjo Manga, her take on the genre to address the issue of Rape Culture in Thailand, her thesis process and design concepts.

The students got the opportunity to take a close look at Isaree Pipatpongsa’s stunning A1 comics digital prints and thesis journey kit.

Students were provided with relevant manga pages, and their tracing paper versions as well as screentone sheets. Applying various techniques (drawing, tracing paper layers, screentones, diplopia effect, collage, black-out poetry…), they composed new pages addressing the Rape Culture issue and the victim’s traumatic experience. Here are some pictures of the workshop, with guidance by Isaree Pipatpongsa, and of the class presentations and the resulting graphic narratives.

Our students with guest artist Isaree Pipatpongsa.

 My warmest thanks to khun Peeraphat Kittisuwat, khun Faan Peeti, khun Superfah Jellyfish and khun Isaree Pipatpongsa for these wonderful talks and workshops!

“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):

#MeanwhileHereComics #การ์ตูนที่นี่ Challenge 2/2

As an assignment for the “Visual Media Studies” course (GenEd course offered by the Faculty of Communications ArtsChulalongkorn University, Thailand), students from various faculties and departments (Architecture, Communication Design, Psychology, Engineering, Literature…) were asked to explore the concept of “windows on time in a single place” developed by American cartoonist Richard McGuire with his two stories titled “Here” (1989 in the pages of RAW, and 2014 as an extended graphic novel). The complete groundbreaking graphic narrative can be read on this post: “Here” by Richard McGuire.

Here are some of the results, tackling topics such as Thai political turmoil, adoption, Black Lives Matter, but also time travel, family ties and… cats. Many more results from the CommArts students are also posted on this page.

PS: click on the comics pages for higher resolution.

Comics by June (Malisa), student at CommDe Y3.
Comics by Nat, student at INDA (Archi) Y3.
Comics by Nattamon, student at INDA (Archi) Y2.
Comics by Palmy (Thanita), student at JIPP (Psycho) Y2.
Comics by Kaohom (Nannapat), student at INDA (Archi) Y2.
Comics by Prim, student at CommDe Y3.
Comics by Levi, student at INDA (Archi) Y2.
Comics by Khem, student at INDA (Archi) Y3.
Comics by Pang and Tawan, students at CommDe Y3. Page 1/2.
Comics by Pang and Tawan, students at CommDe Y3. Page 2/2.
Comics by Nina (Namida), student at INDA (Archi) Y2.
Comics by Grace & Win, students at CommDe Y3. Page 1/2.
Comics by Grace & Win, students at CommDe Y3. Page 2/2.

Non-Fiction Comics Composition Course [part 2/2]

After several preparatory assignments [see dedicated post for details], CommArts students from the Creative Writing: Non-Fiction Comics Composition course [Chulalongkorn University, Thailand] were asked to produce their final assignment: an autobiographic comics. As mentioned in the previous post, the two main challenges were to compose a short comics without prior art training, and to write an autobiographic narrative in a country where the autobiographical genre is almost absent from local literature (and comics) as it is seen as ill-mannered in Thai culture to talk about oneself, and as shortcomings or mishaps are not to be disclosed in a context where [to save (i.e. preserve)] the face or self-image is essential. Their final and individual comics projects weren’t limited in size, length or technique; each student had to pick the best fitted format to convey his/her autobiographic narrative. The stories were composed over a period of one month, instead of two due to the pandemic outbreak. Individual comment sessions were held weekly via the Zoom platform.

Here are some of the resulting graphic narratives! More coming soon!

[All artworks are reprinted with the consent of the students, and remain their property. Some nicknames have been changed at student’s request].

Autobiographic comics by student B. (with some help from her sister).

Autobiographic (GIF) comics by exchange student Alex

Autobiographic comics by student Smile

Page 8/8 of student Smile’s autobiographic comics.

Autobiographic GIF comics by student May

Autobiographic comics by student Por (with some help from Peera Tayanukorn)

Student Por’s autobiographic comics. Click on pic to enlarge.

Autobiographic comics by student Pranang (a handheld game console format containing a long comics strip that can be scrolled manually and with a main character -Pranang’s alter ego- which can be moved up and down).

Autobiographic comics by student Jay

Page 4/4 of Jay’s autobiographic comics.

Autobiographic comics by student G.

Autobiographic comics by student Pin

Page 3/3 of student Pin’s autobiographic comics.

Autobiographic graphic narrative by student Paint

Autobiographic comics by student Plai

Student Plai’s autobiographic comics. Click on pic to enlarge.

Pages from exchange student Meg Hoogendam’s digital comics book on HSP

Autobiographic comics by student Eve

Click on pic to enlarge.
Click on pic to enlarge.

Autobiographic comics by student Rika

Autobiographic comics by student Frongki

Autobiographic comics by student Pop

Autobiographic comics by student Namfon

Autobiographic comics by student Pecky


PS: I’m so proud of you all ! #ProudAjarnNicolas

A Refugee’s Journey: Adapting Nick Sousanis’ “Grid and Gestures”

During the second lesson of the “Imaginative Communication” course [a Comparative Media course in which we explore the theme “To Say the Unutterable” by analyzing and comparing the depiction of Psychic Trauma in various visual media, from comics to animated & live-action movies, tv series or choreographies], I asked my Thai & exchange students at the Faculty of Communication Arts (Chulalongkorn University) to do the “Grid and Gestures” exercise developed by Nick Sousanis, professor of Humanities & Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University, and author of the groundbreaking comics dissertation Unflattening published by Harvard University Press in 2015.

[Course: Imgt Comm, 2800217, International Program, CommArts, Chulalongkorn University, 20 January 2020, with 35 students]

Above and below: CommArts students at work on the “Grid and Gestures” exercise


The purpose statement for the exercise provided by Nick Sousanis is as follows:

 “So here’s how to think about Grids & Gestures. Quickly, have a look at your ceiling tiles or other grid-ish things around you. If you then imagine putting these features to music, you might have regular long notes on the tiles, some shorter notes, and maybe rapid staccato beats on a ventilation grill. Ok, now come back to a comics page – and think about the idea that in comics, time is written in space. Comics are static – and it’s in the way we organize the space that we can convey movement and the passage of time. Unlike storyboards, to which comics are frequently compared, in comics we care not only about what goes on in the frame, but we care about the size of the panel, its shape, orientation, what it’s next to, what it’s not, and its overall location within the page composition. The way you orchestrate these elements on the page is significant to the meaning conveyed – there are some strong correspondences between comics and architecture in terms of thinking about the way the entire space operates together.

Having briefly thought about this, I want you to take a single sheet of paper (any size, shape will do) and drawing with a pencil or pen, carve it up in some grid-esque fashion that represents the shape of your day. It can be this day, a recent day, a memorable day, or a typical/amalgamation day. And then inhabit these spaces you’ve drawn on the page with lines, marks, or gestures that represent your activity or emotional state during those times represented. The emphasis here is to do your best to not draw things. (You can always do that later!) And also, you can leave space blank on your page – but that has to mean something. This isn’t writing where you can finish a final sentence mid-page. Every inch of the composition is important in comics – so be aware of that as well. Finally, when I do this in class or with groups, I give people about 5-10 minutes to do it, so they have to make decisions quickly. Try to give yourself a similar limit.”

Nick Sousanis (excerpted from this page)

Above: CommArts student at work on the “Grid and Gestures” exercise

Nanz 01
“Grid and Gestures” by Thai student Nanz. Description: “(1) I wake up late so I started the page with the cloud shape which refers to my dream. Then I have to hurry to take a shower and prepare myself to go to the University. I go to university by BTS [skytrain] and the station is crowded. When I arrive at the station near the campus, I notice that the sky is gloomy. (2) Suddenly, it starts raining. I’m stuck at the station and I’m worried I’ll be late in class. Moreover, I’m hungry since I forgot to eat something this morning. I have to figure out the way to reach my Faculty on time. I try to book a Grab taxi but there is no response. I have to walk under the rain to try to catch a taxi. (3) Finally, I reach the Faculty and I’m in class on time. When the course is finished, I come back home and take a shower. Before going to bed, I watch a movie on Netflix. Then I go to sleep. :)”

Adapting the exercise to depict a refugee’s journey

After this first exercise was completed, I asked the students to draw a second “Grids and Gestures” page but, instead of depicting a personal day/travel/experience, they had to draw the perilous travel of Syrian refugee Rania Mustafa Ali, 20, who had filmed her journey from the ruins of Kobane in Syria to Austria.

“Her footage shows what many refugees face on their perilous journey to Europe. Rania is cheated by smugglers, teargassed and beaten at the Macedonian border. She risks drowning in the Mediterranean, travelling in a boat meant to hold 15 people but stuffed with over 50. Those with disabilities are carried across raging rivers and muddy fields in their wheelchairs.” (The Guardian).

During the 22′ footage, some students drew the “Grids and Gestures” of Rania as her narrative was unfolding while other students preferred to take some notes and draw Rania’s grid right after the end of the film.

Students watching, drawing and/or taking notes during the projection of Rania’s footage.

Student Paar drawing Rania’s “Grid and Gestures” during the projection.

Student drawing Rania’s “Grid and Gestures” during the projection.

The outcome has been positive as students focused [more than usual] their attention on the emotions and struggles experienced by the refugees, trying to capture Rania’s emotional states, and discovering -as they were drawing on a limited space- the physicality and volume of incessant ups-and-downs (hopeful/hopeless…) and turns of events (wait/treks/dead ends/returns) faced during these precarious and usually dramatic odysseys. I’ll try to find time to study the results of this experiment in detail, and see if it tends to raise awareness/mindfulness (Sati/สติ) and empathy towards refugees. A promising exercise.

Here are some of the “grids and gestures” depicting the journey of Syrian refugee Rania Mustafa Ali and composed by CommArts students:

Nanz 02
Ranias’s journey by Thai student Nanz.

Palmmy 02
Ranias’s journey by Thai student Palmmy.

Rika 02
Ranias’s journey by Japanese student Rika.

Paar 02
Ranias’s journey by Thai student Paar.

Meg 02
Ranias’s journey by Dutch exchange student Meg.

Por 02
Ranias’s journey by Thai student Por.

Ink 02

Ranias’s journey by Thai student Ink.

Pure 02
Ranias’s journey by Japanese exchange student Pure.


“No Escape” by Patrick McEown, CAN, 1999

No Escape McEown complete 01 10

“No Escape” by Patrick McEown. Click on pic for full size. ©1999 Fantagraphics/McEown

No Escape by Patrick McEown (CAN), in: Dave Cooper’s Weasel #1, Fantagraphics Books, US, August 1999.

©1999 Fantagraphics/McEown

No Escape McEown Arrow 04 05 06
Excerpt of a 10-page non-linear/loop/polyptych comics. Pages 4, 5 and 6 of Patrick McEown’s No Escape. Arrows not in the original. ©1999 Fantagraphics/McEown

To read the story in diaporama:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To read the story in a full-size continuous polyptych, click on the picture below:

No Escape McEown complete 01 10
“No Escape” by Patrick McEown. ©1999 Fantagraphics/McEown

By two pages:

No Escape McEown double 01 02
Pages 1 & 2 (out of 10) of Patrick McEown’s No Escape. ©1999 Fantagraphics/McEown

No Escape McEown double 03 04
Pages 3 & 4 (out of 10) of Patrick McEown’s No Escape. ©1999 Fantagraphics/McEown

No Escape McEown double 05 06
Pages 5 & 6 (out of 10) of Patrick McEown’s No Escape. ©1999 Fantagraphics/McEown

No Escape McEown double 07 08
Pages 7 & 8 (out of 10) of Patrick McEown’s No Escape. ©1999 Fantagraphics/McEown

No Escape McEown double 09 10
Pages 9 & 10 (out of 10) of Patrick McEown’s No Escape. ©1999 Fantagraphics/McEown

“Glenn Ganges in: ‘Time Travelling'” by Kevin Huizenga, US, 2006

Glenn Ganges in: “Time Travelling” by Kevin Huizenga (US), in GANGES #1, Fantagraphics Books, USA, 2006. More on Kevin Huizenga’s website (over here) and blog (over there).

Copyright ©2006 Fantagraphics/Huizenga

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Page 1/5 of Glenn Ganges in: “Time Travelling” by Kevin Huizenga. Copyright ©2006 Fantagraphics/Huizenga

Huizenga ganges.2
Page 2/5 of Glenn Ganges in: “Time Travelling” by Kevin Huizenga. Copyright ©2006 Fantagraphics/Huizenga

Huizenga ganges.3
Page 3/5 of Glenn Ganges in: “Time Travelling” by Kevin Huizenga. Copyright ©2006 Fantagraphics/Huizenga

Huizenga ganges.4
Page 4/5 of Glenn Ganges in: “Time Travelling” by Kevin Huizenga. Copyright ©2006 Fantagraphics/Huizenga

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Page 5/5 of Glenn Ganges in: “Time Travelling” by Kevin Huizenga. Copyright ©2006 Fantagraphics/Huizenga

“Brother John” (in French) by Jerome Charyn & André Juillard, USA/FR, 1990

Brother John (in French), story by Jerome Charyn (USA) & art by André Juillard (FR), in: USA Magazine (L’Écho des savanes) spécial été #48/49, Albin Michel, FR, June 1990.

Brother 01
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Brother 02
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Brother 03
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Brother 04
PAGE 4/9

Brother 05
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Brother 06
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Brother 07
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Brother 08
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Brother 09
PAGE 9/9

Brother 00
The complete story

“Greyshirt: How Things Work Out” by Alan Moore & Rick Veitch, UK/USA, 1999

Greyshirt: How Things Work Out, script by Alan Moore (UK) and art by Rick Veitch (USA), in: Tomorrow Stories #2, Wildstorm Productions, America’s Best Comics imprint, USA, November 1999. The Greyshirt character is a pastiche of Will Eisner‘s The Spirit.

“In one of the Greyshirt stories in Tomorrow Stories, we did something very peculiar with the panel layouts. We had an apartment building, the same building, upon ever page. There are four horizontal panels on each page. Then, to add another element, we made it so that the top panels are all taking place in 1999, the second panel down on each page is taking place in 1979, the panel beneath that takes place in 1959, and on the bottom panel of each page, you’re seeing the bottom of the building as it was in 1939, when it was a fairly new building. We’re able to tell, by some quite complicated story gymnastics, quite an interesting little story that is told over nearly sixty years of this building’s life, with characters getting older depending upon which panel and which time period they’re in. There’s something that you couldn’t do in any medium other than comics.Alan Moore (as cited on The Great Comic Book Heroes website), 2001.

Dear students, this story was later published in the collection Tomorrow Stories book 1 (soft cover) by DC Comics.

Copyright ©2004 DC Comics/Moore/Veitch

Grey 1
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Grey 2
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Grey 3
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Grey 4
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Grey 5
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Grey 6
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Grey 7
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Grey 8
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Grey 10
PAGE 1/8 (and cover of “Tomorrow Stories” #2)

Grey 11
PAGES 2 & 3/8

Grey 12
PAGES 4 & 5/8

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PAGES 6 & 7/8

Grey 14
PAGE 8/8 (along original artwork)


Innovative/Notable Webcomics (I): Memory Lane


In The Bloody Footprint (link) published by The New York Times on February 5, 2015, American multidisciplinary artist, illustrator and cartoonist Lilli Carré explores a personal memory yet later reclaimed by one of her childhood friends. Who experienced the event and who made its recollection her own? An intimate and effective take on the blurred contours of memory through a clever blend of prose, comics and GIF animation.

MIRROR by Chris Ware & John Kuramoto

More animated film than webcomics (yet using comics features), Mirror (link) is the result of a collaboration between The New Yorker and the radio program This American Life.  Through a cover for The New Yorker and its expansion as a short animated feature, extraordinary American cartoonist Chris Ware – with the assistance of John Kuramoto -revisits a radio interview (and an interesting reflection) of writer Hanna Rosin and her daugther about parenting, makeup and teenage self-awareness. Published by The New Yorker on November 30, 2015.

ME AND THE UNIVERSE by Anders Nilsen

In Me and the Universe (link), American cartoonist Anders Nilsen cleverly combines diagrammatic storytelling and the infinite canvas feature to explore his place in the Universe, from ancestral past to more-or-less present and distant future. Published by the New York Times on September 24, 2014.


Echoing Anders Nilsen‘s Me and the Universe, Chris Ware‘s Why I Love Comics (link) also depicts an artist’s lifetime on Earth. Playing with iconic solidarity and text spatialisation, the first word of each rounded panel spells out an acrostic hidden message. Published by The New York Times on October 16, 2015. Note also the epigraph:

“Cartooning is the art of turning time back into space.” Art Spiegelman.