Over the past five years, I gathered hundreds of rare Thai comics in order to compose my research papers and the monograph The Art of Thai Comics: A Century of Strips and Stripes. As the endeavor is both costly and time-consuming, I have taken the initiative to archive and make accessible this collection for consultation by fellow scholars (Thai Studies, Comics Studies…) within the framework of academic research. I hope it will help foster, and accelerate, the much-needed development of Thai Comics Studies in both Thai and international academic spheres. The comics will be accessible on appointment when Covid restrictions are lifted. Some books -if they are not too fragile- can be borrowed for educational or curatorial purposes. You can contact me at Nicolas.V[at]chula.ac.th. The collection is located at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok (TH).
A lot remains to be done and mostly in terms of proper conservation (archival storage, acid-free sleeves, full restoration of heavily damaged 1930s newspaper strips) but funding remains problematic; it’s a private initiative and my personal budget is quite limited. When opportunity allows, more books will be acquired in order to offer a large array of publications, being illustrative of the Thai comics production in all its forms and manifestations with particular attention given to graphic narratives seen as landmarks in the development of the field.
- Nicolas Verstappen (Nicolas.V[at]chula.ac.th), lecturer at the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University.
The archiving is still in progress, with several hundreds of comic books and magazines (Chaiyapruek Katun magazines, KaiHuaRor magazines, katun lem la baht, a day magazines, graphic novels, alternative comics, zines and monographs) yet to be listed. Two listings -still in progress- are already available here. Information on format should be added soon. Codes are based on the system I implemented to organize illustrations and chapters in the monograph The Art of Thai Comics.
Link to the PDF of the Thai Comics collection from the 20th century, or 1930-1997 (excluding the Katun Lem La Baht production; see link below): LISTING THAI COMICS 20TH (update: 26 July 2021)
Link to the PDF of the Katun Lem La Baht (‘comic books sold one baht’) collection: LISTING THAI COMICS KLLB (update: 11 July 2021)
PS: a few years ago, I’ve also listed the comics resources available in Chulalongkorn University libraries: COMICS RESOURCES @ CHULA