Wherever there are people and pens, comics seem to spring up. This long, comprehensive story on comics in Cambodia documents the emergence of a cartooning scene through the dust and haze of past political upheaval as a bunch of young folk try to make their dreams come true:
In the sunny studio of Sonleuk Thmey in Battambang, the future for young Cambodian artists looks bright.
Prak Ke, 22, a young Khmer graphic artist and cartoonist is explaining his plans for the future. Though he is in no doubt as to the difficulty of the path he has chosen to tread, he seems confident enough.
“I want to be a comic artist,” Prak says. “It is hard, but I will put in the effort.”
Examples of actual Cambodian comics are not easily googleable, but this gallery shows the efforts from various workshops over the years. The efforts thus far are pretty rudimentary, but it’s exciting and encouraging to see a native comics scene emerging from whole cloth.
Above illustration by Hiek Vila.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.