After taking comic classes at her university, she began to embrace her creativity through drawing. “I noticed our Khmer comic art was so popular in the past, but now it’s dying out, and I just don’t want to lose this awesome art, so I start it out on my own,” Bonsovathary said.
One of her most popular comics is Ginger The Kindergartener, or Komarey Khnei in Khmer. The ideas for the comic are inspired by her mother’s childhood – a time when kids were still walking around shirtless. With a glowing smile, Bonsovathary said, “I grew up listening to my mum’s stories, and I realise she has a lot of funny moments when she was a child. I started to make more comics based on childhood memories, and that’s how my mother’s childhood was incorporated into my art,”
Self-publishing on her blog can limit the number of her readers, but she doesn’t aim for a large audience. “For now, I’m just concentrating on getting my story finished and well-polished first.” She explained.
An IYDCPC student hits the big time with a feature in the Phnom Penh Post. Read the whole thing here, and Sovathary’s blog here.
NEW comics from the ladies of the PUC class have been posted on the comics section! Go look and marvel at the amazing stories. Download them and pass em around. Read them multiple times!
My time with the IYDCPC has come to a close – at least in Cambodia. This cute drawing sent to me by a PUC student about sums up the gamut of emotions I am feeling about leaving:
That’s correct, I feel like an airborne airplane head, confused about whether I am up or down due to the flowery appearance of the clouds. I am heartbroken to leave all of my new friendships – but excited to begin new projects abroad and reflect on the experience for potential next-times. I will also be scanning more student work and other Khmer comics for you to enjoy. They are pretty amazing, I must say, and that’s not indifferent enthusiasm. There may even be a Khmer centric blog in the works by some of the comics ladies.
The zine/comic archive is now officially up at PUC. Librarian Kolap Mao and I will be collaborating together with IYDCPC while I’m in the US, making it larger and encouraging past students to continue to contribute to the collection. Plans for the future include moving the archive to a more public location as space become available.
For now, please partake in this confectionery creation by my dear friend Care – a sketchbook to keep me tied over until I get back to Cambodia:
As my time with the IYDCPC comes to a close, I am proud to announce the publication of 11 new Khmer Comic Books produced by the ladies at PUC. And gosh, am I thoroughly impressed with the quality of work created from a bunch of ladies who, a little over a month ago, barely knew what a comic was. Stories include (but are certainly not limited to): talking food, the trials of childhood, growing up in a cosmic monarchy, facebook romances, etc. Many comics depict characters having to navigate a moral dilemma. Perhaps notable – only one comic ends in tragedy. Check back to the comics section soon to partake in these marvels.
Our last class culminated into a massive self-publishing pizza party – in which we gorged on strange seafood pizza fusion and discussed the potential for more comics making in the future.
It’s Christmas! And PUC’s campus has been closed down for celebratory purposes. In light of our situation, a few dedicated students decided to meet for a comic making extravaganza on their day off. We sipped sugary holiday drinks as they finished up their final projects.