Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Seediq Bale – Warriors of the Rainbow - Row-long Chiu

PUBLISHED BY 遠流 2011-2-1
PAGE : 302
ISBN: 9789573267515

Copyright Row-long Chiu & 遠流 Publishing house

Seediq Bale – Warriors of the Rainbow, a history documentary comic which take Row-long Chiu more than 10 year to finished its research and drawing, published in 2004 as its original name" Wushe Incident" and republished in 2011 with the adopted movie made by Wei Te-Sheng. WusheIncident was an action from Seediq ethnic (indigenous in Taiwan) to against the Japanese in 1930.

Author show the beautiful landscape with a realistic style, the costume with a very fine research, and the action with a excellent tempo. Reader could understand all the cause and consequence of this incident, the change of the position and the emotion, and the detail of the strategy of both in these 250 pages, a documentary comic with this scale is very rare in Taiwan. The time and the passion which Chiu spent, were not only for making a comic but also to express what he had been touched to the other.

Chiu went to Wu She by a coincidence, and he met someone who lived this incident and someone who work for the document of local history. Chiu is somebody who always want to clarify everything. He began to stay longtime in the tribe and became a real friend with these local people, that was why he could finally got a lot of discussion non official and personal. This is one of the most important part about a reported comic of a history documentary comic. If the other is not someone very intimate with author, it is very difficult to get a profound content or a personal position with only one interview, it's a question of confidence.

As a history documentary, this comic is very clear and affluent, we can understand how things happened, which is the first propose of the author. But all the composition of image and the structure follow the "action" and the development of the incident, but rarely put the focus on the character and the humanity, so it's not easy for the reader to notice the inner side and the spirit of the Seediq.

In the interview of Chiu, we saw him talked about how the Seediq treat something tough, the difficulty for them to speak out this incident, the important of Gaya, what Seediq Bale real means, and the special way the Seediq treat their enemy…etc. After these complete research if all these thing could be underline in this comic, i think it would be a more profound and influential work.

This comic is draw with a fine-illustration style, which we saw often on the history book. The research of costume and tool is very well-studied and the landscape and the architecture are full of complicated effect-lines. But after a huge work like these, the drawing lacks some personal character or style.

In the taiwan version, we can see the color design setting which Chiu made for the movie. This drawing has a very personal style, and we saw a clear segmentation between the Seediq who wearing in red and white and the Japanese army who wearing in green. I think it could be nice to use it in the comic (but anyway, the comic version made longtime before!). 

Although i mention a fews points could be perfect, but i still highly respect all the work for this book. and i also recommend you to read this book and understand the situation of an indigenous group under the colony, and how brave and battle-wise they are. 

In September, this book is going to publish in France, hope to see an english version very soon.

At the end , i would like to present you a Taiwanese music group who make a music album which is inspire from the Seediq culture and their history.

*Please apology of my english, i don't use english in my everyday life, so there must be a lot of error, but i still want to show people all kind of documentary work, specially about Asia. If there is any error, and you want to correct them, please feel free to leave a message. 

I also have a publishing house which produce Asia documentary graphic work, if you are interested in it, you can check out the website of SLOWORK PUBLISHING

Friday, June 28, 2013

Korean New Comic

Main Editor: KIM Dae Joong
Authors: KIM Eun SungLEE Kyung SeokJUNG Song HeePARK Gun WoongKO Young IlBAEK Jong MinCHOI Kyung Jin
Publishier: Joint Publishing HK
Picture Copyright Joint Publishing HK

Korean New Comic is a selection of 7 authors' work from Korea New Comic Publishing, Joint Publishing HK publish those short pieces in mandarin to introduce the Korean contemporary comic.

The main authors of New Comic are all about 30 years old, they have walked trough the anti- dictatorship democratic movement in 80s', and had a childhood where the comic was very popular.” 

The Korean comic has grown up with a dynamical politic ambiance and also with all the social reform movements. With the comic, the artists express naturally their concern about the society.
We can see the contradiction of the contemporary development of  Korea in their works, but they success to avoid to show their political position or their faction, and only describe the reality with their own point of view. Their mission is creating a style with their own character and
shaping the subjectivity in the same time.”
by editor Kim Dae Joong

KIM Eun Sung “The story of my mother”

An ordinary family history was told from an old mother over 80 years old in this comic. Beginning from the grandmother generation, than the mother's one and ending at daughter’s (author's) generation.

With this family story, author shows all the evolutions of Korea society in this hundred years. For the moment, Kim Eun Sung has finished the first part about her mother's young life in a village of north Korean, the second will be her life after marriage and how the family took refuge during the Korean war; the third one will be how the whole family begin their life in the south Korea.

LEE Kyung Seok “The people in the village of coal mine”

LEE Kyung Seok began his creation about the bottom of society from the 90s' and became a representative author in this domain. From the influence of rock music, crosstalk culture and the gong-fu movie, we could see a lot of movement like the quick montage in his drawing, and also, a kind of black humor in his sadness theme.

In “The people in the village of coal mine”, every worker know that they will leave the world by the cancer very soon, the main character don't want to know the result of his medical analyze, so he ask the doctor to write on his back. Since that, he carries on back his life.

This story use a fiction way to present the fact of the bottom life of miner. It's not easy to accept their fate even they have no choice, all this fate is hard to transfer in words ( when the main character decide to know what medicine wrote on this back, no one want to tell him the truth ).

JUNG Song Hee “The landscape from the roof” – a bagger or a robber

“if the country is a program or a structure, how people coded this program? And how people form this structure? I really want to understand the human feeling and thinking about living inside this country structure. What effect them? They change with which kind of condition? And what did they became after? “ This is the intention of this documentary work of JUNG Song Hee.

The first part “The landscape from the roof” is about her life during elementary school, this piece “a bagger or a robber” talk about a neighbor in her class who has always a lot of candy, JUNG want to get some candy from him, in the beginning she bags, and at the end she robs and she kicks the boy. And which is important is more about her struggles, her wondering and how she defend herself.

The author face on her darkness from the childhood honestly, and describe her inner transformation smoothly. At the end of this story, the little girl decide to never be a bagger or robber anymore, not because of a blame, but from her inner understanding, compassion and her shame.

JUNG Song Hee present a sharped and naked vision only with a simple storyboard and a tender drawing-style.

PARK Gun Woong “Hong's story”

The theme of PARK Gun Woong's comic is around the miserable contemporary history of Korea. Since 1980, he put some traditional technics of Korean painting into his comic. Hong's story describe the process of Jeju Uprising in 1984 by a little boy's eyes.

Jeju Uprising is also know as Jeju Massacre, Between 14,000 and 60,000 individuals were killed in fighting between various factions on the island or were executed. The brutal suppression of this rebellion by the South Korean army resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, the destruction of many villages on the island, and sparking rebellions on the Korean mainland.

In 1947, United Nation controlled the election, re-found the South Korean regime and used the scorched earth strategy, the people of Jeju were specially resentful about the Military dictatorship, so mainly all of the 220,000 population participated this uprising.

This work is painted with a engraving style, in the gray tone, we could only see the yellow from the rapeseed field and the red from the blood of people, Jeju island was scorched like this....

KO Young Il ”You have to talk, Young Il!”

KO Young Il, who was born in Seoul, is an activist and an artist. In this chapter, he describe how he participate the student's social movement with his friends in the early 90s, and also their live in nowadays. 

Young Il was in the prison for a moment because of these anti-government movement. This comic present the anguish or the frustration of life and politic for the young people today in Korea.

BAEK Jong Min "DEN DEN DEN DEN !!!!"

This is my favorite one in this collection. The main characters don't want to shake this world, they look like don't do anything and don't care about anything. Just like“Waiting for the Godot”--nothing really happens, only two bored people said some stupid things. 

BAEK Jong Min try to use an ordinary conversation from his friend and him to show a relaxing ambiance inside a stressful society.

CHOI Kyung Jin "19 Years Old"

CHOI Kyung Jin grown up at the south border of Seoul, she is an outsider in the school and in this city. This short story show her high school life : be drunk all the day, stole in the store and get beat by her father. 

She draw well since she was a child, as the queen of troubles, she also draw a porno-comic about her teacher. All her friend envy that she could draw, because the young at this age worried so much about their future and already began to looking for a job. 

At the end of story, Kyung Jin sat by the river with her mother, just after beaten by her father, she said 
“It's so hurt and so terrible, but if I don't feel it , it mean i'm numbness.... the world is so ridiculous.”
"When would father stop to beat me?.........When would me stop to make trouble....?" 

*Please apology of my english, i don't use english in my everyday life, so there must be a lot of error, but i still want to show people all kind of documentary work, specially about Asia. If there is any error, and you want to correct them, please feel free to leave a message. 

I also have a publishing house which produce Asia documentary graphic work, if you are interested in it, you can check out the website of SLOWORK PUBLISHING

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Une Vie Chinoise / A Chinese Life

AuthorLI KUNWU(李昆武.china)/P. ÔTIÉfrench
Date: France-2009/2009/2010 USA-2012
Pages: France-254/198/271 USA-704
ISBN:France-978-2-5050-0608-4/978-2-5050-0761-6/978-2-5050-0882-8 USA-978-1906838553
All copyright of the picture is reserved to Li Kunwu, P. ÔTIÉ, KANA and SelfMadeHero

French cover

Hong Kong Cover

A real small person

A chinese life”, more than 700 pages in three volumes, is the autobiography of author Li Kun-Wu who come from the south-west of china – Yunnan provence, and collaborate with P. Ôtié as scenarist.

Li doesn't only tell his life, but also describe the development of the New China (from1949) from his born(1951)with three volume the age of fatherthe age of communist, and the age of money. Li didn't tell the story like an autobiography (as the first-person), but in a fiction way : there is a lot of dialogue, no monologue, and no third person description.


Li is 60 years old now, he passed his childhood during the big jump and the little red army, then he joined the army as a teenager. With a background of a grandfather as a landlord, he finally became a member of the communist with a lot of effort. Worked tough in the country side during the culture revolution, at last he draws for the Yunnan newspaper until now a day.

Two authors present the change of People's Republic of China with small Li to old Li. It's different as the history book, and very close to life, we can see that even in the chaos time, there is still life.

Both of the authors don't have any experience of long story, but they make a very good scenario and the story-board. For a story inside of 60 years histories and so many changes of the situation, they still keep a lot of breathing space for the reader. They tell the story with the chronic, so sometimes you will suddenly understand the result about something which a character did a few years ago.

The point of view is quite neutral, nothing is too extremed, not too many critic and explication, there is only the true story.
The first volume show us the tough time of china with a child's eyes.

The second volume is during the culture revolution. Even Li's father was also send out by the unfairness, he didn't show the hate, the sorrow like the end of the world, but just describe the everyday life of each character. He show us what it was for the small people (compare with the intellectual people). We can “see” what happened without all the cliche and the tribulation. The third volume is talking about the change in China after 80's, which is really pertinent.

Although it is Li's autobiography, but he insert a lot of story of his friend and family, to present a larger point of view. The cutting and the composition is skilled and creative, for telling a story in three volumes, it's really important.

Drawing style

I have to specially mention of Li's drawing. Before, his drawing is more quick, smooth and humble, for giving a soul to his own story (and also for satisfying the level of European comic I think ), he found himself a style very contemporary and oriental in the same time, a free and unrestrained line, and a few-twisted perspective.

The characters are realistic but full of individuality, everyone has his face (between so many characters), and all the gestures show the personalities. Often he show what the character think only with his gesture or eyes but not with the word, all this kind of details should come from Li's long experience and his good observation.

Sometimes he uses a massive composition to show the mass of China, sometimes he keeps a lot of “white” (like the chinese painting) to give a breathing space. Not only using the text to show the opinion of characters, but also using the pose and the eye contact to show emotion, character, and the thinking. All this detail show how author observe people in his daily life from long time.

Li has made a tour of Yunnan by bike in his early life, and made some drawing and recherche of the minority ethnic group, and as his real job, art editor and photographer in Yunnan Daily newspaper, he really controls the landscape and the people of Yunnan very well.

After this successful work, which is translated in 8 languagse, Li Kunwu has just published another documentary comic “Scars” in China, and he is also working for the others two documentary comic with French Publisher KANA.

*Please apology of my english, i don't use english in my everyday life, so there must be a lot of error, but i still want to show people all kind of documentary work, specially about Asia. If there is any error, and you want to correct them, please feel free to leave a message. 

I also have a publishing house which produce Asia documentary graphic work, if you are interested in it, you can check out the website of SLOWORK PUBLISHING.