Description - The Art of Thai Comics: A Century of Strips and Stripes by Nicolas Verstappen

The Art of Thai Comics is a ground-breaking book that draws on exclusive interviews, research and a vast archive of both rare and much-loved comics, to chronicle the untold history of Thai comics. Comics flourished following the publication of the first Thai comics strip in 1907. Artists borrowed elements from European and American publications, such as Punch magazine, and created uniquely Thai mash-ups. In the 1930s, one artist combined E. C. Segar's Popeye with the codes of local 'likay' theatre, while another used the neoclassical realism introduced by Italian painters appointed at the Siamese court to give eerie form to the folklore pantheon of Thai ghosts. During the Cold War era, horror tales, anti-communist propaganda and socially engaged graphic novels bore witness to the country's darker years. Then, in the 1990s, Thai comics struggled to compete with the sudden influx of unlicensed manga from Japan that led to a disregard for local efforts and its current 'forgotten' status. After a hiatus, Thai comics made a comeback in the late '90s with a quirky, alternative scene that deserves wider international recognition. Beautifully designed and bursting with stories - from 20th-century interpretations of age-old Buddhist legends to tales of modern-day millennial angst - 'The Art of Thai Comics' opens an enlightening and visually spectacular window onto the country's history, culture and creativity. In doing so, it reinstates Thai comics into the wider story of global comics art. AUTHOR: Author Nicolas Verstappen, a Belgian national and devoted comics aficionado, teaches Comics Art History at the prestigious Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. 280 colour images

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