A brief look at Cambodia's modern history of pulp art, comics and graphic novels.
Sep. 28, 2019
The market for original Khmer language comics remains tight in Cambodia: poor copyright enforcement plus competition from Western comics and online entertainment means times are challenging.
Cambodian pulp art was initially influenced by the French comic strip style, and later by Indian movie posters and hindi comics. But it also maintains a strong folk-art tradition, melded with contemporary themes.
Uth Roeun possibly created the first Cambodian comic book in 1963: he certainly was a widely admired artist throughout the 1960s and early 70s, illustrating books as well as comics. Stormy Mind Of A Young Girl, by Penn Vanthun (1970) is a great example of his style.
Im Sokha began drawing comics in the 1980s, initially inspired by Indian movie posters. Known for his speed he could complete an entire comic in just a few days. His graphic horror novel Romance Of The Tiger Lady is probably his best known work.