Rama IX - King of Thailand - A Comic Book Biography Volume 3
By Hervé St-Louis
February 28, 2012 - 17:26
Amarin Pocket Books
Writer(s): Sala Nakbamrung
Penciller(s): Sala Nakbamrung
As part of The Comic Book Bin's exploration of Thai comics, we will look at a graphic novel purchased in Thailand that seems to be a biography of His Royal Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej - Rama IX (King) of Thailand. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and the King is an important and revered person. Please note that because of language barriers, namely the author's ability to read Thai scripts and to translate them properly, that their could be errors and mistakes in the reporting.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the longest reigning monarch in the world, having been crowned in 1946. The comic book depicts part of his life and is meant to educate children about King Bhumibol Adulyadej. There were two other comic books about King Bhumibol Adulyadej by the same cartoonist Sala Nakbamrung. This comic book appears to be volume three in the series. The focus appears to be on recent years of Bhumibol Adulyadej's reign.
The comic book starts off with information about the royal coats of arms of Rama IX and follows with a chart about his wife, his sons and daughters, as well as their children. The comic book introduces a boy and an older man talking and then goes into some biographic details. Some of the events covered include visits to countryside residents, the unveiling of a new bridge and the new international airport in Bangkok.
The comic book is educational, but I enjoyed the lively style of the artist. In shots with regular characters commenting on issues and events, it waxes very expressive. In shots featuring Bhumibol Adulyadej, it was very realistic. The illustration of background elements was rendered in the same realistic style. Illustrations and photos of Thai monarchs and their spouses often have an aura around the character. This comic book followed this tradition. The coloring is simple, yet done with just the right amount of colors. Some of the text captions are long and fill entire pages. It would have been easier to look at them had they had been broken up into several panels instead.
Unfortunately, this book does not appear to be available in English. Of note, Thai scripts, just like English and many European languages, is read from left to right, unlike the script languages such as Japanese, Mandarin or Arabic. The book was published in 2011.
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