September 16, 2008

Early Posts PieR & Faezal

Posted in Pier & Faezal project at 2:56 am by nunnaree

  1. tanitoc said,

    September 16, 2008 at 9:54 pm · Edit

    Hello Faezal and Pier,

    Very interesting exchange, Gentlemen.

    It is quite late, so I’ll be brief: I think you should consider taking the plunge. You have tested the water long enough (cold when one gets in, lovely after one has been swimming for a few moments!). Go for it!

    About Faezal ideas: they sound to me like the perfect spring board. Every good story is autobiographical, isn’t it? Why not start with “a” little boy playing with his toys and imagining the future, in your respective countries? There might be an older character (granny, Grandad, Uncle, etc.) later on to give his/her version of modernity, technology, etc.
    This way, as you rightly suggested it, you get rid of the autobio. question because you’re free to bring in personal elements (without telling anyone if you don’t feel like it!) or stuff you heard or remembered from somebody (or even just made up!).

    I am confident things (of a structural nature) will just fall in place as you go along, once someone has started posting.

    As Swiss writer Blaise Cendrars replied to a journalist who was asking him if he truly had travelled on The Transsiberian train (which he claimed he had when he was 16 and running from home – years later he produced a long and beautiful prose on the subject): “Did I ever take that train? It doesn’t matter if I did, as long as YOU HAVE by reading my prose.”

    Good luck,


  2. piergajewski said,

    September 17, 2008 at 7:10 am · Edit

    SO I had an idea during the night… and I think this one could join all our wishes!!
    So…. first I sent a little drawing to make it clear (is it?) Some stuff have to be better defined..

    We start in the middle of the page with the planet earth… 2 arrows, one up 1 down, one on Malaysia, the other on France. Then some 2 buildings (maybe first a house, then.. a bigger one then the building). This part doesn’t have to be too long..

    Then we reach the point were it’s getting fun…
    So the page of a book is already divided in 2 (1 up, 1 down). In all the pages we’ll draw the same room and the story is actually the story of the room. ..
    We keep only the same architecture of the room.. but everything will change inside the room.. posters on the wall, telephone, furnitures etc…
    And everytime, we can introduce some characters inside. They can be the same or different ones.
    Like a building for rent…
    Those characters change their living environment. I was also thinking of putting a window, so the outside could change too. At the begginning a field then a house etc…

    how to create interaction between our 2 stories:
    – SOmetimes one feet could go thru the wall, or some running water, or a fire or whatever…
    – One of your character could be a student and visit France, while mine would visit Malaysia. So we would have to draw inside the story of the other one.

    Another point:
    At the end of the story, as a fact of the globalisation, your room and my room would be exactelly the same, with a lot of electronic etc… but still with little differences, and the last pannel would be only one. Both culture have reach the same kind of house.

    TO think and work on that, we can think of some events in our culture which actually change the everyday life ( I was thinking of starting around the 50ies and cover around 60-100 years):
    exemple fro France:
    68: Big cultural explosion. Huge student Strike- vinyle- 70ies style in design etc…
    81: no more death sentence – first computers, cassette- David Bowie etc…
    90: etc…

    In a more practical way, I think tht we should start by making the beggining, the middle times and the end. Then we keep making little jumps in the past and future. In that way, even if we run out of time, we story will always be finnished and if we have time, we can always add new pannels…

    That’s it, tell me what you think about all this

  3. piergajewski said,

    September 17, 2008 at 10:37 am · Edit

    As Faezal has some problem to connect himself on the blog, I put our discussions here… So don’t be surprised not to see his name yet ) Soon I hope!!

    FAEZAL: Hi Pier,

    This is great. Something close to what I had in mind. I made few additional ideas to your drawing, I hope I didn’t mess it up!

    I thing the idea of the same room/aparment/flat is perfect. Regarding the characters, Okay I’m just trying to throw out crazy ideas here, stop me if you think I’m far out. Here goes:

    1) say your character is based one the real person? can my character based on something else? say an android or a vampire.
    2) You story start in the past say 50’s to the future (2008), what do you think if my character moved backwards from the future into the past(2108 – 2008)? I’ve drawn in the schematic to clarify this. I had this wild idea about one lonely character that is bored out of his wits living in the future. It wasn’t as we expected to be. So he longed/wished that he could live in the past where the good old days lies e.g music, peoples, cultures, arts etc… and at one point, he remembered that he wanted to go and visit France. So along the story of this character, we can see how he keep comparing the future with the past where we could easily linked our story together.
    What do you think?

    Either way, we will keep the same room/apartment together. Great! I believe we are on the same page and direction here.

    PieR: Hi Faezal!

    Great great! I guess we are finally reaching the start )
    First: I think that it’s very interesting if I do the 50ies till 2008 and you 2108 till 2008 even thu I think that to cover exactly the same period in a country and in the other one is very interesting… But I don’t want to force anything, and we both have to enjoy working on this project! So feel free!!

    Android Vampire… whatever! I want us to feel free… but maybe a character of the Malaysian Mythologie would definetly be a plus… I don’t know if you have vampire in Malaysia… in France we had Goules (the nice guys eating dead people)?!
    I think I will glue to a room or flat… and change characters…

    Then concerning the sub stories… I don’t really know about that. I’d rather glue to only one. Mainly because I’m thinking of time and the publication. It’s easyier if we have one story first… then maybe we could continue it that way. Your proposal is a perfect idea for a web-comics I think, but for a published one it’s a bit more complex… The main pannel has to be reduced etc…
    So I would stay to only one line, but if you have time to do more we can keep it somewhere in mind I guess…

    The Batman is Great super great… The pannel size change almost in a symetric way… We’ll have to always define our pannel size… That’s why with only one room or flat, this problem has to be defined only once.

    Tell me what you think so we can start… I can see Tanitoc impatience )
    We’re almost there:)

  4. piergajewski said,

    September 19, 2008 at 7:48 am · Edit

    Another transcription of our emails…
    Don’t worry, we’re about to start!

    Hello Faezal!
    I’m super soory of having been absent yesterday.
    I needed to do some work and my internet connection was hasardous. Yesterday some guy came (for the 3rd time) but now it seems super ok as they changed around 15m of wires. Pffff..

    Faezal:”Honestly, I’m not sure exactly how it will work either, but I might give it a try and see how it is (once we have compared the story, I’ll see). And yes, even if the character moves in a different timeline, we will cover exactly the same period in each other’s country because I think that’s the most important part.”

    PieR : Yes I do agree… let’s start and see now )
    I would proposed to work on a A5 horizontal size of a pannel (approx:h 15; l 10,5). So our 2 works would make an A4. If if I have no idea about the final format of the book. But I was thinking that if it doesn’t fit in the final page, we could always add some objects in the margin (like the evolution of the phone for exemple)

    Faezal : We have something like vampire, although it’s not really glamourous like Anne Rice’s or the Bram Stoker’s, ours is called ‘Puntianak’ is more like banshee kind of thing wearing white white robe, long hair and fangs. Flying around from trees to trees and it was always a women (You familiar with those japanese horror character like the Ring and The Grudge, well ours is something like that). We also have something like the ‘Goules’ too. I thought about using the mythology characters, i’m not sure which one yet, say if there’s one that suitable, I might use it.

    PieR: That seems terrific… and I do think that a character from the mythologie make sense in a way that it can cross times and space, but also if it looks to the past.

    Faezal : Yeah, I kinda agree with you to stick with one main story. The sub stories, well we save it for later, ok. Basically, the format would be something like that Batman’s?

    PieR: Yep, let’s go for it

    Faezal : So Pier, could you enlist all the important things/events that you want to put in your timeline? and I will enlist mine so we can compare it. I think what would be great at the end is that we could reflect upon how much yours and my old culture and the new one co-exist.

    PieR: I’m working on it. But maybe we can pick up a date and start to draw. I started something around the 2000 or a bit more, with a hacker young guy…
    I guess that in the room, I’ll add some posters, CD covers etc… To show how was the mood at that time.

    Faezal : Oh one more thing, are we going to use dialogues and texts? or silence? or we are going to replace te texts with symbols/pictograms etc? what is your preferences for this?

    PieR: I would have like not to use text, but maybe I will. Just to give some clear info… like a baloon or a radio or a short dialogue… And you?

    2nd email:

    Pier(from previous email):
    “I have no clue about how is comics in Malaysia… I’m a bit ashamed to say so… but so it’s clear. So I don’t know to what kind of comics you have access to. France have the positive point to have, almost, access to everything… but mainly to US, japanese manga and european comics. As I live in Angouleme (the french comics city) I have access to even more things. I’ll more maybe another time about here… But every year for more than 30 years, there’s a huge International Comics Festival. The good thing about it is that you have all existing kind of comics from all over the world. Undependant, underground and mainstream.”

    Faezal : Our comics scene in Malaysia is a small humble one. We are still struggling to find ourselves. The comics market, the audience/readers and the artists. Although the fact is that our comics has been around since the early 50’s, but nothing much happen since then. Few attempts to revived the comic industry along the years, like introducing new characters, new comic book formats and we even did a rip off of the americans superhero characters during the 80’s and 90’s, but all of the efforts didn’t last. Now we all tried to draw like the manga’s, down to the ridiculous short skirts and colourful hairdos which nothing represents our cultures at all. And the only comic format that still stand is the humor comic magazine format, something like Mad’s or TokyoPop. Now, with the craze and popularity of the Graphic Novels, publishers are looking into this graphic novels format instead.

    PieR: Thanks a lot for all this. I really enjoy to go a bit deeper in your culture. Unfortunatly I have to say that it’s a bit the same even if we have a huge comics culture in France. I actually think that it’s one of the best contry to draw comics in the world… Simply because you can draw whatever kind of comics and you may find a publisher if it’s good. The big companies are nowadays more and more pushing the independants in their corners. The steal artists of the independant scene to make mainstream comics… or even worst they find some artists who are somehow, copies of some more independant “star” and then make a story more conventional (this means half manga, half comics and half Belgium/french)( a lot of halves!)
    In the past their was a big comics industry in Italy or England, Spain… nowadays, I would like to say that France survived somehow better than them. I’m absolutly not nationalist, that’s just how i see things considering the number of publishers in the contries.
    Comics started at the end of 1800 somehow, and till 1960/70 the belgium/french (Tintin etc) was all you could find. Then in the 70ies “Pilote” magasins arrived and blew everything up. They started with eaders around 15 but they grew up with their readers. More and more the comics became adult. At this time, it was the beggining of Moebius and others…
    Then It was a status quo somehow… us comics arrived more and more in france. Then some emerging artists as Enki Billal, Schuiten, Loustal etc… arrived. Comics started to also really be for adults. Then in the mid 90ies the other comics revolution arrived with L’Association. Totally refreshing stories and drawing style with artist such as Killofer, Bluch, Trondheim and Sfar, David B … They really change things. Not so much anymore. Of course the big compagnies were still producing a lot. I’m only talking of the real revolution in our medium. Strangly, at the same time Mangas arrived in France (90) and blew everything up.
    Nowadays, I see the US independant comics on their way to follow l’Association… but keep going on that (especially Topshelf).
    And now, it’s our turn somehow )

    Faezal : Here, we have so many talented and passionate comic artists, because of the local market has been slow and stagnant for years, many of us went for the oversea’s market and become succesful working with Marvels, Images, Topcow, Tokypop, etc… for the rest of us who are still here, let just say that we are still keep our day job.

    PieR: The same here, except that artists most of the time stay and work in France, because we have a big industry… still )

    Faezal : I am so envy you living in your hometown Angouleme (the french comics city). I will definitely going to visit your place one of these day. I can only imagine going to one of your comic festivals and see all the comic and comic artist from all over the world. Here, we have some book fair and small comic events, but nothing major.

    PieR: Please don’t envy me! It’s quite the same everywhere. The only difference is that in Angouleme, when you say you’re a comics author, people say “Of yeah! Of course! You’re living in Angoulême” while most of the time it’s more “ok, but what is you’re real job?”
    The comics festival is actually really something… when you’re an author. If not it’s very expensive… but you have people like crazy, while usually the city is quite empty. The festival is all around the city so it’s very nice. But I’m sure you’ll see it and you will enjoy for sure. Just come. As long as I live there, you’ll always be more than welcome… If I don’t live there, I might fix things up for you.
    One of the other advantages in here is that you meet a lot of comics author. They are everywhere )
    Even if I don’t always share the same vison on comics…

    Faezal : Are you doing comics and illustrations as a full time job, Pier?

    PieR: Well… I don’t do any other job if it’s your question… but I don’t really make a living out of it. In France with have some social helps when you’re jobless. So I managed a bit with this until I can make it. But I also did a lot of workshop on comics for children, I was for a summer a guide at the comics museum… Nowadays I’m making exhibition where i manage to get subvention on financial partners and since february I work as an illustrator for a web newspaper… But I don’t really make a living yet. I guess I’m still in under the limit… But I don’t complain!

    Wooof… that was long, but I hope you enjoy as much as I did when I received yours!
    So now let’s start working and make a pannel or 2!! We need to start!


  5. piergajewski said,

    September 21, 2008 at 12:37 pm · Edit

    PieR: Just a short note to our facilitators… What do you think all this? Comments? Advices?
    So first of all I decided to create the skeleton of my room.
    I’ll keep this basis all the time and change everything inside.

    Faezal: Hehe It’s ok, don’t worry about writing the emails everyday. Me, I’m still annoyed that I couldn’t access our blog. Seems my only option now is to go to the cyber cafe and use it there. I’m sorry too for the late reply. It was really crazy but I’ve just finished my Time Mission comics yesterday. Phew, one year gone in a blink working on this project. Finally I managed to finished the illustrations to show it to my sponsor.

    PieR: This is a great news!! Very well done man!
    How many pages have you done? Did you draw new ones?

    >Faezal: Just to clarify this(correct me if I’m wrong, ok), our pages will be in A4 format, yes? and our work will be basically half of the A4 on each pages? and have we decided on how many pages?

    PieR : That’s exactly what I meant. We don’t know for the number of pages yet. That’s why I was thinking to draw the first pannel first, then one around the middle and then the last one. The we fullfill with the dates we both want.

    >Faezal: I will try to write some description/basic storyline for my story and later I will provide some simple thumbnails to go with it. It’s easier if we can see the visual, then later we can see how we can both blend our work/story together.

    PieR: As I wrote earlier, my story should be a non-linear story. I’m more into the room story. If if you go for a more linear story I guess it’s just fine. You’ll deal with a character and I’ll deal with the bakground… but somehow, we need to really make a strong link between your character and my room…
    I actually wanted it to start from the 50ies because that’s around the birth of my parents. But I was actually thinking also of putting a death… but it would then be a strange beggining !!! The reason why, is that in that people in the 50ies could die in their house… but nowadays it’s more in an hostpital. We, somehow, erased the death contact in our society…
    But now that I’m thinking, I could start by a death and the spirit of this character would be yours travelling in time… ?? What do you think?
    I even start to think that our storytelling doesn’t have to follow the real time curve… like past:present etc… but still growing in the time .. clear? not sure.. )

    Faezal: Pier, when I wrote this ‘Now we all tried to draw like the manga’s, down to the ridiculous short skirts and colourful hairdos which nothing represents our cultures at all’ to you in my previous email, it got me realised, apart from the technological/modern conflict, this is actually also a part of my culture conflict. I don’t know, I might use this in the story

    PieR: Ok… As you feel like. I know you enjoy also all this right?! ) No harm at all )

    So I guess that in the next days I’ll produce images… and we’ll see how things go!!

    Another email the same day:
    PieR : Just a short note to say a bit how I will work to find my dates;;
    I’ve just asked my mom to tell me what dates she would picked up (like 6 of them) and I’ll choose 6 of mine.. so I hope to have this kind of mixed culture..
    But you and me, we could extract some ideas out of it. Do we stressed a special event (first man on the moon.. which could be on Mars in the future?) then she was talking of the Wedding of Queen Elisabeth.. so It could be someone else.. I hav to admit that, as you work in the future it’s somehow a bit harder to make plans… but, tell me more of what you think of all this;

  6. piergajewski said,

    September 22, 2008 at 7:49 am · Edit

    Hello Faezal…
    I’m still all time very confused with this project… I’d love to make it like a “real” storytelling… And then I’m still attracted by the room. But I guess It’s no time now to wonder again ) We’ll see.

    >F: 50’s- We had our independence day on the 31 august, 1957 freed from the British. I think this is the time that our youth are actually realised that we are important and we are going to take charge of our future. With the televisions and musics, cinema and fashion and art being the main influenced, we learn a lot about the explosions of foreign cultures.

    P: 50ies : France (1956..) stared a war in Algeria (north of Africa). Actually at this time it was not a war, because Algeria was French. SO.. this war is a shame in French history. An ugly war and from that a lot of things change in France. Somehow the end of the french colonies. My grand father went there… A lot of people who came back from it never wanted to talk about it.
    The first TVs appeared also but very rare. The first movie my mom saw on a tv in her whole life was “Nuit et Brouillard” about the concentration camps during the second world war.
    57: First satellite….

    >F: 60’s- Flower power. Youth are become louder in speaks out our opinion. Most of us are more directly influenced by the foreign culture. This is the time when I think our culture conflict begins. Some of us still hangs on the old tradition, and some of us are become too modern. You know experimenting with alternative way of life- Drugs, Sex, booze and rock & roll.

    P: It’s quite funny to read your vision out of it, because it seems that you had somehow a decade of advance;
    60ies: Malraux (famous french writer) became the minister of culture… he reduced a lot of prices to see museum, theatrer etc… like “a bout de souffle” “breathless” by Godard (59) People could also buy things by credit (take it now, pay later in several times)
    Death of JFK. Also during that time it was cold war. In Europe it was very important… as we had a lot of borderlines with germany and Russia.. oups USSR.
    MAy 68 student revolution: A huge strike started and it would change the country for ever. School was divided : girls here boys there. The familly was strong before… then came the 70ies
    1969: First man on the moon!!

    >F: 70’s- During this time, we had a cultural dilemma. We have been exposed to many foreign influences, and the youth are stronger and we are getting bold. Disco years.

    P: Cultural explosion, sex drug and rock n roll.. But at the same time, women were allowed to abvort and to wear trousers etc.. For me it’s more Doors, Rolling stones… but also “la nouvelle vague” in Cinema (”le Mepris” 1963).. disco I guess too…
    >F: 80’s – Government realised the moral downfalls of our youth and culture, they started campaigning and enforcing a lot of policies, rules and regulation to keep the youth under control. The youth keep on rebelling against these new policies. Glam rock years.
    P: 80ies : France change President in 81. He was from left and this made a big change. But also jobless people started to grow and grow. France started to be concious of its racism towards foreigner people… like against the Algerian for ex. Those tmes were a mix of hope and hard times. Starting to make strikes a lot, violence etc.. but also starting to be concious of the planet… “we need to save the poor country” which nowadays means to make profit out of them. Mickael Jakson, Madonna.
    Berlin wall is destroyed….

    > 90’s – We started to realised that maybe it’s time for us to create own subculture, instead just following the foreign culture, we started to create the fusion of the east and west. We started to adapt our old culture with the new one. Alternative musics, grunge, metal, rap, hip hop, techno and electronic music were big during these time.
    > Technology, electronic gadgets also become more accessible to us, mobile phone, computers, home entertainment and internet is starting to become big.

    P: 90ies.. There I started to be aware of things )
    This is for me the grunge time. Desillusion, Nirvana, Sonic Youth etc… But also Mickael Jordan, pump air shoes, Jim Lee etc… 1996 something I can’t forget. Some illegal people were hiding in a Church… and policemen destroyed the door with axes and put them out. For me we reached a non return point. Nowadays, it’s gonna be “save your own life and don’t take care of other people”. Which is the straigth ways of our times now.
    It’s also the “end of the borderline” inside Europe, for the Europeans of course )
    > F: 2000 – We are obsessed with more technology, electronics and gadgets, the internet. The youth become more aware and more creative in rediscovering themselves. Although the foreign culture is still around, we are trying to become more of a trendsetter than just a follower to the foreign influence (as we did for the last 50 decades). We still trying to keep our old ways, but mostly some of the old ways has been adapted into our modern culture.
    P: This is our times… and it’s sick. A Racism wave and patriotic idea touch all the European countries one by one. This is the time of the real Tv (big brother). The time of “I” for everybody… a time of individualism and opportunities. Culture got poorer and poorer… most of people can do a movie or whatever in their bedroom… People are not looking for making beautiful things, but cool fast things…

    >Fazal: Personally, this is how I perceived our development modern culture here in Malaysia.
    > So, in term of my story, whether it’s going to be set in the future or the same as your timeline, It will include/linked to the same time as yours. e.g Your 50’s and my 50’s, or your 80’s and my 80’s. etc…
    > But it’s kind of hard to put all the events into the story, so I have to find one subject that both relate to us like one event or an interest. Maybe the room itself is enough to represent the two of us.

    This is it for now..

  7. trentraven said,

    September 22, 2008 at 9:13 am · Edit

    I know exactly what you meant Pier, I had the same dilemma in between ‘real’ or ‘fantasy’. Talking about the ideas, the possibilities are endless, and there are so many things to be said. I guess, we will always felt like that until we finally decided.

    Oh, by the way, this is my first attempt to use the blog. I hope it’s ok now.



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