RIBU: a Malay word meaning ‘thousand’. As in, a picture is worth a thousand words. Satu gambar beribu makna.
RIBU is a blog that analyses the storytelling techniques within the visual language of comics. It updates whenever.
I’ve always been interested, both as a creator and reader of comics, in visual art as a function for narrative device, simultaneously in tandem and separate from the text (i.e dialogue, plot), and how choices in regards to panelling, colour, and motif usage can influence a reader’s experience and interpretation of story.
Art in comics is unique in the literary world because of its ability to create a sense of time and motion in situ. It establishes a new layer of storytelling right above the structure of text, which most interestingly, can function independently of all text, allowing people of all classes, cultures, backgrounds, reading competencies - even the hard-of-hearing - to read stories without the barrier of language.
There isn’t a blog currently dissecting comics art in the style of literary analysis, written by a working cartoonist. So I made one. Besides being a kind-of review blog, RIBU is also an educational proof-of-concept for a future guidebook, teaching comics creators and readers how to read and utilise the visual language of comics and enhance the reading experience. It also interviews comics artists about their perspectives on visual storytelling.
Hope you enjoy!
Reimena Yee is a strange and fancy author, artist and designer. Originally from the dusty city of Kuala Lumpur, she does webcomics and graphic novels, most notably the Eisner-nominated The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya. She is the outreach lead of the Southeast Asian comics collective, UNNAMED, and works as an editor for Hiveworks Comics.