Writer and artist Matt Huynh works in the corridors of history where world events interact with the personal. His comic ‘Ma‘ shows how the Vietnam War displaced the everyday people of Vietnam, those that found themselves refugees in Malaysia. It’s sincere and simply so, Huynh’s words and pen work as the lines of a poem — evocative and drifting. Huynh’s book ‘Magpie, Magpie‘ is a tale of love on the run. The characters escape and return, lost in a sand storm in the emptiness of Australia.
There’s an urgency to Huynh’s writing. It’s a rush towards the unknown, the narrative unfolding. Finding itself with each page, each panel. Huynh’s ink wash painting is the voice of memory. The shallow fog of looking back.
The reader may have no prior knowledge of the events that lead to the refugees in ‘Ma‘ and Huynh doesn’t try to explain history, he lets the story first flow from the characters and their singular experiences. It’s Huynh’s sumi style brush work that acts as history, giving the book a dream-sense of remembrance, where all you can recall is how you felt. Huynh distills the emotional state of the story down to direct washes of ink.
Huynh is an explorative storyteller — always looking for new ways to engage the reader and tell his stories. His comic ‘Magpie, Magpie‘ is available as a softcover book but it is also alive on the internet as a living comic at magpie-magpie.com. It’s a treatment often used for reading superhero comics on a digital device but Huynh’s work becomes all the more urgent and ethereal on a computer monitor.