The holidays are coming to a close, and some believe there‘s no time more bluesy than the one after the festive season. Hence, it’s the perfect time to look at these heart-wrenching comics from 27-year-old Tum Natakorn Ulit, an artist from Bangkok, Thailand, whose unique style and sad stories are almost guaranteed to squeeze a tear out of you. Though they‘re thematically different, these so often relatable comics always convey a bittersweet sense of tragedy.
Ulit told us that he gets inspiration for his cartoon drawings and stories “Mostly from pain and my own experience that I interpreted into comics so that I can express those feelings.”
A sense of tragedy is ambiguous. For some reason, seeing someone in a tragic circumstance is heart-wrenching, even painful. On the other hand, seeing a tragedy is mesmerizing; it mysteriously catches you and connects to you. Catharsis is a feeling of joy and exaltation that comes at the culmination of observing a tragic experience from afar. A great Greek philosopher Aristotle said that catharsis can cleanse a person‘s soul and reinvigorate one‘s life, making one appreciate it even more. In some sense, these comics are a highly concentrated form of tragedy. It breaks one‘s heart to see them unravel the way they do, but even after the most unexpected plot twist, you can see a small ray of hope peering through.
01. Soldier Boy
02. Insert Coin Here
03. Hello Again
04. Hi And Goodbye
05. My Precious…
Tum Natakorn Ulit says he realized the good he could do for others when a friend called him after seeing one of my comics, tearfully telling the artist that he had thought he was the only one. His words pulled Ulit out of a dark time in his life. “I want to turn my situation into something else, something that people can appreciate or might even help them in any way,” he says. “Helping others might just be my excuse; these colorful drawings might just be my therapy….”
06. Cat’s Vision
07. Almost A Miracle Until…
08. Hug Hug
His bio on Facebook reads, “Only tears can clear your eyes,” and his creative ideas, all rendered in cartoonish colors and charmingly soft textures, usually have bittersweet endings that show that forgiveness and hope are possible.
In his comics, people who realize their errors can reconcile with their loved ones, and lost love means that if one person turns out not to be the one, better opportunities are yet to come. He sometimes ventures into social commentaries with no silver lining, such as noting the senselessness of war or destroying our natural resources to benefit the upper 1%. But in general, the prevailing theme of his work is valuing what we have in front of us rather than working for unattainable wealth or dwelling on missed opportunities.
09. Mr. Santa, Do You See Me?
10. Pick Colors For Your Nature
11. Only God(Zilla) Knows
12. I Choose You; You Eat Me
“I’m an observant [type] who focuses on the actual world and things happening around them. I enjoy seeing, touching, feeling, and experiencing. I want to keep my feet on the ground and focus on the present instead of wondering why or when something might happen,” Ulit says. Please scroll down for some of his best comics, and have tissues ready.
13. No Matter How High It Is
14. And They All Lived Happily Ever After?
15. Happiness Begins
16. Same Hand That Holds You
17. A Flower That Fits The Soul
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