“The things… we heard… changed.”

Bonni Rambatan

Set in the front yard of an old house, “Blabber” is a short story of the sounds that one experiences while growing up. From the nonsensical playful yelling of children, it slowly gives way the shouts and door slams of angsty teens arguing with their parents – before finally being drowned in the rumble of giant machines destroying the house to make way for future development.

Yet, not all memories will be lost through time. Some of them will forever be preserved in our minds, through sounds that we identify with.

The story for 'Blabber' was inspired by my own loss. I lost my grandmother in 2017, and right away the government wanted to take back the land [her house was on]. [...] What I realised then was that [...] it wasn't only her that I lost, but this whole house, this whole place that I frequented as I was growing up.

In this comic, where imaginary explosions give way to emotional outbursts, fantastical monsters are replaced by real-life conflicts, and silence and peace at an old family home is rolled under the whirrs of drills and rumbles of bulldozers, lies Bonni’s experience with loss, emotions, and the power of imagination. Join him in this video as he talks about the impactful journey to “Blabber”.

The title of the comic itself refers to the pre-linguistic noises made by human speech, and serves as an indicator of certain emotions that will always escape language.

DID YOU KNOW? Bonni’s artwork for “Blabber” was heavily influenced by David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp!

Bonni Rambatan is a writer and graphic novelist. He is the co-founder and CEO of the comics-focused entertainment startup, NaoBun Project. Their published comic series include Not My Hero (2016, Kosmik) and Sofia: Fashion Investigations (2018-2020, LINE Webtoon). Their works often involve investigations into the issues of class and social justice.

You can find Bonni on Twitter @bonni07.