BUI THACH (TAK)
This Toronto cartoonist is the founder of Artattak Studio which has produced editorial cartoons and artwork for newspapers and advertisers since 1977. He is a book illustrator and has created cartoon strips for various newspapers Toronto Star, National Post, Financial Post and magazines including Owl.
He was born in a village near Hanoi in Vietnam in 1950, the fourth child in a family of six. His father, a school teacher took his family and fled south to Saigon to escape the advance of Ho Chi Minh and his troops.
“I grew up among the political chaos, guerrilla terrorism, military curfews and countless military coups as the war intensified around me with the massive arrival of American armed forces. Within this surreal environment, I found escape in drawing war planes and collecting comics that came from Japan and France – and spent the rest of my allowance on pens and drawing paper.
“In grade 7, I became friends with two other budding cartoonists and spent years drawing secretly at their places because my father forbade any activity that was not directly academic. In high school I began taking English lessons at the American library downtown, located amid barbed wire sandbags and M-16 toting U.S. Marines. At the library I started to read American newspapers and discovered American daily comic strips. I was hooked instantly!”
At age 17 Bui won a contest to attend 12th grade and live with an American family in Amarillo Texas. After high school he visited a family friend in Quebec City and decided to stay in Canada. He entered the Toronto New School of Art where he studied drawing, painting and began a career in cartooning in 1973.
Meanwhile, South Vietnam fell to the communists in 1975 and Thach’s parents became refugees. The boat on which they were escaping, capsized. Thach’s mother broke her hip and leg. She recovered and his penniless parents joined Thach in Toronto.
Thach lives in Toronto (2012) with his wife Cathy McNeil and their two sons.
“PC and Pixel.” Intermittently .Toronto Star, 3 Aug. 1996: J12 to 3 July 1999:L13.
“PC and Pixel.” Intermittently. National Post, 10 Apr. 2000 to 26 Aug. 2000:W21.
PC and Pixel by Thach Bui. Presented by The Washington Writers Group, n.d.