Malaysian Cartoonists Spreading Their Daily Dose of Positivity!
We feature some of our local cartoonists spreading their dose of awesomeness to keep Malaysians in high spirits, all year round!
Dato’ Lat’s, “Kampung Boy”
Who can ever forget the well-known local comic character, Mat, The Kampung Boy?
A labour of love by Datuk Mohammad Nor bin Mohammad Khalid (or popularly known as Dato’ Lat), Kampung Boy is a graphic comic series about a young boy, named Mat and his experience (including his family, school life, mischief and adventures in the jungle and tin mines and even circumcision!) growing up in rural Perak in the 1950s. In fact, the series is an autobiographical reflection of the author’s own life and takes readers back in time to the good ol’ days of life in a kampung (village) and features Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage. The series was a commercial success with 60,000 copies of the first edition sold within four months of its release!
The series made Dato Lat a household name in Malaysia and a highly regarded cartoonist with an international audience after the series received several accolades including the Children’s Book Council and Booklist Editor’s Choice award in 2006 and Outstanding International Book for 2007 in the United States.
Ernest Ng’s “Bro, don’t like that la, bro”
If you’re a fan of local Youtubers, you have probably seen him in a lot of Youtube videos. However, it seems like Ernest has also found another outlet to entertain his audience. Inspired by real-life events, Ernest shares personal and funny encounters with his ‘bros’.
“I realised I had a lot of stories to tell about the misadventures that I had with my ‘bros’. Initially, I wanted to write about them, but I felt that I can tell the stories better if I drew them,” wrote Ernest on his comic blog.
“About 95% of the things illustrated in the comics somehow happened in real life at some point in our lives. You can say that I have single-handedly exposed most of their secrets and embarrassing stories virtually to the whole world!” 😆
If you are in need of a quick pick-me-up or light-hearted jokes, this is a must-have!
VulpineNinja by Vien
Known as Vien, the author of comic “VulpineNinja”, was always interested in drawing as a child and gained inspiration from her father who used to doodle cartoons for her. She only began actively working and selling her comic strips around 2012 at anime conventions. As to the name “VulpineNinja”, the author claims it is actually derived from the word “vulpine”, an adjective which relates to a fox and “ninja” which relates to assassinations and spying.
The artist chooses to tackle social issues in her comics – VulpineNinja has in the past taken on the persona of a hijab-wearing girl with pointy foxy ears!
Among the themes featured in her comics include individuals who lack compassion and mistreat others. The artist hopes to spread good values to her readers on the importance of being compassionate towards others.
Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque fondly known as Zunar, exposes the act of corruption and the abuse of power in Malaysia through his brand of political comics. Along with his slogan, “How Can I be Neutral, Even My Pen Has a Stand”, he does not shy away from addressing contemporary issues facing the nation in his comics.
“My art is often labelled seditious by the local government. I have been drawing cartoons for more than 20 years now. I have been arrested, my office has been raided, my art destroyed & confiscated by local authorities and my team has been harassed- all in my art pursuit. As a contributor, you are not only allowing me to continue drawing cartoons, but you are also helping in the efficiency of my operation.” wrote Zunar on his official website.
His work has been lauded nationwide and gained international recognition at the 2015 International Press Freedom Awards.
The distinctive feature of this comic series lies in its main characters, “Yolk” and “Egg” a lovely married couple. In fact, the comic series is a collaborative effort between the authors who are real life husband and wife – Yolk is derived from the surname “Wee” of the husband which sounds like yellow in Mandarin and “Egg” is derived from the wife’s name “Tan” which sounds like “egg” in Mandarin – and that’s how the name “eggyolk” came about! That’s not all, they even have a child named, Yolkie in the comic (Aww, how sweet!😍)
The husband and wife duo first started drawing back in 2008 and featured on their illustrations on a blog. Over the years, their comic highlights local happenings and trends in Malaysia such as elections and natural disasters. Through their comic series, the authors hope to promote the importance of inclusivity, acceptance and unity in our local society.
*Featured image sourced from Tally Press