Monday 29 October 2007

Lat- been and gone.

Now here's a lovely story we almost missed because we were wrapped up in our own head:
Lat, The Kampung Boy, A Hit In Washington DC - BERNAMA- Maylaysian National News Agency.- Oct 24. - By Salmy Hashim

Lat, Malaysia's famous cartoonist, drew a crowd of Malaysian and American fans here Tuesday who could not get enough of his depiction of the simple life of a kampung boy in Kampung Lalang in Kota Baru, Perak. Datuk Mohammed Nor Khalid, better known as Lat, who is here to promote his Kampung Boy and Town Boy books published in English by the First Second, a publishing company in New York, talked about his simple childhood.
He talked about his "fierce" cane-wielding teacher at the "English Language" school, and how he thought that there were nine days of the week in English (including Yesterday and Everyday), his contributions on "Keluarga Si-Mamat" to Berita Minggu and his first cartoon book at age 13.
Lat earned as much as a clerk from his contributions to Berita Minggu, a huge amount then for a young boy, and did not forget to give his parents ten ringgit each every month. His father, who also loved to draw and play musical instruments, encouraged him to pursue his passion more than 40 years ago.
There's more at the link, but I particularly like the fact that "...his trip here was sponsored by Malaysia Airlines, Petronas and the Malaysian government.". I have always admired the way Lat is considered an important ambassador for his country and has often been enabled to travel widely. The first cartoons I ever saw of his were his reflections upon London and Paris. "I'm still drawing for (air)tickets," the cartoonist quipped.
He heads for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York from Wednesday before returning to Malaysia on October 29.
The image is the cover of his 1989 album which wee hayley campbell found in London and sent over.

Kampung Boy and Town Boy both available from First Second in their first US editions and highly recommended by Campbell.
Our own interview with Lat is still here. It's in three parts, bottom up.

There's a more recent one here, sept 30, from the Malaysian Star, with a good photo of the cartoonist:
We hear The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening is a fan.
When I was in LA working on The Kampung Boy, somebody told me that Matt Groening liked my cartoons. So I got in touch with him. He liked my work even before he did The Simpsons.
Lat is refering to an animated series of the Kampung Boy that was made in the States for distribution in Malaysia. Maybe someone will make it more widely available, though I cannot vouch for the quality of it.

And now that the chap is on his way home today, maybe I'll be able to get hold of our mutual editor, Mark Siegel, more readily.
Five Positive Stories About Comics - Tom Spurgeon shames us into being a bit more cheerful.

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Blogger drjon said...

Milton Caniff:

29 October 2007 at 01:01:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Langdell said...

I first heard of Lat at a talk by Larry Gonick at the APE show. During the Q&A, I mentioned finding various interesting collections of local history cartoons done as a series for newspapers. I asked if Larry had found any interesting examples to recommend. He then mentioned Lat, how exemplary he was of conveying true details about an unfamiliar culture, but in a way that came through to a foreign reader with immediate impact. Larry said he was learning from the looser drawing style Lat did so effectively. Since then, I found a few of Lat's collections in used book stores, and am glad to see firstsecond spreading Lat more widely here.

29 October 2007 at 11:09:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Colman G said...

"album"... an excellent choice, Mr. Campbell!

30 October 2007 at 08:30:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lat's work is among the ones that influence mine; I should pay my gratitude to him one day.
I have yet to get FirstSecond's Town Boy, I like the format very much.

30 October 2007 at 10:23:00 GMT-5  

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