When we talk about famous Malaysian cartoonists or comic artists, we think about Dato Lat a.k.a Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid, who wrote and drew “Lat the Kampung Boy” or even C.W. Kee who created “Kee’s World” and “Durian Life”. But today, we have many other talented artists that are changing the nation’s perception about people, politics, religion, race, culture and other current issues – one comic strip at a time. Here are 10 hilarious comic artists and cartoonists to make you smile, giggle, snort and of course, laugh:
1. Ernest Ng
Ng has been on some pretty popular Youtube videos and is quite the Youtube sensation, but he’s not just a Youtuber. Ng has also published a few comic books and frequently posts his comics, ‘Bro, don’t like that la, bro’, on his Facebook page. His comic is his own biography and his other four childhood friends.
“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,”
2. Abam Apam
Imran Yassin Mokhtar, or better known as Abam Apam, started out by writing Japanese manga-like strips. But what made him a sensation is his talent for writing Malaysian-flavoured puns.
HXSM prefers to remain unknown, but it would make sense since its (because we don’t know HXSM’s gender) webcomics look at current affairs and local issues. While some would call its webcomics crass or controversial, many relate and love its comics on its social media.
Zainorazwan Zainal, better known as Azwanjjai or Jai, is the comic artist for Komik Ronyok which has stolen all our hearts fairly recently. Today, he has over 165k followers on his webcomic’s Facebook page and his comic has been praised for its blunt commentary on modern Malaysian society. Jai’s capability to be eloquent in conveying messages through his webcomics shows someone who’s wise and experience beyond his years. He even has comic strips about the LGBT community, about children born out of wedlock, and so forth, without compromising his sarcastic and humorous tone.
Boey is probably one of the most famous cartoonist in Malaysia. He gained his fame and following because of his illustration on paper and foam coffee cups and also his daily webcomic “I Am Boey”. He has published 3 autobiographical graphic novels, and one of them, “When I Was a Kid 3”, took first prize in the non-fiction category at the Popular-The Star Readers Choice Awards (RCA).
“I had, for the longest time, wanted to be an author. I was interested in writing comics. But I was putting it off, because people kept telling me I couldn’t make it.”
Vulpineninja is another well-loved comic artist who keeps their identity unknown, however the most we know is that she calls herself as VieN. She started out as an amateur fancomic artist (also known as a ‘doujin’ artist) in Comic Fiesta 2004. She then took a break for a few years before becoming active again around 2012, selling self-published original comics and fanbooks with her friends at anime conventions. She then started putting up random comics on her Facebook page and became the Vulpineninja we know today. She claims that she has always wanted to write those comics to express her thoughts regarding certain issues in Malaysia, or write PSA (Public Service Announcement) type comics for Malaysians, but wasn’t confident enough. But one day, she just told herself to “Just do it” and we’re so glad she did.
7. Daily Life Of Ah Via
Fun fact: Ah Via or Via Via was actually another name given to her by her ex-colleague. Her actual name is Sylvia and she is a 3D animator for a TVC studio. She has been drawing since she was 9 but only decided to pursue art in her university days. Motivated by her grandmother, she had always tried to copy or trace actual comics when she was first starting out. She started her page, the “Daily Life of Ah Via” in August 2015, which is based on her life experiences, her friends and also her family.
Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, doesn’t really need an introduction. This political cartoonist has been detained twice under the Sedition Act and was charged with nine counts of sedition. Moreover, five of his cartoon books have been banned by the Malaysian government on the grounds that they were “detrimental to public order”. Even after all that, he is still relentlessly putting up his comics as often as he can on his Facebook page. Zunar is also amongst the recipients of the 2015 International Press Freedom Awards recognized by journalists who have “endured death threats, physical attacks, legal action, imprisonment or exile in the course of their work”. His determination and journalistic integrity is admirable and definitely respected by many.
Founder of this webcomic is Rasyadan bin Ruzil who started it on the 18th of August 2015. His first post titled “Perangai Orang Kita” went viral, receiving a lot of attention – both negative and positive. His webcomic deals with different perspectives of daily issues, most involving religion and racial-based issues. Rasyadan has stated that his webcomic aims to give simple and straightforward information about Islam to those having a problem understanding it. He approaches this with satire, sarcasm, irony and constructive criticisms. Though he receives negative feedbacks, he continues to write his comics and also advices the masses to ‘read between the lines’ and grasp the real meaning of his comic strips.