Tuesday, May 26, 2009

it's LAT!

I've always been a fan of LAT. Still am. Malaysians relish LAT's tongue in cheek brand of humour and undoubtedly, he's our foremost cartoonist.

In her foreword on Lat ... 30 Years Later, Adibah Amin, a well- known educationist/journalist wrote, ' A child from across the seas once wrote a letter addressed to: " LAT, MALAYSIA.' The letter promptly arrived' WOW!

When my children were small, I bought Kampung Boy: Yesterday and Today and LAT, 30 Years Later to enjoy his humour. Recently I read in the New Straits Timess (NST), he has a new book, LAT, The Early Series. It has hit the bookstores . Well, one more to enjoy .

I had to look for my copies. So, I took the ladder to get to the piles of books stacked away. Dusty but intact! Thank goodness! It's a 1993 edition. and Lat is still evergreen as ever.

In Kampung ( Village in Malay) Boy: Yesterday and Today, I can read and laugh and enjoy all over and over again reminiscing the days when life was so sweetly simple , innocent and fun. His depiction of Malaysian life is so true to the core and we love him for that.

He has much to share in Lat ... 30 Years Later which traces his development as a cartoonist from 1964 to 1994. As a young boy, his road to fame was already mapped. His parents saw the budding talent and encouraged him to keep drawing. He himself never wavered as he just loved to draw.

' My father encouraged me a lot. Sometimes he'd say drawing would get me nowhere, because he wanted me to concentrate on my studies. But at the same time, he always gave me paper to draw on. I did so many drawings. Children start drawing from the age of 5, up to 11 or 12, but later on they discover other interests. In my case, at 12, even 13, I was actively drawing. And I never gave up.'

LAT's cartoons reflect his views about Malaysian life and the world. How he makes us laugh and ponder when he shows our vulnerabilities - warts and all. Mind you, he's not racial in his comics and that's so important as Malaysia is a multi-ethnic society.

Lat was honoured to be immortalised on stamps on Dec1 , 2008 depicting the iconic Kampung Boy and his many scenes of Malaysian life.

Very recently, in May, 2009, the world got to witness 3 specially commissioned short animated films featuring the outside world starring Lat's popular Kampung Boy. Alongside the programme was Charlie Chaplin's 'enduringly muddled Modern Times' with new 'live' musical score by composer and conductor, Carl Davis of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra at the Dewan Filharmonic Petronas ( DFP). Just my luck, I was in Kuching and missed it.

He was conferred the title of 'Dato' for his illustrious career. He joked,' In the olden days as a Dato' I would have come here on an elephant!'.

Here's one of LAT's recent cartoon in the NST. As usual, it's LAT at his best. An artist we truly love.


  1. I am a great fan of Lat's too! Sent his books overseas before and they never fail to find new fans!

  2. I did not know about LAT but those comic strips look great. And it's amazing that latest editions are still being published, a great thing for LAT fans! :D

  3. They look like a lot of fun. I love the drawings!

  4. I was a big fan of Lat and had a few of his books!! Thanks for the memories!!

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  6. Nice cartoon,
    I have never seen it before !!
    Funny drawings:)
    And the black/white colors are special:)
    I like MANY cartoons,
    I make self drawings, its relaxing for me!!
    I have worked with disabled children,
    we have make many drawings together,
    and we have laughed a lot :)

  7. I think I read his cartoon when I was young. I dont fancy cartoon or comic but love watching comedy shows.

  8. Lat is new to me, but it looks like a fun comic.

  9. Nice cartoon. It is good to hear it has been representing Malaysian culture for the past 30 years. I will look forward to read them and enjoy.

  10. I love Lat to bits!! I remembered those days when I used to read and enjoy his comic over and over again.

  11. Hi
    Emily,LAT certainly has a huge fan base overseas .

    Morinn, LAT's known in USA, Europe, Asia. He still does the cartoons in the NST.

    Adrienne, LAT in person looks like the Kampung Boy in his cartoons - chubby, flat head, frtitzy hair!!

    Veronica, Now I know you're Malaysian!!

    Anya, you should show us your drawings and the children's art one of these days.

    Aliceg, LAT is here to stay!

    Gran, LAT has international fame too. He has worked with UNESCO on an literacy campaign. Mina is the main character.

    Rajesh, Oh yes, LAT is truly gifted and a genius.

    M.Kate, Same here. AirAsia has his cartoons on their plane too.

  12. Hi Sunshine Girl:)
    Like most Malaysians, I have also grown up with our local drawings and comics, laughing at the simple but Lat's is something I've never heard.

    If there’s something about a foreign culture that just enthralls me. Isn't it a chance to live in someone else’s shoes and experience through their eyes what a location halfway around the world is really like. So I appreciate very much that you took me into Lat's world. I'm smiling big:)

    Btw. Jumping another thing, your question at CR:

    If I like painting as one of my hobby's its because 'colors' are my passion. No, I don't paint on daily basis, my current work doesn't allow me to do it freely. However weekends or holidays can be the most appropriate time to deal with it.

    My favorite subjects are stroke roses, angels, unusual objects and of course Istanbul to paint:) The base where I paint on is varied: canvas, paper, rock and water. Soon I'll talk about how I paint on water, stay tuned:) I'd like to know what themes you like in painting.

    I'm wondering if you are expat in Malaysia?

  13. I love older style cartoon. Its more classic :)

  14. HI Nihal,
    Lat is short for 'Bulat' ( round, chubby in Malay). He was and still is!!His real name is Mohd Nor bin Khalid.
    Shall stay tuned to admire your paintings.
    I do not have strict preferences for paintings.

    I'm Malaysian and 'keats' is an adulteration of my Chinese name!! A friend who has passed away gave it to me during school days and it has become part of me!!

  15. What an uplifting post! I do hope Dato' Lat drops in and reads this. I just love his artwork. The ones he did in the late '70s (I think one is "Lat With A Punch" and another is "Lots More Lat") are especially dear to me because of the amount of detail he observed and faithfully reproduced. "Kampung Boy" is a real winner. I've sent copies to friends in Canada, US, NZ, Australia and the UK. The funniest thing is that I have to keep reiterating that Kg Boy is about growing up in rural Malaysia at least 50 years ago, because my penpals are enamoured by kampung life and want to come over right away to experience life as in the Lat comic book! I had to tell them I don't live in a wooden house with a tatched roof at all!

    Best regards,

  16. HI Covert_Operations78, thanks for your kind comments. We talk about going back to our 'kampung' and the memories we hold. Our Twin Towers has gained fame internationally to the delight of our kampung boy in the MPO poster too. So we have all , rustic and modern!

  17. Lat is a good gift to friends overseas, he'll give true picture of our Malaysian life.

  18. This is why blogging is so fabulous! I had never hard about Lat! The cartoons look adorable and funny! That's a winning combination:) Happy Sunday my dear!

  19. I can see why you are a fan of LAT! Great post and cartoons. Have a wonderful week, my dear :)

  20. Lat is my favourite Malaysian cartoonist, without a doubt!! Must get the new book, too.

  21. Hi
    Ocean Girl, welcome to my blog and thanks for following.
    Marie Reed, Rosidah , good to hear from you! Have a good day!
    Queen of the House, thanks for popping in. Do drop in again.

  22. HI Chubskulit
    Thanks for visiting. Isn't he great! Today in the NST, there's a contest for 10 autographed copies of his latest, LAT, the Early Series'. So, calling all LAT fans, give it a go!

  23. Thanks for exposing me to LAT! The drawings are great and it's fun to learn about Malaysia's best. : )

  24. Hey Sunshine! Thanks for all the info on Lat. I will have to find out more. I so wish children would not give up drawing. Lat is fine example.

    Hope you win one of those autographed copies.

    Sorry I have been behind in my blogging. The newspaper has been keeping me way too busy!

    I hope to catch up soon.

  25. HI Suzanne and Patty,
    Good to hear from you! I hope the talents out there will do us proud. We need them all!

  26. I was not aware of this cartoon strip, if I ever be able to lay my hands on them I will get them for my daughters. Very interesting and informative.

  27. Hi Everyone,
    Does anyone know which book of Lat`s cartoons contain the one about Thaipusam where a woman faints and a guy shouts "Pass the Thirunur"? I have been looking for it and can`t find it. I read it as a child and thought it was very witty. I am Indian and love the way Lat reminds us that we are united as Malaysians or at least the characters in his cartoon are. Does anyone have the answer for me? I have been looking for this cartoon strip for a long time. Thanks

  28. Hi
    Sparky, thanks so much for visiting. Lat never fails to remind us WE are Malaysians:) Will definitely keep this in mind and let you know, if possible.


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