Tuesday, May 26, 2009
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.