Datuk Lat Receives Prestigious Comic Award In China For His Lifelong Work

Datuk Lat is the famous cartoonist behind 'Kampung Boy', 'Town Boy', and other comics that used to be published on the New Straits Times.

Cover image via Hadi Mohammad via New Straits Times

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Malaysian cartoon legend Datuk Lat was awarded the prestigious Cai Zhizhong Comic Prize at a ceremony in Guangzhou, China, last Friday, 22 December

Lat, whose real name is Mohd Nor Khalid, received the award at the 3rd Cai Zhizhong Comic Prize award ceremony, an accolade named after Cai, who is known for his graphical works on Chinese philosophy and history, reported Bernama.

The 72-year-old comic artist said he was proud to be recognised by the awards committee, which included several renowned artists from various branches of art in China.

"I was proud to represent our country," he told Bernama.

Datuk Lat (right) receiving the award at the 3rd Cai Zhizhong Comic Prize award ceremony held in Guangzhou, China, last Friday.

Image via Hadi Mohammad via New Straits Times

Lat, who was honoured with the title of Royal Artist by the Perak Sultan in July, said his comic books and cartoons have garnered a wide audience overseas, including China, since the 1970s

As the sole foreign participant at the award ceremony, he said he was also invited to join the next selection committee.

However, he had to turn down the request due to his old age.

Lat said he was elated to be seated next to Cai during the award ceremony, during which Cai told him, "You're my hero."

"If I am not mistaken, [Cai said he] started reading my comics in the 1970s and 1980s.

"He said he liked my work because I drew about life in a multiracial society. [He said] that is the difference between me and others. I made Kampung Boy about a Malay person, but when I created Town Boy, it included all the other races," Lat shared.

Lat added that he exchanged his collection of Kampung Boy, Town Boy, and other cartoons with Cai's works.

The 72-year-old noted that Cai's comic books are based on ancient tales, folklore, and legendary stories steeped with Chinese philosophical messages.

"His books are simple but they convey messages. Cai is famous for that," said Lat, singing praises for Cai.

Image via Carousell

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