Meet Lam Quek Chung, the artist behind the now award-winning Detektif Hantu: Kesumat comic
Lam's work - written under the pseudonym 'Leoz' - recently received a bronze award at the 13th International Manga Award, which is often considered to be the most prestigious prize for non-Japanese manga artists.
A total of 345 works were submitted to the awarding body from all over the world last year, and only 15 came out on top. Among them, one received the gold award, three received silver awards, and 11 received bronze awards, reported China Press.
Lam's horror-themed comic won a bronze award and the prize was presented by Japan's ambassador to Malaysia, Hiroshi Oka, during a ceremony on Monday, 6 July.
The comic book is written in Bahasa Malaysia and is about an investigation into a game that caused the death of a student 13 years ago
According to KADOKAWA Gempak Starz, the publisher of the comic book, Detektif Hantu: Kesumat is a sequel to the original Detektif Hantu series, which features a detective with supernatural powers who is in charge of solving mysterious cases.
The comic book is a collection of several short stories and each story is related. Lam said the process of connecting the new stories to the original works took him a long time.
"The comics I worked on in the past tend to cater to children and education. But honestly, the ghost theme in Detektif Hantu: Kesumat is a work I always wanted to pursue," Lam told China Press.
"It just so happened that the publishing house believed that the ghost theme has market potential, so they let me create this work."
Since the inception of the International Manga Award in 2007, a total of 11 comic artists from Malaysia have submitted 174 of their works for consideration
Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said in February that manga is an influential platform for the development of global cultures.
"We received a large number of entries from many countries and regions for this year's Manga Award. The entries varied greatly both in their styles and messaging and helped us to once again realise the broad expressive power of manga," Motegi said.
The gold award winner went to Piece of Mind by Israeli artist Guy Lenman, while the silver awards went to artists from Thailand, Spain, and Brazil.
Lam's work is listed first in the bronze winners list on Japan International Manga Award's website.
Congratulations on the award, Lam! You have made Malaysia proud!