Google Doodle Celebrates Malaysian Animation Pioneer & His Cartoons In The '90s

Kamn Ismail created 'Keluang Man', Malaysia's first local superhero animated series.

Cover image via Google Doodle (Provided to SAYS) & New Straits Times

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Today, 8 February, Google Doodle celebrates the 67th birthday of the late Kamarudin Ismail, better known as Kamn Ismail, a cartoonist and pioneer in Malaysian animation

According to Google, the comic artist, who passed away at the age of 63 in 2019, was the leading figure in the use of computer technology and digital applications in animation during the '90s in the local industry.

Notably, Kamn created Keluang Man, Malaysia's first local superhero animated series that pioneered the use of 2D animation with 3D backgrounds.

Happy 67th birthday, Kamn Ismail!

Image via Google Doodle

Kamn was born on 8 February 1956 in Pengkalan Balak, Melaka, and always had an interest in art and drawing since he was a child

With the dream of one day becoming a comic artist, he worked at a UK-based company, McMillen Film Company, as a teenager in the production of a film called Paper Tiger that was released in 1975.

However, as the local animation industry was not booming at the time, Kamn's father cautioned him against continuing his career as a cartoonist. For the next 17 years, Kamn worked as an administrative clerk and held several positions at Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB).

Nonetheless, Kamn never gave up on his dreams and he eventually found his way back into the animation industry

Learning computer animation techniques in his spare time, at 35 years old, Kamn's skills landed him an opportunity to work at Kharisma Pictures from 1991 to 1997, where he trained others and worked together to create Malaysia's first animated television series, Usop Sontorian.

The series became a hit when it released for public viewing on RTM's TV1.

Soon after, Kamn became a director at UAS Animation Studios, where he created the hit animation series Keluang Man.

Clay figures of Kamn's pioneer work, 'Usop Sontorian'.

Image via New Straits Times

Clay figures of characters from 'Keluang Man'.

Image via New Straits Times

He went on to establish his own company, Quest Animations, in 2001, where he continued to direct and publish more hit animated titles such as Che Nat, Kumang, and Lagenda Kinabalu

Kamn's work has won numerous prizes such as 'Best Animation' at the 16th Malaysia Film Festival and 'Best Local TV Animation Series' at the Anugerah Seri Angkasa 2005 award ceremony.

He was also named 'Malaysian Animation Icon’ at the Malaysia Cartoon and Comic House's Cartoonist Day awards night in 2018.

You can check out the Google Doodle of Kamn on Google's homepage today, 8 February, or visit the archive here to see it!

Here are other legendary Malaysians who have been featured on Google's Doodles:

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