Q: Why is Town Boy such an enduring favourite with Malay-sians?Cartoonist and yes, let's call him graphic novelist, Datuk Mohd Noor Khalid, alias Lat, talks in the New Straits Times today about reflecting a multi-cultural Malaysian society in his work.
A: I think many people look at Town Boy as something that promotes unity, friendship and encourages people to understand others' cultures.
Town Boy and Kampong Boy were two of the first books I was recommended to read when I first landed in Malaysia to teach back in 1984. These gentle and humourous tales were the best introduction I could have had, and were clearly created with someone with a keen eye for human foibles, as well as a love and respect for the different races.
I must confesss that in those early months here, I had many "Lat moments" when I recognised his characters in the street or in the coffee shop, or among my own teaching colleagues!
(See also this entry on Kak Teh's blog and Amir Muhammad's excellent review of Kampung Boy*.
(*Thanks Preeta for reminding me.)