It's April 1 – get some much-needed laughs from Rumah Kartun Dan Komik Malaysia


  • Arts
  • Wednesday, 01 Apr 2020

A work from popular cartoonist Rossem, which is part of Rumah Kartun Dan Komik Malaysia's daily Covid-19 cartoon series on its Facebook. Photo: Rossem

Rumah Kartun Dan Komik Malaysia (Malaysia Cartoon And Comic House) in Kuala Lumpur is taking its Malaysian Cartoonist Day 2020 celebrations (April 1, of course!) online with an (hourly) avalanche of newly penned Covid-19 related works and funnies from homegrown artists such as Rossem, Mie, Riee, Pacat, Tok Man Tok Kenali, Sireh, Sukun, Mat Toncang, Has, Ozom and many others.

With the movement control order in effect, the party has turned up at Rumah Kartun Dan Komik Malaysia's Facebook page.

"April 1 is a special day for all cartoonists in this country. It is also a day that Rumah Kartun Dan Komik Malaysia honours the cartoonist community with the Malaysian Cartoonist Day awards night, which includes the Anugerah Tokoh Kartunis award to pay tribute to an artist who has contributed immensely to the local cartoon and comics scene. The postponed Malaysian Cartoonist Day 2020 awards was supposed to take place in Johor Baru," reads a statement from Rumah Kartun Dan Komik Malaysia.

A Covid-19 cartoon from Mie, who is the recipient of this year's Anugerah Tokoh Kartunis. Photo: MieA Covid-19 cartoon from Mie, who is the recipient of this year's Anugerah Tokoh Kartunis. Photo: Mie

This year's Anugerah Tokoh Kartunis award recipient is Kelantan-born KL-based cartoonist Mie (Ahmad Hilmy Abdullah), who started drawing professionally in 1984, with early stints in the Batu Api magazine.

Mie, 59, who is a trained architect, is very much influenced by Datuk Lat's slice-of-life cartoons. With recent books such as Apa Cerita? and the Imbauan 1-3 collections, Mie continues to vividly capture life in storybook small town Malaysia, childhood throwbacks, featuring a cast of day dreamers, and their bittersweet moments as they struggle for the future.

"I am truly honoured to receive this award (Anugerah Tokoh Kartunis). Words cannot express my gratitude to Rumah Kartun Dan Komik Malaysia, the local cartoonist scene and Datuk Lat, who is a big inspiration to me. I really appreciate that people - the comics fans - have taken such an interest in my cartoons through the years," says Mie in a phone interview.

He also reveals that he has been actively drawing cartoons during this movement control order (MCO) period.

A work from cartoonist Pacat, detailing the daily challenges of these 'stay home' times. Photo: PacatA work from cartoonist Pacat, detailing the daily challenges of these 'stay home' times. Photo: Pacat

"I have always viewed drawing cartoons as a form of therapy. To me, they bring out a certain sense of inner-calm. During this difficult time, I have stayed home and drawn daily cartoons to deal with this Covid-19 situation. In this small community of Malaysian cartoonists, I'm glad to be playing a part in making people smile with my works. We are all in this together," he adds.

Rumah Kartun Dan Komik Malaysia's previous Anugerah Tokoh Kartunis include Rossem (2017), Jaafar Taib (2018) and Aza (2019).

Formed in 2017, Rumah Kartun Dan Komik Malaysia is home to the nation’s cartoon and comic book story. It features exhibition areas featuring original comic book art, editorial cartoon strips, storyboard sketches, studio notes and vintage youth culture magazines, all dedicated to chronicling Malaysian comic book history and culture.

The cartoon and comics centre, situated at the Information Centre Building, Jalan Cenderasari, Taman Botani Perdana in Kuala Lumpur, is closed until the MCO period ends.

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