COMIC books are not mindless entertainment. Embedded into them are clues to the cultures of their countries of origin.
The public can now delve into the cultural essence of comics at the Asia Comics Cultural Museum (ACCM) on Level 2 of ICT Mall in Komtar, Penang.
The evolution of comics in nine Asian countries -– Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand – are on permanent display there.
Museum curator Dr Hew Kuan Yau said visitors would gain fresh insight into the cultural aspects of the countries.
Japanese comics shown here provide a good example of the link between comics and society.
They are filled with impossible heroes such as Ultraman and the Masked Rider.
“The country is prone to earthquakes, volcano eruptions and tsunamis,” said Dr Hew.
“You can’t be angry at disasters but you can depict them as monsters in comics and create superheroes to inspire the people to overcome them.”
The China section is quite enlightening. After decades of strict political dictation, comic book artists are now more or less free to express themselves and present-day China comics are mostly about romance!
The museum is hosting an eight-day ‘Voracious Comics Week’ to mark the school holidays starting today.
Seventeen Malaysian comic artists including Zunar, Lyndon Loo, Fei Giap and Lefty Julian will share how they draw, give demos and even whip up caricatures of visitors on the spot between 2pm and 5pm every day till next Sunday.
Teachers or leaders of student groups of 20 or more will get free entry while all students will enjoy a RM2 discount (bring your student card). The normal entry fee is RM10.
For details, call ACCM (04-371 5512) or visit the PACCMuseum Facebook page.