Permata Laut Silan #1 is a brand new comic book series Aemir Khalid (writer) and Anshari (artist). It was first released as an online comic book back in 2011 and re-released online via Gumroad in 2015 before being improved on, expanded and released in print.
A long journey for the duo indeed!
This is the first writing of Aemir Khalid that has been developed into a comic book series. Anshari on the other hand is a local comic artist who has been around for sometime. Together, the duo has put together a gem of a story that has great potential.
Set in the mid-13th century after the fall of the Abbasiyyah empire, Permata Laut Silan follows the adventures of Hitam and Seri in search of the mysterious Jewel. This first issue introduces us to a few different characters including the elusive Ratu Naga that roams the sea seemingly wanting a sacrificial offering.
Compared to the original online version of this comic, the colours seem to have been refined with some minor changes to the drawings and text. The printed version also has more pages and extends slightly compared to the original online release.
An example shown below:
What makes this comic stand out is the fact that whilst it is a work of fiction, many local elements are used to make it unique. Something which seems to be lacking these days where comic artists and writers tend to follow the trend and ignore many of our own traditional elements that makes us unique as a country.
You find the Rentaka making an appearance in one scene. While most people might be familiar with the Kris, the rentaka is an equally famous weapon (a type of cannon) that were used by Malay warriors. It came in various sizes including some weighing just a few pounds that could be hand-carried.
There is also an excerpt from Syair Perahu, by the 16th century poet Hamzah Fansuri featured on the back cover.
Laut Silan terlalu dalam,
di sanalah perahu rusak dan karam,
sungguhpun banyak di sana menyelam,
larang mendapat permata nilam.
Laut Silan wahid al kahhar,
riaknya rencam ombaknya besar,
anginnya songsongan membelok sengkar
perbaik kemudi jangan berkisar.
And I always appreciate some traditional architecture in comics.
You can watch a short trailer of the comic book here:
This comic book is worth every penny. An excellent read with great artwork. Priced at only RM4.90, you can find the first issue of Permata Laut Silan and most major bookstores. I picked up my copy at Borders.
The second issue is expected to be released in October 2017.
Title: Permata Laut Silan
Writer: Aemir Khalid
Cover Art: Anshari
You can also visit the official Facebook Page here.