I was very excited when I first heard about the release of his autobiography late last year. Who wouldn’t? Most of us grew up reading at least, the Kampung Boy and his comic strips in the New Straits Times, not forgetting all the strips inspired from the Visit Malaysia Year in 1990.
I finally got hold of my copy last week at Borders, Bangsar Village. A beautiful hardcover book but sadly priced on the higher side. RM99.00 to be exact. At Borders, I thought I’ll call up MPH (which was in the next building) to see if they had it as well, just to compare the price.
Me: “Hi, I’m calling to enquire about Lat’s Autobiography, the cartoonist”.
MPH: “Could you spell Lat for me?”
The thing is, the person on the phone sounded very much like a Malaysian in her 20s and she was asking me to spell LAT. Maybe the younger generation can’t connect as well as the older ones to his cartoons? Just a thought.
She eventually found the book on the system but told me it was not available. Only then did I realize it was a Borders Exclusive.
It was a Singaporean publisher. EDM Books. Perhaps our currency has made this book quite expensive. Rehman Rashid’s recently re-printed “A Malaysian Journey” was only around RM60 last year and that was also a hardback edition.
The book is great. Gives you insights into his comics, his characters and at times he writes about specific scenes in his comics. Remember the last scene from “The Kampung Boy” where Mat was boarding a bus with his dad to his new school? According to Lat, that was not exactly what happened. Instead…(buy the book to find out yourself).
There’s also plenty of photos throughout. Definitely worth adding this to your collection. Only down side is the price. Hopefully they will release a paperback version.
Write-Lah! focuses on reviews of movies, music and books (not necessarily new releases) with an emphasis on local talent here in Malaysia.