Lat Gets Lost Paperback
by Lat (Author)
Paperback: 142 pages
Publisher: Berita Publishing (1996)
Lat – Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid (Jawi: ???? ??? ????), more commonly known as Lat, (born 5 March 1951) is a Malaysian cartoonist. Winner of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2002, Lat has published more than 20 volumes of cartoons since he was 13 years old. His works mostly illustrate Malaysia’s social and political scenes, portraying them in a comedic light without bias. Lat’s best known work is The Kampung Boy (1979), which is published in several countries across the world. In 1994, the Sultan of Perak bestowed the honorific title of datuk on Lat, in recognition of the cartoonist’s work in helping to promote social harmony and understanding through his cartoons.
Born in a village, Lat spent his youth in the countryside before moving to the city at the age of 11. While in school, he supplemented his family’s income by contributing cartoon strips to newspapers and magazines. He was 13 years old when he achieved his first published comic book, Tiga Sekawan (Three Friends Catch a Thief). After failing to attain the grades that were required to continue education beyond high school, Lat became a newspaper reporter. In 1974, he switched careers to be an editorial cartoonist. His works, reflecting his view about Malaysian life and the world, are staple features in national newspapers such as New Straits Times and Berita Minggu. He adapted his life experiences and published them as his autobiographies, The Kampung Boy and Town Boy, telling stories of rural and urban life with subtle comparisons between the two.
Lat’s style has been described as reflective of his early influences, The Beano and The Dandy. He has, however, come into his own way of illustration, drawing the common man on the streets with bold strokes in pen and ink. A trademark of his Malay characters is their three-loop noses. Lat paid attention to family life and children because of his idolisation of Raja Hamzah, a senior cartoonist who was also popular in the 1960s with his comics about swashbuckling heroes. Rejabhad, a well-respected cartoonist, was Lat’s mentor, and imbued the junior cartoonist with a preference to be sensitive to the subjects of his works. Lat’s attention to details gained him popularity, endearing his works to the masses who find them believable and unbiased.
Aside from writing and publishing cartoons, Lat has ventured into the fields of animation, merchandising, and theme parks with his creations. His name and works are recognised internationally; foreign cartoonists, such as Matt Groening and Sergio Aragonés, admire his art, and foreign governments invite Lat to tour their countries, hoping to gain greater exposure for their countries through Lat’s cartoons of his experiences in them. After 27 years of living and working in Kuala Lumpur, Lat moved back to Ipoh for a more sedate lifestyle in semi-retirement.