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Malaysia’s Best Comic Artists
From exhibiting work in Hong Kong to working with Marvel Comics, Malaysia’s comic artists are forces to be reckoned with.
Malaysian comic artists have been going places and making a name for themselves internationally. Here are five that you need to know!
Previously known as C2V, the 38-year-old artist has released graphic novels such as his first GENGKEY, Office Survival, Lawak OKKO, 3 Hours to Master and Horoscope Fever.
Michael Chuah refers to his work as a mix of Western Nickelodeon and a little bit of Japanese manga, or also known as “cutie pop”. GENGKEY is probably his most outstanding work yet; he released a guide on the 100 characters across the GENGKEY universe. The Never Ending Tales was exhibited in Hong Kong back in 2014 with the characters made into huge sculptures and even a motion game. Michael Chuah is currently working on a new comic title based on monsters, and his Office Survival comic strip is out on Tapastic website too.
This 47-year old comic artist from Penang has worked at major publications such as MOY Publications, Gempak Starz and even Storm Lion in Singapore. One of his most memorable work is the Major Zombie series which managed to snatch the award for Best Comics Series and Best Independent Comics at Malaysian Comics Society (PeKOMIK) Awards in 2012.
Another Gilamon Studio-published graphic novel, Jimi Germ was awarded the Malaysia Multimedia Corporation (MDeC) Intellectual Property Creative Challenge (IPCC) grant in 2011. Lefty is currently working on a series of community illustrations for Pulau Tikus, a township in Penang and plans to release a new Major Zombie graphic novel by the end of this year.
Billy Tan from Penang is currently based in Shanghai, and is probably one of the most successful comic artists from Malaysia. He turned down a scholarship to an art academy in Kuala Lumpur and moved to the USA in 1989 instead. He caught the comic bug when he discovered a comic shop when he was studying at the University of Kentucky. He started working for Image Comics before he got denied into the Marvel office and overlooked by Valiant Comics back then.
Comic book and storyboard artist Sheldon Goh is no stranger to the scene. He has worked on comic books for Hasbro’s GI Joe in the United States and even worked for independent comic book publisher Zenescope Entertainment Inc.
His work was exhibited at the Facing the Climate Exhibition organised by the Swedish Institute with both Swedish and Malaysian cartoonists. Also a teacher on the side, Sheldon conducts digital art and comic book art classes for all ages as his way of giving back to the new generation through traditional art principles with modern technology.
A newcomer to the Malaysian comic scene, Haryati Mohd Ehsan, is also known as Xanseviera. The 32-year-old is a holder of many achievements, and even pursued her Masters in video game art for two years at Guildhall: Southern Methodist University in Texas, USA. Currently working as an art lecturer in graphic design, she is also freelancing with entertainment content provider Kadokawa Gempakstarz. Haryati’s comic style influences derives from a mixture from manga style and visual narrative layouts from Western comics.
One of her most recognised work is Gempakstarz-published graphic novel Fairy Godbrother in 2010, which is based on her perspectives on people through a compilation of funny comic strips. Haryati recently released the Love Boat graphic novel based on the fluffy stories that she submitted to Gempak magazine and is currently working on several comic projects for younger audiences about friendship and courtesy.
By Kevin Yeoh
Photos courtesy of respective artists
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