First published at the ripe old age of 13, Lat is a cartoonist who has chronicled parts of his own life. The two books that I have been able to get my eyes on are Kampung Boy and Town Boy. Pen and ink. Experience and humor.
Lat's artwork buzzes and flows. His compositions serve to match the movement or stillness in each scene. Hang on while you are riding on Mat's handlebars. Sit in awkward silence as you see Mat's buddies with their faces pressed against the cafe's window as he and Normah have a date.
They are both lovely works of art, but I'm partial to Town Boy. If you turn to the jukebox scene that starts on page 53, you'll understand why.
Many of Lat's characters are drawn in a similar style, but he romanticizes Normah and depicts her in a way that speaks to the nature of memory and first love and to the poetic license that empowers a storyteller.
Lat's magic. You can't help feeling good when you read Town Boy. Thanks, Malaysia!