Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This has been up for a while.

Lest we forget: The importance of history in Singapore and Malaysia Comics Studies

Comics studies tend to focus on textual analysis (story and characterization) of the cartoon strips or comic books. However, one should not forget that such works could not and should not be read in a vacuum. Cartoons and comics are very much productions of their times as much as they are a mirror of our lives. Text and context should go together in comics studies.This paper argues for such a historical approach, using examples from Singapore and Malaysia. A sense of history is important and its application in our reading of comics and cartoons would provide insights to present politics and society, especially the impact of globalization and the progress of democratization.

A paper I presented at the Kyoto International Manga Museum in Dec 2009. It was a conference organized by KIMM and Seika University.

But I didn't know this was up as well.

‘Forgotten Legacies': The Case of Abdullah Ariff’s Pro-Japanese Cartoons during the Japanese Occupation of Penang

This chapter explores the work of a much-neglected artist whose work has recently been the focus of a major exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Malaysia (2004). Having played a minor role in the post-war Malayan nationalist politics, Abdullah’s wartime career has been largely obscured, particularly his 25-page pro-Japanese cartoon book entitled Perang Pada Pandangan Juru-Lukis Kita (‘The War As Our Cartoonist Sees It’), published in Penang by Shu Seicho Shimbun Renraku Jimusho in 1942. This chapter aims to reassess Abdullah’s life and work within the broader discourse of Malay collaborators during the Japanese Occupation of British Malaya, and to explore questions relating to his relationship with the Japanese occupiers; with the British authorities; and the use of cartoons as historical evidence.

Happy reading this Deepavali.

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