Political Comics

28 Jun

I’ve always thought that the Malaysian comics scene could do with a little more variety, which was why I am more than happy to see ROTTW (a music-themed comic magazine, if I’m not wrong) and Isu dalam Komik (literal English translation: Issues in Comics) hitting local bookstores and newsstands. While these comics are not my cup of tea, I’m sure there are some readers out there who must feel that these magazines are the best thing since sliced bread, and they would be right too.

Which was why I was rather puzzled when I discovered more and more of Zunar’s comics are getting banned. FYI, Zunar’s a cartoonist who draws political comics strips on a regular basis for the independent online news portal Malaysiakini, called Cartoonkini.

One of Zunar’s comics, taken from CartoonKafe.com

This made me wonder why is it that Reggie Lee’s mostly political-themed comics which appear in The Star don’t get as much flak as Zunar’s stuff? Is it because Zunar’s portrayals of issues are more head on and have somehow struck some bigwig’s nerves? (I’m not really sure as I’ve not read much of Zunar’s stuff apart from flipping through it at Newsplus and passing occasional glances at it while perusing the MalaysiaKini website). Here are some links to the news coverage this issue has gotten.

Whatever the case is, Zunar released an online statement stating that he will continue drawing, which is the right thing to do in my opinion. After all, everything does seem rather mundane when we don’t learn how to laugh at ourselves once in a while.

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