Graphic Content – Kampung Boy

List Item:  Read half of the 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die
47/501Title: Kampung Boy
Creator: Lat
Year: 1979
Country: Malaysia

The variation within the 1001 comics list really is something to behold. This week I’ve read an adaptation of Chinese erotica, a Franco-Belgian humour comic about a long tailed animal and now we have have a touching (and humorous) autobiography about a boy growing up in rural Malaysia.

It’s a short graphic novel where we follow the first 10-11 years of Mat’s life in a rural village (called a ‘kampung’ in Malay). We watch as he makes friends, learns to read and goes through the many rites of passage associated with being a young Muslim in Malaysia.

Everything is done seamlessly through the eyes of a child, down to the asides about his father scratching his back. It was such a joy to read that, I couldn’t help but feel that Kampung Boy ended as soon as it had begun. I guess that this means I’ll have to pick up a copy of Town Boy at some point to continue following Mat’s story as he gets us to life in a major town after growing up in the countryside.

Right, it’s time to go for something a bit more sizeable and typical of comics – that’s right it’s my first proper superhero comic and I’m going to be reading Captain America. It was a close run thing between this and X-Men, but this won out because I’ve never really gotten to know Captain America. This is exciting.

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