Southeast Asian Cartoon Art

History, Trends and Problems


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About the Book

This is the first overview of cartoon art in this important cultural nexus of Asia. The eight essays provide historical and contemporary examinations of cartoons and comics in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and sociocultural and political analyses of cartooning in Singapore, Myanmar, and Malaysia. The collection benefits from hundreds of interviews with Southeast Asia’s major cartoonists, conducted by the four contributors, as well as textual analyses of specific cartoons, on-the-spot observations, and close scrutiny of historical documents.
All genres of printed cartoon art are studied, including political and humor cartoons, newspaper comic strips, comic books, and humor and cartoon periodicals. Topics of discussion and comparison with cartoon art of other parts of the globe include national identity, the transnational public sphere, globalization, alternative media forms, freedom of expression, consumerism, and corporatism. Southeast Asian cartoon art has a number of features unique to the region, such as having as pioneering cartoonists three countries’ founding fathers, comics that gave their name to a national trait, some of the earliest graphic novels worldwide, and a king who hired a cartoonist to illustrate his books.

About the Author(s)

John A. Lent was a professor for 51 years in universities in the United States, the Philippines, Malaysia, Canada, and China. He founded and has edited or presided over a number of periodicals and organizations. He lives in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by John A. Lent
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: 52 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7557-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1446-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


      John A. Lent 1

Part I: Historical and

Contemporary Overviews

1. Cartooning in Indonesia: An Overview: John A. Lent 6

2. Philippine Komiks: 1928 to the Present: John A. Lent 39

3. The Uphill Climb to Reach a Plateau: Historical Analysis of the Development of Thai Cartooning: Warat Karuchit 75

4. The Swerving Status of Cambodian Comic Art: John A. Lent 105

5. Cartooning in Vietnam: A Brief Overview: John A. Lent 122

Part II: ­Socio-Cultural and Political Issues

6. Chinese Cartoonists in Singapore: Chauvinism, Confrontation and Compromise (1950–1980): Lim Cheng Tju 142

7. Political Cartoons and Burma’s Transnational Public Sphere: Lisa Brooten 178

8. Cartoonist Lat and Malaysian National Identity: An Appreciation: Muliyadi Mahamood 205

About the Contributors 215

Works Cited 217

Index 231

Book Reviews & Awards

Choice Outstanding Academic Title
“The essays provide textual analysis and unique research into one of the least-documented regions of comic creation…remarkable…an indispensable resource…. Essential”—Choice; “the latest work fro a prodigious producer of books on developing nation communications and comics…in this case both…vivid”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly.