Call for permanent avenue for local cartoonist to display work

|     James Kon     |

A COLLECTION of local comic artworks is currently on display at the ongoing Comic Art Exhibition 2019 themed Kami Urang Brunei at the Art Gallery of the Dermaga Diraja.

One of these is the much talked about Bapa & Anak artworks, which incorporates Bruneian characters created by Khairul bin Haji Kamis, otherwise known as @Ngatun in his works.

His comic art Bapa & Anak was published in the Media Permata, the main Malay language newspaper in Brunei in 2003. However he discontinued the cartoons after five editions after running out of ideas for the storyline. His works was also published in the Brucert magazine in 2011.

Influenced by Disney animations, Khairul started his comic art passion when he began sketching comic artworks in secondary school, moving on to producing more serious artworks in 2000. His artworks were inspired by Malaysian comics such as Gila-Gila and Gempak, among others.

Recently, some of his friends encouraged him to revive his passion, and he agreed to exhibit some of his latest works at the Comic Art Exhibition.

Khairul bin Haji Kamis. – JAMES KON

“When I was thinking about the idea, I wasn’t married yet,” he said of the process of coming up with ideas for his comics. “Then I came up with the idea of a child who is smarter and always helped his father get out of troubles.”

He said his family including his five-year-old son is very supportive of and love his comics work.

“It would be my dream to publish a comic if I can compile a good one and complete a storyline that can be made into a comic,” added the 36-year-old, who works as an assistant operation officer at BruCERT.

“It’s very hard to only get an income from comic artworks. I tried to make a living out of comics earlier in my life and I barely survived, so I feel that it is ideal to have a permanent job and carry on my hobby part-time.”

To help support comic talents in the local creative industry, Khairul said he hopes the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports could provide a permanent avenue for local talents to display and expose their artworks.

Members of the public can see Khairul’s works at the Comic Art Exhibition 2019 until April 23.

His artworks can also be viewed on his Instagram page @Ngatun.