Art or self-indulgence? A scene from “Town Boy” by Lat

I have been wanting to share this scene ever since I first read “Town Boy” by Malaysian cartoonist Lat. Context: Art lesson in an all-boys secondary school. Hormonal teenagers + teacher talking about nude drawings = “art” consisting of scantily-clad bombshells.

Click the thumbnails to view the full size scanned images:


Two-page spread:


Two-page spread (punchline, possible NSFW):

So all those artists drawing skimpy outfits, pantsu-flashing lolis and oversize boobs, don’t tell me you are creating “strong female characters”, because that’s just you wanking to your fetishes.

Plus some things I noticed about the overall atmosphere of “Town Boy”:

  • 1960s – 1970s Malaysia seems to be more liberal than it is now. The art teacher talks about nude drawing in class, men and women dance together and very few women are shown wearing the tudung.
  • There seem to be fewer racial and religious boundaries. Lat (Malay Muslim) and Frankie (Chinese) become friends through the shared love of Western pop music and everyone thinks Normah is the “hottest girl in Ipoh” regardless of racial boundaries.

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