Lam Quek Cheng, a Malaysian comic book artist, has recently won a bronze award for a Bahasa Malaysia mystery-horror manga titled Detektif Hantu: Kesumat. He won the acclamation at the 13th International Manga Awards, which is cited as one of the most prestigious awards for non-Japanese manga.
The International Manga Awards received 345 works from around the world, one artist received the gold award, three artists received the silver award and Lam’s manga is one of the 11 bronze winners, according to China Press.
He was presented the award by Japan’s ambassador to Malaysia, Hiroshi Oka during the ceremony. Respected Malaysian comic artist, Datuk Mohd Nor Khalid @ Lat, also attended the award ceremony that took place on Monday, 6 July.
According to the comic’s publisher, KADOKAWA Gempak Starz, Detektif Hantu: Kesumat is a sequel to Detektif Hantu, originally written by local artist TOTORO. It follows the story of a detective with supernatural powers who is investigating a game that caused a student to die 13 years ago.
Lam, who writes under the pseudonym ‘Leoz’, said he taught himself how to create comics and later submitted his work to Gempak Starz while still studying in middle school.
“The comics I worked on in the past tend to cater to children and education. But honestly, the ghost theme in Detektif Hantu: Kesumat is something I always wanted to pursue. It just so happened that the publishing house believed that the ghost theme has market potential, so they let me create this comic,” Lam told China Press.
Japan’s Foreign Minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, said that manga is a powerful medium for the development of global cultures. She also added that she’s happy with the diversity of this year’s works at the awards.
“We received a large number of entries from many countries and regions for this year’s Manga Award. The entries varied greatly both in their styles and messaging and helped us to once again realise the broad expressive power of Manga,” she said.
In her review of the works submitted, Motegi said, “The world of Manga is a great forum that fosters discussions on culture and philosophy and expressions of feelings and sensibilities”.
Apart from Detektif Hantu: Kesumat, Lam has published 20 works including Warm Heart Works, Kaleidoscope Series and Siri Citra Kasih, among others.
You go, Lam! Keep inspiring all the young comic artists in Malaysia.
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