I bought Kampung Boy about a year ago and have really wanted to review it. Trouble is I can't find anything to add to the superlatives others have written about the book. Lat's writing is honest and affecting. His artwork is totally perfect for the material, tales of his boyhood, growing up in a tiny village in 50's Malaysia. Each page is one picture with text in a style somewhat similar to the British cartoonist Giles with a line quality like Charles Shulz and an energy to his work that brought to mind Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbs. Of course Lat's strength is that he is none of these people, he may bring them to mind as our brains reach for comparisons to put Lat in a compartment, but he is his own man, his own artist.

The story works like all good autobiography, picking key moments from a life and illustrating them honestly but lovingly. There's little else you can say about it except to recommend it whole heartedly.

The book is published by First Second, one of the best graphic novel publishers out there. They have a wonderful backlist of what can best be described as "literary" comics with people like Joan Sfar, Lewis Trondheim, Eddie Campbell and Derek Kirk Kim. Lat sits comfortably with this group as an equal in skill and ability, if not yet in terms of "fame" in the western comics world.

Just buy the book, it will cost you the price of four or five Marvel or DC books and will stay with you a helluva lot longer.