"Lat: The Early Series" is the latest compilation of Lat's memorable works published by the New Straits Times.
It was launched today.
The 206-page hardcover brings you back to Lat's early cartoons and reminds you why you fell in love with Mamat (and, of course, Lat) and why you have always remained his fan.
When NST's E Media chief and columnist (former Business Times editor) Zainul Arifin who is responsible for this project, told me about the (then) upcoming collection of Lat's works, I was thrilled.
Lat is a Malaysian icon. Our national treasure. Is there any Malaysian who does not know, or love Lat?
I remember waiting for his "Kampung Boy" series to be out every year. I own all of Lat's calendars.
They're all collectors' items as far as I'm concerned.
Lat's talent was, and still is, recognised and appreciated beyond our shores.
Through his "working" years as a cartoonist, Lat was invited to visit the UK and Europe, Japan and the US.
He will, I believe, continue to receive such invitations.
More than anything, "Lat: The Early Series" pays tribute to Lat's "evolution as an artist and emergence as a social commentator".
*Lat is Mohamad Nor Khalid. At 17, he was already contributing his "Keluarga Si Mamat" to Berita Minggu, the Malay Sunday paper of the NST group.
He was first recruited by the NST as a reporter and started, as most cadets do, in the crime desk. When his bosses discovered his talent as a cartoonist, he was re-designated as, well, a cartoonist.
Lat now resides with his wife and children in Ipoh -- in a house that he built.