27 June 2015: Tanjong Life

Tanjong Life features the cheeky adventures of Joe G as he explores Penang’s nooks and crannies; sampling the best food, visiting secret scenic spots, and experiencing all the fun that the island has to offer.

Tanjong LifeFans of homegrown-flavoured cartoons may remember Sun Tan, probably the first English-language comic strip featuring a motley crew of South Asian characters doing, in sometimes stereotypical fashion, ‘what comes naturally’ to South Asians. It has since gone on to inspire many other similarly-themed cartoonists like Lat and C.W. Kee, whose fortés are in capturing, with uncanny precision, the characteristics unique to each and every culture in Malaysia. Unlike Lat and Kee’s creations, the protagonist in Mohd Azmi’s Tanjong Life, Joe G – a buck-toothed, bowl haircut boy-man – is neither Malay, Indian, Chinese nor Eurasian. Joe only identifies himself as being a ‘100 percent Penangite’, a trait which fortuitously makes him the quintessential ambassador of all things Penang!

The artist known as Me seen

The artist known as Me seen

Joe expertly juggles a multi-task of activities – metamorphosing from cultural spokesperson to food critique and tour guide. He dishes out information on famous old and new landmarks like the Snake Temple, Esplanade, Protestant Cemetery, Kapitan Kling Mosque, Khoo Kongsi, Penang Bridge and Komtar. He takes the traveler shopping at the second-hand book shops and the ubiquitous flea and night markets. He invites them to partake of culinary specialities like chendol, pasembur, char koay teow, nasi kandar, coconuts and durians. All in, Joe covers a little over a hundred fun, interesting and rewarding diversions for the curious and intrepid visitor to Penang.

Like his creation, Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin, popularly known as ME, is a true-blue Penangite, born and raised in Butterworth. Tanjong Life, his first book, was launched early this year at theMade In Penang Interactive Museum by none other than Me’s hero – Malaysia’s foremost cartoonist Datuk Lat.