Happy anniversary, Zunar. Exactly a year ago on Friday, we published on this blog an article on Zunar, quoting from his speeches and highlighting one of his catchier sayings. That quotable quote is now the title of his latest book of cartoons, Even My Pen Has a Stand.
The book features a collection of his political cartoons from MalaysiaKini from September to June as well as works published in Cartoonmovement.com, an international cartoon website.
It also includes a cartoon which he drew while in police detention in September, when police raided his office and hauled him from police station to police station (seven in all) all over KL and Selangor. The launch, with ousted Perak menteri besar Nizar Jamaluddin the guest-of-honour, carried on in his absence.
Saturday night’s launch of Zunar’s new book was a happier occasion, though coming at a time of similar political tension.
Literary laureate A Samad Said (once an editor at Berita Harian), resplendent in his sage-like beard and bushy white hair, was guest speaker while Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP for Pantai, did the honours. About 200 or so were present, according to MalaysiaKini, with Parti Keadilan’s Syed Husin Ali, Latheefa Koya of Pas, and Fadzil Fahmi of Twitterland, among them. All came under the usual watching eyes of a plain-clothed goon squad representatives of the blue-uniformed forces of oppresssion.
Besides political satire, the book contains a little personal history. Zunar told Malaysia Chronicle last week: “In order to answer questions from fans regarding where I have been from before the ‘Reformasi’ era, I have also produced 12 pages of ‘Cartoonology’ in this book, which relates the history of my career from 1974 until now.”
Even My Pen Has A Stand (RM25) is published by Kinibooks, the publishing arm of MalaysiaKini.