Mohd Azmi Bin Mohd Hussin, also known as Azmi Hussin, is a Penang-born cartoonist. Recognizably, he expressed the memories of the cultural stories of Penang through the characters in his artworks. Proudly said, the young and talented cartoonist was inducted into the Malaysia Book of Records for drawing the most comic characters within 24 hours (2017), the longest coffee painting (2019), and the longest single comic strip (2021).
As new styles of drawings arise, it is clear that Azmi stays true to one constant theme: his appreciation for the state, Penang, which is also his birthplace. Furthermore, his comics illustrate and fit numerous details about Penang as he wishes to publicize the cultural narratives of Penang via his art.
With the support and motivation from the renowned Malaysian comic artist Dato Lat as a mentor, Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin successfully published his first English comic entitled, “Tanjong Life,” in February 2015. Fascinatingly, his comics emphasize interracial stories and paint a vivid image of typical Malaysians.
Tanjong Life, drawn by Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin, demonstrates the main character, Joe G, as he travels everywhere in Penang! By reading the comic, the readers will follow Joe G in his journey of savoring the tastiest food, discovering picturesque sites, and more.
Joe G, an authentic Penangite, is the best guide to the gorgeous, absolutely incomparable ‘Pearl of the Orient,’ with his generosity and pleasant personality. In short, it is a lovely, amusing, and simple comic on cultures and notable places in Penang.
The second comic by Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin, “The Little Mamak,” was published and available in 2016. Notably, he carefully constructed the comic with great ability – no simple undertaking given that the word ‘Mamak’ consists of double meanings and wrongly used may lead to racial issues.
Upon its launch, it instantly attracts the attention of residents and foreign tourists that have traveled to Penang. Pridefully, The National Book Council (NBC) named it as one of the fifty “Malaysia Best Titles” to represent Malaysia at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.
In this comic, the Penang cartoonist Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin illustrates his searches for his ancestors using drawings and a sharp sense of humor. With the use of first-person narrative, Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin enlists the assistance of his grandma in answering questions about his origin. The cartoonist also mentioned that going directly to the source is the ideal method to identify your roots and the country of your forebears.
The recent comic by Azmi Hussin, Tanjong Life: The New Norm, documents the previous fifteen months of the “new normal” adopted in Malaysia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 96-page hardback comic was released in June 2021 at the George Town Festival (GTF) and depicted the figure of Joe G in various settings in Penang.
The comic depicts the humorous adventures of Joe G, the familiar and authentic Penangite character in the comics of Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin. The comic reveals the different sides (pros and cons) and adaptations made by the Penangites, brought by the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While reading the comic, the characters revealed everything that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, from becoming entangled in the Dalgona coffee mania to getting body temperature checked before riding a trishaw, watching performing arts online, and discovering the effects of improper disposal of face masks.
Instead of portraying the sad truths of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin instilled humor in his comic to keep people staying upbeat to continue living with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Tanjong Life: Back to the 90s, the artist contrasts the current digital world when people desire more Likes buttons on social media and enjoy the benefits of technology, with the good old days of the 90s as people valued the simple things in life and respected one another. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic did not exist in the past, and people cherished the opportunity to meet each other.
These were some of the content included in the 93-page comic that Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin spent three months planning and drawing the comic, which was launched in association with the George Town Festival (GTF) 2022. Undoubtedly, growing up in the 90s was viewed better when face-to-face connection was more crucial and prioritized than network connectivity!
The main character, Joe G, appears in every scene, from waiting in line to make a phone call to borrowing VHS (Video Home System) tapes and playing the eraser battle with your friends at school. The cartoonist, who usually incorporated Penang sceneries in his comics, included the iconic Penang Hill funicular train in the 90s, which was slower and enabled locals and tourists to relax and enjoy the panoramic view along the way. Consequently, this comic portrays the slow-paced lifestyle of Penangites in the 90s.
In short, aside from comics, Mohd Azmi Mohd Hussin is also actively involved in mural projects, still-lifes, and portrait drawings, which has increased his profile in the art industry. Presently, he focuses on planning and developing comic books and other publications, promotional materials, and commercial accessories.
Curious about artworks in Malaysia? Visit 4 Renowned Artworks by a Malaysian Artist, Red Hong Yi, and 5 Penang Artworks by Local Artists You Might Have Missed!