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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Beano & Dandy

     Hi!  One of the reading materials that interest teenagers like me is comic books.  However, as a kampung boy, I got to know about it quite late, that was in Form One, when I studied at High School Muar.  It was because I started to see them at bookshops when I rode my bicycle through the town center on my way to school. 

     Some of us readers in Malaysia who were educated in schools using Malay as their medium of instruction may not get any idea what Beano & Dandy is.  However, those who were from English schools may knnow that they are comic newspapers.  Those were some of the comic newspapers that I cam a across when I started to cycle my way to and from school every day since from one at High School Muar.

     Flashback - I, with some of my friends used to cycle n the mornings to a religion school in Muar, "Sekolah Agama Dumpar Rendah Pagi".  After school at 11.00 a.m., we changed into our secondary school uniforms and shared our food which we had brought from home at lunch.  While waiting for the afternoon session at High School Muar to start, I would go to an Indian book store in town to look at the comincs that were hung at the shop.  They were 'Beano', 'Dandy', 'Beezer', Biffo', 'Topper', 'Mad' and a lot of other comics that I cannot remember.  

     I thought I could flip through the pages of those comic newspapers dangling on a string in the shop, but the shopkeeper wouldn't let me read them there, so I had to buy them for thirty-five cents (35 cents) which was quite expensive at that time, as I only got twenty cents for pocket money every day.  Came to think of it, I would only buy them once or twice a week.  So, I saved up some of my pocket money to buy them twice a week and read them alone.  I couldn't share the cost with my siblings, because they were not interested in reading an english comic, as they were educated in a malay school.

     How I got attracted to these comics, I was, and still am not sure.  But attracted to them, I was.

     I found the comics humorous.  The humour in both comics was basic – the fun stemmed from the idiosyncratic and often larger than the life characters allowed readers to relate to and sympathise with them, and also laugh at the ridiculous scrapes they got into.  All characters were interesting: Desperate Dan, Korky the cat, Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, Bash Street Kids, Roger the Dodger, I enjoyed reading them all, I stored the comic papers away carefully as if they were something very precious, with the intention of salvaging them some day and read them again.  But after so many years, I can't find them any more.  I have lost my precious treasure, so cheap but so valuable. What can I do?

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