Meeting Lefty Julian was a lesson in seeing the usual in the unusual.
Photographer KC Chong and I waited at a bus stop in Pulau Tikus, making small talk as Lefty rode up on his iron horse, a battered local motorcycle nicknamed the “Millennium Falcon”.
The location is the bus stop next to SMK Convent Pulau Tikus on Jalan Burma, Penang. He removed his helmet and coolly strode up clutching his sketches under his arm.
In warm mid-morning, we stood on the road verge island strip. The grass verge separated the slip road from the main though fare. We step back to view his artwork titled “Stories from the Eurasian community”.
It’s okay. Lefty was on the lookout for us. No motor vehicle was dented in the course of the interview.
<You never know what goes on in the heads of comic artists, er… naturally>
Slightly bewildered, Lefty had a wild man look about him. Perhaps it was all that energy spilled over from drawing a blown up statue of liberty. Comic dudes do that all the time. Something that would cost millions to execute for a movie, can all done in storyboard in a matter of hours.
With a strong story board, he is able to choreograph the entire story from planning to the angle of the shot and elements. Sweat drops, swirls and the word KAPOW! in bold gets me every time.
That’s when the magic happens!
A self-confessed non ambitious guy Lefty makes comics purely for the joy of drawing and his love for the medium.
He who finds fulfilment in story telling; finds JOY in the beauty of comics.
This former ad-man is the super cool, co-founder and comic artist at Gilamon Studio. Lefty was responsible for the beautiful George Town Caricature Sculptures in wire-work. Wire Art can be seen on major historical roads of George Town covering the Core and Buffer Zones of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009.
This was before Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic was roped in to paint murals during the Georgetown Festival 2012 in an effort to boost the tourism industry.
Now mural art appear to have eclipsed other street art forms.
Lefty started drawing in his free time. This hobby became a full time passion. He formed the successful local comic book publishing company behind Six, Major Zombie, and the award-winning Jimi Germ comic book titles.
Barely a week after the launch of “Community Stories” which is a project under the ‘Connecting with Our Heritage’, we found two A4 sized printed advertisement pasted on the art work with masking tape on the graphic panels of the bus stop.
Lefty and artist friend Chong Kok Choon coolly removed the bills. That’s what’s unusual about the artist sort. I don’t know what goes on in their heads to come up with the deliciously cool comics.
Mind blowing destruction, villains and vigilantes?
Comics are the ultimate COOL. Gambateh Dudes!