I hear talk of “Bean” and “Dandy” magazines from days of yore, but for a Chinese boy growing up in the 70s to 80s in Singapore, we had "Lao Fu Zi" AKA “OLD MASTER Q”! Most times wordless illustrations of situations featuring caricatured characters from Hong Kong everyday life, going thru life and love - always funny, sometime melancholic (to me anyways), but always good fun!
Aside, my being an uncultured-brute of Chinese Literature, I had actually known about the story of “The Water Margin / 水虎傳” via reading “老夫子”’s comicbook adaptation - which was also adapted into a cartoon!
The comics were in black on white pages, and we’d read them anywhere, not precious about keeping them “MIB” (*Mint-in-Bag) like we do American/western comicbooks, least they “decrease in value”, and with that aspect, "Lao Fu Zi" were probably more widely read, and maybe even taken for granted, I will not lie.
The inevitable allure of manhwa, manga, western comicbooks soon took a hold of our collective / my desire to be “westernised”, with music from the New Romantics and synth-sounds of the future, the stacks of 老夫子 comics mysteriously “disappeared” from my collection … Through the years, Old Master Q (and his friends) were made animated cartoons, even come “alive” digitally in live-action films haha
Most recently (in the past decade), Old Master Q was the front for the 2011 Taipei Toy Festival, which also saw the exhibition of The Fantasy Zone of OMQ (Featured HERE and HERE) … and most “recently” as even (prototype) 1/6th figures seen at STGCC 2013!
Alas, these are the precious memories remain, as we pay homage to the passing of “Alfonso Wong”; the creator of “老夫子”…
"Comic artist Alfonso Wong Kar Hei, who created the beloved "Lao Fu Zi" or Old Master Q comic series, has died, reported the Apple Daily and NetEase websites. The Tianjin-born artist died on Jan 1 in the United States, said NetEase. He died from natural causes, according to a statement released by OMQ ZMedia, the company that promotes and markets the Old Master Q comics and quoted by the website of Taiwan News." (reported Straits Times)
"Fans of the comic strip Old Master Q can revisit their childhood memories at Comix Home Base in Wan Chai from December 10, 2016 to January 4, 2017. “Indulging in Imagination – Exhibition of Old Master Q’s Comics Works” features the work of Alfonso Wong, known by his pen name Wong Chak, his eldest son Joseph’s Chinese name.
Inspired by Hong Kong society and culture, Alfonso Wong used the character of Old Master Q to reflect how Chinese society has changed over the years. He drew the comic strip from 1962 until he retired in the 1990s, and his son Joseph took over.
Joseph Wong reflects on how his father created Old Master Q, and why the comic strip is so endearing to people in Hong Kong and around the world."
Folks can view some comicstrips on www.oldmasterq.com, or their Instagram @oldmasterqcomics (Select ones featured here in this post).