Man behind 'Old Master Q' calls on next generation

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 June, 2012, 12:00am


Famed Hong Kong caricaturist Joseph Wong Chak is calling young and talented artists to help him continue his comedic legacy, as he celebrates the 50th anniversary of his well-loved Old Master Q series.

Wong, who left his handprint yesterday for the soon-to-be-opened Avenue of Comic Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, said the series was an indelible part of local history.

'Old Master Q is like the collective memory of Hong Kong,' said Wong, now based in Taiwan. 'We welcome all young comic artists, who love cheering others up by drawing comics, to join our team.'

Created in 1962 by Wong's father, Alfonso Wong Kar-hei, the ongoing adventures of lead character Old Master Q and his sidekick Big Potato have turned into the most enduring Chinese comic series owing to their funny misadventures and jokes.

The comic book series, which has entertained generations of avid readers, is currently produced by a team of four cartoonists, the youngest of whom is 21.

Adding to his call for new talent, Joseph Wong joked: 'Do we not have enough lawyers, politicians and other professionals? Why not become a cartoonist to create more fun and happiness for others?'

As part of the anniversary, an exhibition featuring more than 100 frames of Wong's original comic strip will be held at Galerie Huit in Wan Chai from Saturday until the end of next month.

Wong's contribution to comic art history will also be recognised at the Avenue of Comic Stars, set to open in August.

Built by the Hong Kong Comics and Animation Federation to honour the local industry, the avenue at Kowloon Park will feature big painted statues of famous characters. Six of them, including Old Master Q, will be three metres tall. There will also be bronze handprints of 10 distinguished comic artists.

'In the past, all bird drawings in a visual art class were the same. If you stood out from the crowd, you were doomed to fail,' Wong said.

'But now everyone can have their own kind of bird. Creativity can be borderless.'