HM : Cartoons and Cartoonists


  • Laughter is the best medicine
    Feature in Reader’s Digest
  • It takes less effort and nerves to smile than to frown.
  • A Cartoon (or Comics) a day keeps the blues away.
  • Cartoons (and Comics) have no age boundaries.

Early Cartoonists

  • Aung Shein
  • Ba Gyan
  • Ba Htwe
  • Heng Soon
  • Kyaw San (“Ka Sa”)
  • Pe Thein
  • Shwe Ta Lay
  • Than Kywe

  • They published Cartoons in Burmese and English newspapers, magazines, books, …
  • The “Cartoon Festival” was held in U Ba Gyan Street (around Tazaung Daing).
  • In the mid 1950s, there was a rift between the two factions of AFPFL.
    Some cartoonists took sides and a “price war” started.
    The cartoons, which sold for 60 pyas were then given away at bargain prices (any where between 10 and 50 pyas).
  • There were two Gates during our RIT days.
    The RIT Main Gate was named “U Lu Paw” Gate (at the suggestion of Ko Win Thein (M67).
    The Side Gate used by those that came be Bus and Rail was known as “Sin Ye Thar” Gate.
  • Ko Myint Soe (C68, GBNF) and Ko Myint Thein (M69, GBNF) are fondly called Maung Kabar or Kabar.
  • About a decade ago, my spouse paid K10,000 for xeroxed copy of “old” cartoons published in the Rangoon Times.
    Some are political satire.

Engineer Cartoonists

  • There may have been engineer/cartoonists before
    Saya U Khin Maung Phone Ko (C64), Saya U Aung Myint (Pet69, GBNF), and U Myint Pe (M72).

U Khin Maung Phone Ko

  • Saya U Moe Aung (EE 63) mentioned that Saya U Khin Maung Phone Ko made his name in the media (e.g. Kye Mon Daily) with his “Vietnam” cartoons.
  • Signature “Phone Ko” emphasized the “Na Gyee” (Big Na).
  • Patron of the RIT Cartoon Box.
  • Moved to Singapore.

U Aung Myint (GBNF)

  • Saya U Aung Myint (Pet69) is known for “Kyant Ba Hone“.
    The character looks superficially like Nick Kelly, but the contents are different.
  • Served as President of the RIT Cartoonists Association.
  • Patron of the RIT Cartoon Box.
  • Called “Delta Tun Shein” for his likeness to Saya U Tun Shein (Mathematics).
  • Two of his early cartoons were about “Kar Ku La Thin Char” (Calculus) and the now obsolete “Slide Rule“.

    “Ah Ba, Kar Ku La Thin Char is fascinating.
    If you differentiate a Lada, you get a Sargalay.
    If you integrate a Sargalay, you get a Lada.”

    “Ah Ba, Slide Rule is fascinating.”
    “Lu Galay, Show me how to add 2 and 3 with your slide rule.
    “Ah Ba, I cannot do it.”
    “Then, show me how to subtract 2 from 3 with your slide rule.”
    “Ah Ba, I cannot do it.”
    “Lu Galay, Throw away your useless slide rule.”

U Myint Pe

  • U Myint Pe (M72) has several hobbies.
  • One of the “Mike Khe” and “Pho So Chin”.
    Admin of U70 musical group.
  • Performed as Lu Shwin Daw Seik Kyee of the Swel Daw Yeik Ah Nyeint at the Rangoon University Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 1970.
  • Under the patronage of Saya U Khin Maung Phone Ko and Saya U Aung Myint, U Myint Pe implemented the RIT Cartoon Box using an old telephone kiosk for posting RIT-related cartoons (weekly).
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cartoon-myint-pe.jpg
U Myint Pe’s sample cartoon

RIT Cartoon Box

  • The tradition was maintained by three (or more) generations of Cartoon Boxers.
  • Cartoon Box was “ordered close” by authorities after 1988.
  • The organizers of “Cartoon Box” spanning several years finally had a Grand Union prior to SPZP-2012. Most met face to face for the first time.
    They compiled selected cartoons from the RIT publications (Set Hmu Thadin Zin, Annual Magazines, Sar Saungs) for a book to commemorate SPZP-2012 and to re-display the Cartoon Box.
    Many (manned the booth at SPZP-2012 and autographed the cartoon books.
  • History is published in the Commemorative Issue of Swel Daw Yeik Magazine for SPZP-2012.
    U Myint Pe was a Contributing Editor.
  • Collection of RIT Cartoons was published in time for SPZP-2012
    During my visit to Yangon in March 2012, U Saw Lin (C73, GBNF) gave me a xeroxed copy of “Selected RIT Cartoons”.
  • Pamphlet of RIT Cartoons distributed at Shwe YaDu in 2014 and SPZP-2016

Aw Pi Kye

  • Aw Pi Kyeh (Mann Bei) served as Secretary of the RIT Cartoonists Association.
    He later headed the Myanmar Cartoonists Association.
    I met him twice during his visit to US : first at the San Francisco Bay Area Literary Talks in Fremont, Northern California and later in Los Angeles, Southern California.
Aw Pi Kye’s Sample Cartoon


  • Joker was also a contributor.
Joker’s Sample Cartoon
  • Saya U Thiha Latt was one of the last “Cartoon Box” organizers.
    He also helped with the design/type setting of “History of University Engineering Education in Burma/Myanmar”, “Swel Daw Yeik Magazine”, and “RIT Cartoon Collection”.
  • U Myo Myint (M73) is known for his Cover Designs, Pon Tus and Paintings.
    He also drew some cartoons for the RIT Magazine.
    One of them reminded me of three female friends who were known as “Half Size”, “Full Size” and “Double Size”. Sadly two : Sayama Daw Mya Mya Than (EP68) and Daw Nyunt Nyunt Zaw (T68) are GBNF.
    Another reminded of the several “Pho So Chin” and “Mike Khe” in the USA, Australia, Singapore and Myanmar.
    Yet another reminded me of some classmates who excel in extra curricular activities so much that they bade farewell to RIT before graduation.
  • There were dozens of RIT/YIT/YTU cartoonists.
    U Myint Pe published a partial list.
  • Maung Yit (Maung Maung Win, Moe Ma Ka) is one of the junior members of RIT Cartoon Box Contributors.

Categories: Notes

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