'LingGee Who Slayed The Giant' (8 September 1935).

Wittamin was an early 20th-century Thai comic artist. In the early 1930s, he drew the humorous adventure series 'LingGee Who Killed the Giant' (1935), which was the first Thai comic to appear in color.

Life and career
Witt Sutthasatien was born in 1917 in Siam (nowadays Thailand). In the early 1930s, Sutthasatien drew humorous cartoons printed in cheap paperback novels, along with fellow artists like Hem Vejakorn and Mister. He signed them with the pseudonym Wittamin, presumably a pun on the word "vitamin". In one of his cartoons, he pairs Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse with E.C. Segar's Popeye (who gained worldwide fame through the Fleischer Brothers cartoons). At the time, both characters were extraordinarily popular in Siam. Other Thai artists, like Sawas Jutharop, often resorted to making comic stories starring a bootleg version of Popeye.

In 1935, Wittamin created an anthropomorphic character named LingGee. As comic scholar Nicolas Verstappen noted in his article 'When Popeye and Mickey Mouse Became Siamese: The Birth of Thai Comics Art and Its Early Borrowings' (1985), the character is essentially a hybrid mutation of Mickey and Popeye. LingGee has Mickey's eyes, black body, white face and buttoned pants, though he looks more horselike, comparable to Disney's Horace Horsecollar. Just like Popeye, he smokes a corn pipe and has bulgy forearms and legs. The first 'LingGee' story, 'LingGee Phu Khayi Yak' ('LingGee Who Slayed The Giant', 1935) was the first Siamese comic series to appear in color. Verstappen noticed that the panels and storylines of Wittamin's comic were plagiarized from Floyd Gottfredson's 'Mickey Mouse' story 'Rumplewatt the Giant' (1934).

Books about Wittamin
In 1990, a collection of Wittamin's early cartoons was compiled by Gampanath Phlangkun in the book 'Anuson Ngan Meru Witt Sutthastien' ('Memorial Cremation Volume of Witt Suttastien', Bangkok, Dransutha Press, 1990).

Series and books by Wittamin you can order today:


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