Taipei (Taiwan News)--Old Master Q comic creator Alfonso Wong (Wang Jia-xi) has died of natural causes in the U.S. at the age of 93, according to a statement released by OMQ ZMedia Ltd., the company that promotes and markets Old Master Q comics .
The statement said Wong died of organ failure on Jan 1. Wong has said, “My life is like comic strips, and I do my best to make ‘Old Master Q’, that is myself, to play the fool and entertain readers.”
Wong was born in Tianjin, China in 1925. He studied Western art at Fu Jen Catholic University. After residing in Hong Kong in 1956, he was responsible for drawings in Bibles for a French Catholic missionary there and also became the art editor for a Hong Kong Catholic magazine.
(Alfonso Wong, left)
Wong began to show his comic strip creation talent as his works began to be published by newspapers and magazines. Among which, Old Master Q comic, which made a splash in 1963 due to distinctive personalities of the characters, humorous content and terse text, has become one of the longest running and most popular comic strips. Wong created the comic using Wang Ze, the name of his first son, as his pen name.
The comic was one of the most influential piece of work in the pre-1997 days in Hong Kong before it was transferred back to China. It voiced the opinions of the citizens in an exaggerated comical sense that was able to bypass political censorship.
There were no limitations in the sensitive subjects being used to accompany his stories. The comic became legendary for maintaining popularity for over 40 years against endless competition.
(Alfonso Wong, middle in the first row, and his wife, right in the first row)
When young, Wong was good at sports, including swimming, diving, skating and hunting, and was fond of fishing and ceramics after he immigrated to California in 1974 and retired by the 1980s. All of these interests had come up as some of the themes in his comics.
Old Master Q comic strips have been translated into many language versions, including English, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian, and published in the Chinese speaking world, Europe, North America, India, and countries in the Southeast Asia.
Later adaptations into movies, Chinese animation and other works of fiction continued well after his retirement.