In a bid to simply spread some joy, Malaysian artist Chow Hon Lam creates an ongoing comic series called Buddy Gator. It features an alligator as the main character, but he’s nowhere near as scary as gators are often perceived to be. This particularly friendly creature is a reminder to “never judge a book by its cover.”
Lam started illustrating his comic around a year ago during the start of the pandemic. He tells My Modern Met, “I wanted to create something to make people feel better during the hard time.” The artist's own empathy for others definitely shines through in his work, where moments of kindness are beautifully illustrated with cute animal characters.
Lam designed his main character to be like the friend we all wish we had. “Alligators sometimes give us a scary impression: long mouth, sharp teeth, strong, and a scary tail,” says the artist. “Alligators can be warm and sweet too. In this comic, you will see a different alligator, a warm and friendly alligator.” Lam adds, “Maybe we all need a buddy like him.”
Each image illustrates Buddy the alligator and his animal friends playing together and helping each other out. In one image, a bear welcomes a giraffe, a rabbit, and Buddy to his “house warming party,” which is hosted in a cave. In another comic, Buddy gives Eric the rabbit a skateboard so he can zoom around his burrow. Buddy is also friends with an elephant called Nancy, a shark named Koji, and a whale known as Andrew. Lam’s adorable series teaches us to be kind to others, even if they’re different from us. The artist says, “Everyone is born special, love people around you, and love yourself too.”
Scroll down to see some images from the Buddy Gator comic and follow Lam on Instagram for more adorable, illustrated moments.