Subang Jaya Youtube Filmmaker Jared Lee Wins Coveted San Diego Comic Con 2023 with “Horologist”

Youtube filmmaker and Subang Jaya boy Jared Lee has made leaps and bounces with his recent short movie “Horologist” which won the Best Animation at the San Diego International Independent Film Festival, held as part of San Diego Comic Con 2023.

We asked him to tell us a “short story” about growing up in Subang Jaya and how he got inspired to do what he does best. Here’s what Jared tells us:

I was born in 1985; grew up in a hair salon ‘Geena Tsau Hair Salon’ in SS14, Subang Jaya. I found love for comics since I was 7, and if not for ‘Doraemon’ I would’ve failed my ‘Bahasa Malaysia’ exams. One of the bananas from the odd generation in Subang Jaya, since I can’t read Chinese, my love for comics in the era with no internet was solely relied on the weekly Malay comics which gets sold at the ‘kedai runcit’ next to the hair salon, in which I’m still in contact with the owners till today (I’m 38 now). My brother and I would make sure to not use up our school allowance to share and buy weekly comics.

Chasing after becoming a comic artist came to a halt as I realised the difficulty in college at The One Academy (in Sunway) and I thought we’ll never revisit it again until the pandemic happened.

Running a production house ( was probably one of the worst business to have during the lockdown. Unable to film anything, all the jobs were cancelled and we were facing a possible closure if there were no jobs within the 3 months.

Being someone who doesn’t worry about something that is out of my control, I dove into writing and realised a childhood dream: Making a comic.

I was diagnosed with testicular cancer back in 2018. After treatment, we were told that we are unable to have kids which made me dive into research of adoption which then led to cases of child abandonment around the world. Feeling strongly about the issue inspired the idea of the comic I wrote titled ‘Horologist’.

I’m thankful for Cross (the artist) who said yes to doing this project together. When it materialised I was very happy with what we made but it didn’t solve my current situation until we managed to get an animation grant from MDEC to animate the comic which we made. And this helped keep the company afloat, which then led to more animation jobs from people who believed in my vision.

I’m thankful to the team at Dinohowl, Creatvtoon, Dreamatix and everyone else who said yes to making this animation piece and to the people who actually purchased the comic even before this animation won anything.

I am in the midst of launching my 2nd comic ‘Omakase’ (in which you can get more information about through my Instagram @JaredLe3 and also there’ve been talks about making my first feature film and an animated series.

Thankful for the neighborhood that I grew up in, and I’ve personally moved back to Subang Jaya after being a few years away because nothing beats this town. (even compared to places oversea).

The film is currently in 4 Oscar-qualifying film festivals:
1) Flickers Rhodes Island International Film Festival (US)

2) Show Me Shorts (New Zealand)

3) LA Short Film Festival (US)

4) Poland’s International Animation Festival ANIMATOR