Private Collection, Manila
Graphic works at the turn of the century were filled with bitter sarcasm. By the mid-twentieth century, humor as a tool for social criticism in the graphic arts is attenuated in the case of both comic strip artist and printmaker. Not so with Malang, who kept his cartoons on a light, almost trivial vein.
At the age of ten, Santos studied drawing under Teodoro Buenaventura. When he was 19, he decided to stop schooling and joined the staff of the Manila Chronicle's art department under noted cartoonist Liborio (Gat) Gatbonton.
In 1955, he set up together with Gat, Larry Alcala, Hugo Yonzon, and Elmer Agustan the only gallery specializing in cartoons called the Bughouse. In 1972, he studied at the Otis Art Institute under a special grant. Malang was first known as a cartoonist before he became a renowned painter.