BATU PAHAT (Bernama): Who would have thought that an interest in drawing from the age of two would bear fruit for Erica Eng Hui Qing, who bagged the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards’ Eisner Best Webcomic in July.
The Batu Pahat-born artist won it for her webcomic book,”Fried Rice”, making her only the second Malaysian to have been been featured in the annual Eisner Awards, the comic industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.
The first Malaysian to receive an Eisner nomination was Reimena Yee in 2018 for her graphic novel,”The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya”.
Eng, a 22-year-old animator, said she started drawing comics in May last year about a young woman in her 20s named Min who wants to pursue her dream of becoming a film animator.
In March this year, the 57-page webcomic was nominated for an Eisner Award in the Best Webcomic category.
“I did not expect to be chosen as the winner of the award as I had to compete with about 1,800 other artists around the world, ” she said.
The second of three siblings, she is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.
She said she started sketching her idea for fun, using pencil and walnut ink and her comics could be read at friedricecomic.tumblr.com.
“When I was contacted as the winner on July 25, I was grateful and thankful to both my parents for their unending support and encouragement. I also would like to thank my art cikgu (teacher) Hashim Ismail for guiding me to become a successful artist today, ” she said.
Besides the Eisner Award, Eng has also won several other awards for her comic illustrations, among them, TAO Hall of Fame – Illustration storyboarding (2020); Excellent Works Asiagraph Tokyo (2019) dan DELL Visions of the Future – DELL Short Film Award (2017).
Eng shares an interest in drawing comics with her younger brother Nathaniel Eng Shu Liang, 15, and they often spend time together to discuss producing several other comics online.
She plans to continues the Min comic series up to 200 to 300 pages, and this is expected to take about two to three years to complete.
“I hope after this, Malaysians will continue to support my art journey, ” she said. – Bernama