Sonny Liew first S'porean to win prestigious Eisner awards for Charlie Chan comic

He won 3 out of 6 awards he was nominated for, including Best Writer/Artist.

Henedick Chng | July 22, 2017, 01:27 PM

*Update: Liew has also won for Best Publication Design, making it three awards out of the six nominations he received. He lost to Jill Thompson in Best Graphic Album—New.

Singaporean graphic novelist Sonny Liew has become the first Singaporean to win the international comic industry's prestigious Eisner Award at Comic-Con in San Diego.

And one of the two he won so far is no less than the Best Writer/Artist Eisner, out of a super-impressive six categories he was nominated for.

The annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are the Oscars of the comic industry, where the best comics and their artists are honoured.

For his graphic novel, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, Liew has clinched the awards for Best Writer/Artist, Best US Edition of International Material - Asia, and Best Publication Design.

He received six nominations, which made him also the first Singaporean to clinch the most number of Eisner nominations. Here are the other categories he was nominated for:

- Best Graphic Album—New (lost to Jill Thompson)

- Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia (won)

- Best Writer/Artist (won)

- Best Coloring (lost to Matt Wilson)

- Best Lettering (lost to Todd Klein)

- Best Publication Design (won)

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye tells the story of comic book artist Charlie Chan during the formative years of Singapore’s modern history, interspersed with details of the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, opposition politician Lim Chin Siong and events like the Hock Lee bus riots.

Since its launch in 2015, the book has garnered awards, such as Book of the Year for Singapore Book Awards 2016 and Singapore Literature Prize 2016 (English Fiction). It was also one of the first Singaporean books to appear on international bestseller lists by both Amazon and The New York Times.

However, Singapore's authorities were not too cool with the book. In 2015, the National Arts Council (NAC) withdrew its S$8,000 publishing grant for the book, one day before its May 30 launch.

The latest Eisner awards have sealed Liew's status as Singapore's leading graphic novelist, and he received compliments from figures in the publishing and arts industry, such as from Kinokuniya store director Kenny Chan and former Arts Nominated MP Janice Koh:

Well done, Sonny of Singapore!


Top image from Sonny Liew's Facebook.

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