A year ago, Erica Eng began writing the script for her hand-illustrated comic, Fried Rice in her dorm room at college. Then a collection of rough vignettes based on her memories and feelings, Fried Rice marked Eng’s return to pencil and paper after working mostly in digital art.
It tells the story of Min, an aspiring artist from a small town who visits her cousin in Kuala Lumpur, with big dreams of moving overseas. Fried Rice was Eng’s first major story, a water-coloured love-letter to her teenaged self.
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It has since caught the attention of an international community of artists, earning a prestigious Eisner Award nomination for Best Webcomic in 2020. The Eisner Award ceremony, regarded as the comic industry's equivalent to the Oscars, is part of the annual Comic Con event in San Diego, which was cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was announced recently that Eng is the winner in this category.
Eng, 21, is also the youngest Malaysian to be nominated for an Eisner Award. Eng shares how this project came to life and what the future holds for her.