Fried Rice; A Malaysian Comic By Erica Eng Up For The Eisner Award

Image credit: Erica Eng

Comics are a great way to visually tell a story on paper and can help readers to really imagine the scene and characters. It is also a creative outlet for those who love to draw and tell stories. You can literally turn any story into a comic, whether it is short or long. And that’s exactly what Erica Eng did with her comic titled ‘Fried Rice’ that is now nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award!

Fried Rice by Erica Eng

Erica Eng and Fried Rice
Image credit: Erica Eng

Erica Eng who hails from Batu Pahat, Johor, is a talented artist and animator. She is currently working on her comic Fried Rice which is 47 pages long thus far. She expects the final product to consist of up to 200 pages.

Fried Rice is a comic that centres around a young girl namaed Min from Batu Pahat, Johor. Min is visiting her cousin in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur while also applying to an art school in New York.

You Char Keuy and coffee
Image credit: Erica Eng

However, the comic goes beyond the story as it also depicts a typical day in Malaysia. In fact, you will probably see some familiar sights. This includes breakfast with Nasi Lemak on the table, Pos Malaysia, and dipping you char keow in a cup of coffee.

It is definitely intriguing to see modern Malaysia in a classic-style drawn comic. Which is exactly what Erica is aiming for. She cites Mat Som, by Malaysian cartoonist Lat, as her inspiration for drawing.

Meanwhile, Fried Rice is a work in progress that Erica updates every Sunday which is challenging but also rewarding. Her biggest motivation is to see modern Malaysian life depicted in comics. Additionally, she is planning to draw out all her favourite food from Batu Pahat.

The Eisner Awards

Erica Eng designing Fried Rice
Image credit: Erica Eng

Moving on, the 21-year old is currently studying at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. She is pursuing a degree in 3D character animation and has even worked on short animated films.

Fried Rice by Erica is nominated for the Eisner award which is a really prestigious title. In fact, in the comic world it is the equivalent of an Academy Award. So it will definitely be great to see her win!

Voting for Fried Rice is only open to comic industry professionals until the 18th of June. Therefore, if you or someone you know is involved in the industry then don’t hesitate to share this around.