Singapore artist tops comic book 'Oscars' nominations
Graphic novel in the running for six Eisner categories
He has every reason to feel on top of the world.
Graphic novelist Sonny Liew's book, The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, has topped the nominations for this year's Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards with six nominations.
The Eisners are regarded as the Oscars of the comics world.
Mr Liew was nominated for best graphic album - new, best US edition of international material - Asia, best writer/artist, best colouring, best lettering and best publication design.
While the news was "unexpected", the 42-year-old Malaysia-born artist noted that since results are decided by popular vote, there is every chance he may not win anything.
"You also quickly start preparing for disappointment even as you are trying to enjoy the moment," he said.
It is the fourth time Mr Liew, whose first paid comic strip Frankie and Poo appeared in The New Paper in the 1990s, has been nominated for the Eisners.
The Singaporean artist's previous nomination was in 2015.
In July, he will fly to Comic-Con International in San Diego, where the results will be announced.
Mr Liew received messages when the nominations were announced at 2am yesterday (Singapore time).
A touching, thoughtful meditation on Singapore’s relentless progress.the Economist, on Mr Sonny Liew’s the Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye
The book, a satirical re-telling of Singapore's history via the life of a fictional artist, was first published here in 2015.
There was some controversy that same year, when the National Arts Council decided to withdraw its $8,000 publishing grant for the book.
But the book became the first local graphic novel to win the Singapore Literature Prize last year, and it was named book of the year at the Singapore Book Awards.
The book has also received much international praise - The Economist described the novel as "a touching, thoughtful meditation on Singapore's relentless progress".
Mr Liew particularly admires, among the other nominees, American graphic novelist Daniel Clowes after coming across his work in the early 90s.
Both were nominated in two categories: best graphic Album - new and best lettering.
Mr Liew said: "There are a lot of strong titles in all the categories, and it is an honour to be alongside all of them. I guess I am trying not to think so far ahead to avoid any hubris."
To aspiring graphic novelists, he offered this advice: "It is a tough business, but sometimes, you have to follow your dreams and see where it leads you."