Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fans Gather at Kinokuniya to Celebrate Sonny Liew's Eisner Award Win

Old and new fans of comic book writer/ artist Sonny Liew are still on a high even though it has been over a week since the Eisner Awards held at San Diego. Sonny is the first Singaporean to be awarded an Eisner. In fact, he won not just 1 but 3 Eisner awards - for Best Writer/ Artist, Best US Edition of International Material - Asia and Best Publication Design!

On the night Sonny Liew arrived home from SDCC 2017, a bunch of fans from the local comics-loving community gave him a surprise "hero's" welcome at Changi Airport. It was the first time any of them has seen an Eisner award up close.

Since then, Sonny has been constantly in the local media, with several personalities putting in their two cents' (oh wait, got inflation. Now, five cents, liao!) worth regarding the discourse about the government's funding for the arts. Sonny has also been speaking to the press and bloggers about his personal journey in the comic book industry.

Yesterday afternoon (4 Aug 2017) at 2 PM, Kinokuniya bookstore gave Sonny Liew's fans an opportunity to celebrate his 3x Eisner Award win, and to get their copy of "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye" signed.

Red Dot Diva arrived at the store an hour earlier. There was already a line of about 20 people, all eager to meet Sonny up close and personal. She already had her book signed two years ago, and was merely there with her friends David and Jas to give support and soak in the festivities.

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While the Kinokuniya staff were setting up the meet and greet area, Division Manager Chua Gek Huay told Red Dot Diva that there was going to be a cool surprise for Sonny. It was only awhile later that she knew what it was - a Charlie Chan Hock Chye cake! So awesome!

Suddenly, Red Dot Diva spotted that Sonny had already arrived from his previous engagement at the Singapore Coffee Festival. Wearing a dark grey tee, he had been standing quietly at the corner, while Ms. Chua was busy trying to draw more store customers to join in the event. Red Dot Diva quickly gave her pals David and Jas an indication and together, they gave the loud screams and cheers that would make any fangirl/ fanboy proud.

After a short welcome message and allowing Sonny some time to settle in, the crowd were all curious and wanted to see the awards, so he placed 2 of his Eisners on the table. *Gasp!* They are so shiny and beautiful! Almost everyone gawked and took photos of the Eisners. It is such a rare thing to see a local comic creator attain this level of achievement. So, so proud of our Sonny Liew!

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Sonny took over the mic and in his usual soft-spoken manner, thanked the fans as well as Kinokuniya for their support and for coming to the event. (Watch the video below)

Kinokuniya's Store & Merchandising Director Kenny Chan added a congratulatory message and spoke of the bookstore's support for Sonny Liew's remarkable ingenuity in "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye" when it was launched two years ago. Epigram's founder Edmund Wee also added a few words of thanks.

And then, Sonny was invited to cut the CCHC cake, accompanied by loud cheers and applause from the fans!

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Without further ado, the book signing session began. The line had grown longer by then, spurred on by the upbeat atmosphere and probably for casual shoppers, a fair amount of curiosity about Sonny Liew and the controversial book.

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While Sonny interacted with each fan and drew funny, quirky sketches in their books, the lovely Kinokuniya staff cut the CCHC cake and handed out slices to those who wanted a taste of it. Red Dot Diva could not resist having one, erm... well, actually.. two slices. Hahaha. It tasted soft and creamy. Really nice!

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However, there was one part of the CCHC cake that looked particularly ominous. Hmmm.... Red Dot Diva wonders who had that slice in the end? :D

Red Dot Diva and Jas stayed on at least another 45 minutes to watch the book signing. The queue was still going on strong and snaked right back to where the comic book section was. Even after Diva had left the store, Sonny was still signing for the fans.

Apparently, at about 5 PM, copies of "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye" sold out at the Kinokuniya store, and the session wrapped up soon after when the last fan had his book autographed by Sonny. About 300+ fans had turned up for the event!

Here's hoping that Sonny Liew's local and international achievement will spur other local creators and those who are interested in stepping into the industry, to work had and make their mark too! It will definitely be very nice to have more local creators win Eisners and literary awards in the near future!

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