news

This 9-Year-Old Is The Only Malaysian Top 20 Finalist In UNICEF's Comic Contest

And now, he needs your votes to win!

Cover image via Selina Chew / SAYS

Meet Emerson Chong. This artsy nine-year-old is about to make a name for himself in the comic book world, having just been announced as the only Malaysian finalist in UNICEF's inaugural 'Climate! Comic! Contest!'

The UNICEF Climate! Comic! Contest! was created to inspire and engage children and youth to take climate action through comic design. Launched for the very first time this year, children and youth up to 25 years old were invited to design and submit a comic character with special powers to fight climate change

Emerson's superhero 'Earth Boy' was shortlisted for the Top 20 out of almost 3,000 submissions from participants across 99 countries. Emerson is also one of the two youngest finalists in the list!

Earth Boy is the alter ego of a young scientist who gained superpowers after accidentally spilling a potion on himself. Earth Boy can fly, create trees, generate winds, and blast water from his hands. 

The top superheroes, including Emerson's creation, will be presented at the currently ongoing COP23 in Bonn, Germany to the UN Membership, broadcasted on Bonn public transport, and displayed at the conference.

He might still be in primary school, but Emerson is already a published author and cartoonist, having launched an illustrated children's storybook earlier this year and a mini comic book last year

Emerson (right) with his older brother Sheldon (left), who is also a cartoonist.

Image via Selina Chew / SAYS

Emerson has also won several prizes for his art, most notably the Best Poster Award for the National Space Challenge 2017 Poster Contest (Primary School category), which was organised by Planetarium Negara and Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI), and emerging as Champion in an International Children Drawing Contest (2017) by JCI Malaysia. 

Emerson with his winning entry for the National Space Challenge 2017 Poster Contest.

Image via Selina Chew / SAYS

Together with his 11-year-old brother Sheldon, who is also a cartoonist, Emerson has facilitated several cartooning and comic drawing workshops for the past three years

He hit a milestone last year when he was invited to conduct Creative Cartooning Workshops for almost 100 secondary students at the Young Changemakers Summit 2016.

Emerson at the Young Changemakers Summit 2016.

Image via Treehouse Kids Art Blogspot

And now, Emerson needs your help! To win the contest and make Earth Boy a real comic book hero, he needs your votes.

The entry that receives the most votes will get to work with a professional team to produce their own comic book, which will be launched on Earth Day, 22 April 2018.

To vote, head over to the Climate! Comic! Contest! website here and click on the entry titled 'EARTH BOY' to vote for Emerson. You will be required to key in your e-mail address to verify your vote. Each person is eligible for one vote per day.

We sure have some pretty talented young people in Malaysia, like these schoolkids who've made the country proud with their achievements abroad: