An Auckland man is one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a world-renowned comic book artist after winning a $10,000 prize in a Facebook competition.

29-year-old Michel Mulipola's entry was one of five top vote-getters in the V "Pimp My Life" contest, which attracted hundreds of entries from around New Zealand.

In his entry, Mulipola said he would develop a professional-standard portfolio of comic art and use the prize money next year to fund a trip to the San Diego Comic-Con, which he called the "international mecca of comic book awesomeness."

He crafted a two-page story about a young man whose accident in an energy drink processing factory grants him super powers. V-Man caught the eye of the judges, who selected Mulipola from a lineup of finalists which included a young couple who hoped to spend the money on a wedding, and a pair of "uppercrust punk beauties" who were sick of borrowing other people's equipment.

Mulipola, who works in an Onehunga comic book store, told nzherald.co.nz he found it "surreal" that he could win $10,000 for drawing "a little doodle on bits of paper."

"I think my personal style is about 80 percent developed," he said.

"Working at Gotham Comics allows me to fully immerse myself and really study what other artists are doing."

Jessica Blake, an account manager at Colenso BBDO and a judging panel spokeswoman, said Mulipola's entry stood out from the pack.

"His entry was 'pimped-out', which was in keeping with the competition," she said.

"We felt that giving him the opportunity to fulfill his dream of attending the Comic-Con in San Diego is a one-off opportunity where he would get the chance to meet other artists, show his portfolio and build contacts for future work."

Mulipola, who won a Gibson Award in 2006 for his Sesame Street Fighter strip, has been working steadily in the New Zealand comic book scene for over seven years.

"I would love to become the first Samoan comic book artist to work for either Marvel or DC," he said.

"Hopefully my stuff will raise some eyebrows and get me some offers."

- NZHERALD STAFF