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Australian mangaka published AGAIN in Comic ZENON!

SMA Editorial Dept. SMA Editorial Dept. 25/02/2023 10 min read
Talented and internationally acclaimed Australian MasterClass member monotone_ink received the TOP AWARD in the 25th edition of the “Comic ZENON Manga Taisho” Japanese manga contest! monotone_ink won the Excellence Award (with a value of ¥300,000) which allowed the artist to be the very first international creator to be published TWO TIMES IN A ROW in the prestigious Monthly Comic ZENON manga magazine!!
Manga Taisho is Comic ZENON’s oldest contest where Japanese newcomers can prove themselves DIRECTLY to their future fans with an up to 39-page entry. It’s not only judged by manga legends such as Tsukasa Hojo-sensei and Tetsuo Hara-sensei, but also by booksellers and the general public. monotone_ink’s charming entry “The Witch of Petrovsky” received the top award for this round, allowing the Australian creator to have his work published AGAIN in the latest issue of Monthly Comic ZENON! The following are the comments from Comic ZENON’s 25th Manga Taisho special judge Eiji Hashimoto-sensei (creator of Chiruran, etc.) and Tetsuo Hara-sensei (Fist of the North Star, SMA Judge, etc.) regarding monotone’s entry:
This creator is amazingly good. I was struck by the strong sense of passion he’s able to convey with a world where witches exist and the soldiers’ uniforms. It’s as if he’s telling us “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DRAW!” I’m expecting him to do his best to debut with a series as soon as possible.  – Eiji Hashimoto
The art style, the paneling, and the camera work are of the highest level. Among all the entries, this creator’s work was the one that, more than anyone else’s, was able to entertain the readers from the very beginning, thanks to the originality of the setting and the impactful start of the story. Tetsuo Hara
After being published in Monthly Comic ZENON with the manga “My Friend Mana”, monotone_ink once again won the hearts of both professionals and readers with the work“The Witch of Petrovsky,” which tells the story of Evelyn, a witch who at a young age witnessed the execution of her mother. Such an event left Evelyn with a strong hatred towards the whole human race and sworn revenge to wipe off the terrible smiles that the humans displayed when her mother was killed. However, to Evelyn’s great surprise, an atypical human enters the witch’s daily life and makes her discover the beauty of giving to others. The human’s name is Marya, a young woman who is able to bring pure smiles to the desperate faces of the citizens of Petrovsky.
In the latest Monthly Comic ZENON, a special illustration and exclusive interview with monotone_ink was featured in the issue, which we have translated!
1. What are your feelings towards your award?

So shocked I was numb for a day! I’m very grateful to the judges that chose my work for this award, thank you so much!

2. What made you decide to enter Manga Taisho?

In the past, I had made an entry for the Kyushu International Manga Award on the behest of my editor, and after that he suggested I work on an entry for Manga Taisho next, so I did!

3. What was the inspiration behind your entry?

A book called Crime and Punishment: the whole idea of redemption really touched me when I read it long ago, so I wanted to write something along those lines. Besides that, I would credit my interest in witches to Dan Kim (@Clonemanga): he made these really strange and esoteric comics about witches a long time ago, and though this work doesn’t resemble the way he presented witches at all, it was something that stayed in the back of my mind.

4. What was the hardest part in drawing this entry?

The act of drawing in itself was very difficult haha – I naturally draw very messy, but my editor begged me to draw things cleaner and tighter, so I concentrated extra hard on the details. Additionally, I was approaching my process at angles I wasn’t familiar with and drawing things I wasn’t familiar with at all, so I was constantly messing up and learning things along the way; glad it paid off though!

5. What’s your favorite part of the manga?

As difficult as it was, drawing the architecture – it felt very satisfying to get things right. Besides that, I enjoyed working on the last 3 pages – at that point it felt like I’d ‘figured out’ how I wanted to draw this oneshot, but by then the story was already practically finished haha.

6. Please tell us what manga you are reading recently.

I’ve been re-reading Dorohedoro – it’s so fun and gory, there’s a charm to it I haven’t seen in many other things. Besides that though I’ve been keeping up with Chainsaw Man, which also never fails to be fun and gory!

7. What kind of manga do you want to create next?

Something that’s equal parts funny, horrifying, and sad.

8. Please leave a message for our readers.

I hope you enjoy the story! Also, don’t forget to drink water!

monotone_ink’s work is only one of the manga masterpieces created by the SMA MasterClass that won an award through Comic ZENON and COAMIX; with the support of the SMA Editorial Department, the MasterClass members are showing year after year their potential to the Japanese audience and working towards their professional debut by joining SMA exclusive projects such as the “Artists Village Aso 096k!”

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SMA Editorial Dept.

SMA Editorial Dept.