PROFILE Name: Gábor Molnár Age: 38 Country: Hungary Favorite manga: Bakuman by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata Favorite movie: Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa Favorite quote: “Spared no expense!” (Jurassic Park) “SMA is one of the few opportunities for us to grab.” QUESTIONS 1. How does it feel to win a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award? I’m extremely happy with it! It’s also reassuring, because it’s the second time I’ve won with SMA, so it tells me that the first one wasn’t just an “accident” as I sometimes believed! 2. What were your first impressions of the theme? It was hard to get the hang of it at first because it’s a very universal theme. 3. What was the inspiration behind your winning work? I used a protagonist from one a previous cooking manga I made for SMA, and put it into a competitive situation to let the theme appear less forced. I was going for a tone that mixed Maple Town with Food Wars!, with the anthropomorphic characters participating in a cake baking competition. Visiting Takamori and Kumamoto City last year helped me to convincingly paint the scenery. The cake the protagonist makes – an unconventional Charlotte Royale made of ikinari dango slices in the spirit of ‘wasamon’- was inspired by a reality show on baking my mother used to watch on YouTube. 4. What challenges did you face making your manga? How did you overcome them? Depicting the exact moment which expresses ‘Do your best!’ was challenging. I thought it should be presented first at the start to incite the protagonist to take action, and a more intense second time at a key scene right after the low point to make the protagonist get over her problem. Western cheerleading dance came into my mind at that point, so I just used that, although I should have elaborated it to be more impactful. 5. What did you learn from making your manga? Did you pick up any new skills or techniques? This piece wasn’t really about learning new skills, but more utilizing SMA editors’ advice from previous projects to help me overcome the challenge on my own. 6. How important is entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION® in relation to your professional goals? It’s very important, since there isn’t a real comics/manga industry for local artists in my home country. SMA is one of the few opportunities for us to grab. 7. What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®? Reading all award-winning pieces from previous rounds and taking notes on common elements pay off.