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- Hello Award Winners! #18 Sideburn004

Enrico Croce Enrico Croce 06/10/2017 15 min read
  JAPANESE tools for the art, RUSSIAN traditions for the story! Young manga creator is addicted to challenging herself in SMA! The SMA-Community (the readers, the creators and the editors) is ready! Let’s start a TIME-GOURMET-TRIP made of childhood memories! Hello, Sideburn004!

Sideburn, self-portrait :3

  “Manga are able to express “colourful” emotions in monochrome”   1) How did you begin creating manga? I always enjoyed to come up with characters and write stories about them, inspired by books, movies and anime. Once I realised that it’s easier for me to draw stories than writing them, I started to create my first comics. In the early 2000s, I met a manga called “Fullmetal Alchemist” from Hiromu Arakawa sensei. I was amazed by the emotions that manga transmits to readers. If compared with western comics, most of it was in black and white: be able to express such “colourful” emotions in monochrome was also very impressive to me.  I began to create my stories in manga style from that moment.  
  “I join manga event and teach how to draw to people.”   2) What is your working environment like? Are you an analogue or digital person? Any unique tools you use to draw? I usually work at home. I like to lock myself in a room alone so that no one interferes with my creative process. I prefer to draw on paper all the lines, and do screen-tones and text using my PC. Although, I tried to create some works entirely on the computer; that was a useful experience for me. When I draw, I like to use Japanese tools like g-pen, liners, erasers and Copic markers. Japan is the birthplace of manga, and all these tools are made specifically to help creators to draw manga in the best way.   3) Anything the world should know about where you live? Interesting events/sights/foods/culture etc.? My hometown is Izhevsk, Russia. It is located near the Ural Mountains which separate the European part of Russia with the rest of the country. The famous weapons designer Mikhail Kalashnikov spent here his whole life. Now I have been living in St. Petersburg for ten years. It is an incredible city with its mood and soul. In Russia, Japanese cuisine (mostly sushi) is very common, but in St. Petersburg there are also unique cafes with Japanese street food, such as takoyaki and taiyaki, onigiri, mochi (ricecake), okonomiyaki and various desserts with matcha. We also have comic book stores. The owners are very interested in distributing manga among young people, and they conduct many activities for this purpose.  

Saint Petersburg’s great shot!

    4) And how about the Russian cuisine?  I think the Russian cuisine was influenced by the cuisine of most neighbouring countries. We love to eat deliciously! Russian cuisine is very varied and nourishing. We have soups, pies, pancakes, dumplings, porridges and many other tasty dishes! When I was in Tokyo on vacation some years ago, I saw Russian restaurants in Tokyo, but Japanese people have to visit us to taste the traditional Russian taste!   5) What activities do the local comic book stores do to promote manga in Russia?  They’re organising meetings and events for those who love manga. I also join myself in several masterclass-alike events: many beginners artists want to start drawing, and I share my experience with them.   6) Amazing! What are the popular comics/manga among readers in your part of the world? Judging by the shelves of stores, the most popular one is “Attack of the Titan”, “Bakuman” and “Noragami”. But it seems to me that Western superheroes comics are more popular now in Russia.  

The HOTTEST manga sold in Russia!

    7) Are locally created comics/manga popular in your part of the world? Do you know any local creators? Manga authors are quite difficult to become popular in our country. The easiest way is to share their works on SNS and find their supporters there. Large publishers of manga and comics in Russia rarely cooperate with Russian authors, because they do not believe in success and prefer to work with famous foreigners artist. I follow the creativity of our manga authors and communicate with some of them (like Marina Privalova and Amito Arai).    
    “The main inspiration for the entry was my childhood”   8) How long did it take to create the entry? I’ve postponed the work until the deadline. It took several days thinking about the story, maybe a week.   9) Where did you find the inspiration for the entry? I found the inspiration in my childhood memories. I wanted to share them with the readers.   10) Is any part of the story based on an experience of your own? Yes, when I started to think about the entry, I recalled about my grandmother and how she cooked dishes in the traditional Russian oven. During the summer, I used to go with my parents to grandma’s place and eat a lot! These are very warm and joyful memories from childhood.   11) Where does the protagonist live when he’s an adult? I did not think about a specific place. Most likely it is a collective image of a modern industrial city; it can be either Moscow, Paris or Tokyo.   12) What are piroshki made of? Pirozhki are pies similar to the Japanese nikuman, made of wheat dough with several ingredients in it (like meat, fish, vegetables and even fruits or jam). My favourites are those with meat or fish: so tasty!


    13) The main characters’ grandmothers seem to be friends. Any reason for that? The fact the protagonist and the girl share the same background shows that traditions in the big Russia are common. Even nowadays in the big city, you can meet people who have preserved these traditions. Speaking of traditions, when I created the entry I had in mind that in every Russian house there was a large furnace, where tasty dishes for big families were cooked. Now when people move to big cities, many of them eat dishes cooked in a large furnace to try to recall childhood memories.

Old memories are now a manga!

    14) Which SMA7 award-winning entries do you like? The story and art of Zevania and Nattorin caught my attention this time! In a silent manga I appreciate a clear storyboard and a simple storyline. It was very easy to follow the narrative of this manga, even though it covered several years. The characters were very nice and cute, they instantly aroused my sympathy.    
  “I can’t stop joining SMA!”   15) How/What do you wanna create from now on? The plans are to continue drawing manga and participate in the competition. I just can’t stop!   16) What do you expect to achieve by taking part in SMACommunity – The readers, creators and the Japanese editors? The silent manga became a challenge for me. It’s rather difficult to draw a story without dialogues and explanatory words of the author. But in this sense, I believe that the manga should be understood by the reader, even if he does not know the language in which the dialogues are written. Therefore, for me, the contest of silent manga is an opportunity to increase my skills in drawing and to learn how to transmit a message through an image to any person in the world. And of course, I hope someday to get the help of professional editors in creating my stories to make them better and better.   17) Anything else you would like to share with the community? Keep trying, never stop and don’t give up, only this way you can move forward and reach the top.  

Thank you, Sideburn! You can’t stop joining SMA and all SMAC! can’t stop waiting for your next entry! Have you already read about SMA9 next THEMES announcement!? DO NOT MISS THIS CHANCE TO KICKSTART YOUR MANGA CAREER!
FAIRNESS, RESPECT and TEAMWORK are the three brotherly themes to pick up and create your MASTERPIECE!
The deadline is 31st MARCH 2018!!! Enjoy creating and… find the right inspiration by reading our interviews to the AWARD WINNERS!
See you next time!
Enrico Croce

Enrico Croce