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Manga creator from the dungeon! – Hello AWARD WINNERS!!! #05 Heitor Amatsu

Enrico Croce Enrico Croce 04/09/2017 13 min read
Heitor Amatsu is a Brazilian Mangaka with the passion for video games and with good humour! His combined style of love & comedy made him win a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award, none other than the “judge’s special award” from Negishi Tadashi – a seasoned veteran in manga, with a taste for spotting lively characters. Heitor’s characters vividly make for entertainments. How does he breathe life into his characters? Let’s ask him in the interview! HELLO HEITOR!

Heitor Amatsu, self-portrait

  Can you introduce yourself by using just three words? 
 Hello SMAC! “Good humour”, “dedication” and “insecurity” are the words that best describe me!   “My Manga fan base is mostly made of my in-game friends!”   How did you begin creating manga? 
 Since I was a kid, I had the ambition to create my own stories. I used to draw a lot of sketches about my favourite series such as “Dragon Ball” and “Saint Seiya”. As I grew up, I began to create my own comics and tried to make a job out of my hobby. I’m currently working on my first story, called “Rá-tim-BOO!”. The story is inspired by a horror movie called “The Badadook”.   Can you describe your typical day? I work as an illustrator for a publishing company. After the working time, I focus on doing commission for my fan base and some personal projects, and I also enjoy having a great time playing video games with friends.   Can you tell us about your “fan base”? It started with people I met online in games. I always appreciated drawing different characters and scenes from my favourite games. Then I had an idea to create comic strips, showing daily lives in a world of MMO RPGs with a bit of good humour. My in-game friends loved it, shared it to their other friends, then friends of friends and so on. This is the biggest part of my fan base. I always tried my best to grow up as an artist. I took part of different drawing communities on social media to talk about and spread my works.   What is your primary Manga influence in your works? 
 Naoki Urasawa’s works for sure! The flow of the story, the plot, the characters… Everything is more than GREAT! The way how he works on all of these points are fascinating for me, but “20th Century Boys” has its glow mostly for the plot. 
The way Urasawa-sensei expressed “conspiracy” and “world domination” is creative and different from the usual way of telling a story. Once you start reading it, you can’t stop! It’s my greatest inspiration, and my best recommendation to all SMA-Community!  
“Thanks to MASTERCLASS, Brazilian Manga is getting stronger!”   Anything you want to share about your city? I live in Recife (Reef, in English), one of the biggest cities in the north-east Brazil. The city got this name from the vast amount of sandstone reefs we have on our beaches. There’s a lot of rivers and mangroves through out the city; this is why the city is also called the “Brazilian Venice”. We also have an entire neighbourhood with ancient architecture from Portugal and Netherlands. 
Recife is a beautiful city, and it’s pretty historical too.

Recife in the morning

  In Brazil are local comics popular among people? A huge part of comics consumed here are imports, but national creators are becoming popular, especially over the internet. There are some online platforms for the diversification exposure of local comics. SILENT MANGA AUDITION® helps it too, since a lot of Brazilian people are reading about the SMA and the Brazilian MASTERCLASS.   Can you share with the community more infos about the Brazilian initiatives? There are a lot of initiatives of divulgation for national comics, both digital and printed. We have magazines like “Conexão Nanquim” and “Ação Magazine”. A popular one at the moment is “Smocci”, where you can post and read national Manga for free. About SILENT MANGA AUDITION® popularity, it started after Ichirou, Roberto F. and Max Andrade won their entries. People here began to see Brazil’s potential, and a lot of creators were encouraged to participate too. The event popularity is growing among artists and readers.   Brazil and Japan are indeed working together for manga future! How do Brazilian people see Japan? There are lots of events about manga and Japanese culture in general! It’s pretty famous, even people who are not familiar with manga knows something about Japan.  
“I didn’t have a good idea, so I said to myself “DO WHAT YOU LIKE!” Now let’s talk about award winning entry. How long did it take you to complete the piece? Just thinking about a good idea took me something like 2 or 3 months… After all the time spent just thinking the proper idea I said to myself “Do something you like! Do a comical Manga!”! Thanks to this phase, the Manga production became immediately funny and natural, and I was able to complete the manga in around three weeks!   Here at SMAC! we love onomatopoeia! Especially locally created ones. Is “RONC” a typical Brazilian onomatopoeia? I’m happy you liked it! Yes, “RONC” is an onomatopoeia for the sound your stomach makes when you’re hungry!     Where did the inspiration come from, for the story? I’m totally in love with RPG, Ragnarok Online to be more precise. Because of my deep passion, I always think about how to insert RPG elements in my stories. When I was thinking about the story of “RONC”, I first started from thinking about the theme. Then I decided which character would fit better to the theme and, finally, how to use those characters to make a funny scene.   What is your favourite Award winning Manga from SMA7? The two Grand Prix runner-up winners! 
Fantastic stories with an incredible message! I also loved “My Dear Friend”, by ahlemk, it’s a beautiful story!  
“This is my biggest dream coming true!” 
   Can you share your future goals? I’m giving my best to get good results on next round of SMA! My biggest goal is to work more professionally on manga. I want to entertain people all around the world with my characters and stories.   Anything else you’d like to share with the Community? My biggest dream is becoming a reality right now. Never give up on your dreams and always try hard to give your best. There’s this phrase which I always keep with me “Every time it all seems to go wrong, tell yourself the dream will come true!” – Lee Myoung Jin.

“Rá-tim-BOO!” by Heitor Amatsu

  Thank you, Heitor! 
We are looking forward to reading your next entry in SILENT MANGA AUDITION®, and the moment you will reach the MASTERCLASS along with your Brazilian Manga friends! We hope you also enjoyed the interview, dear SMA-Community! Remember you still have time to join the SMA8 “Fair play”. If you are in Brazil, join the vibrant FACEBOOK community of manga creators! If you are not, then can you find a similar group of manga creators, or start one yourself? ( If you do find or start one, please give SMAC! Editorial team a shout! We’d love to have a chat with you 😁 ) See you next time!  
Enrico Croce

Enrico Croce