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- Hello Award Winners #9 M. Agung Perkasa

Enrico Croce Enrico Croce 20/09/2017 13 min read
Life can be hard, but the taste of your favourite dish can help you move forward… This is a tale of a mangaka who turned his pain into a strong passion! How will his manga move the heart of the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®Community (SMAC! – Readers, Creators, Editors…)!? Let’s ask it directly to him! Hello, M. Agung Perkasa
    “I’ve decided to become a comic artist to prove my parents that comics are useful.”

Agung, self-portrait

  1) How did you begin creating manga? When I was a kid, I loved reading comic books, and my parents didn’t have any problem with that. But one day I was reading too many comics and ignored my mom’s order to study. My mom became so furious, she ripped (or burned? I don’t quite remember) my comics. I felt very sad and realized my mistake, but I was also a bit angry that my comics had to reap the punishment. From that day, I’ve decided to become a comic artist to prove my parents that comics are useful.   2) What is your working environment like? Are you an analogue or digital person? Any unique tools you use to draw? I work in my room, but sometimes I like to work at cafe or library. When I created my entry, I used both analogue and digital tools, but lately, I began using digital tools for the entire manga creation.

Agung’s working desk

  “With our comics community, “PANYOET”, we are aiming to become a “light” that shines upon everyone”   3) Anything the world should know about where you live? Interesting events/sights/foods/culture etc? My hometown is Banda Aceh, a city in the Aceh’s province, in Sumatra, Indonesia. The beaches are beautiful, and the food is delicious. It’s been four years since I’ve moved to Bandung (West Java’s province) to study in University, but I still go back to my hometown at least twice a year. Bandung is a beautiful city too. I really enjoy living here. I love the weather, and there are a lot of pretty girls! 😎   4) Popular comics/manga in your part of the world at this moment? There are many popular comics here, especially webcomics. But I still prefer comic books than webcomics. The most famous webcomics are “Tahilalats”, “Pasutri Gaje”, “Eggnoid” (all of these are available on “Webtoons”, the most famous Indonesian webcomics website). As for paper comics, My favourite magazine is “KOSMIK“. A lot of great comics are released there, such as “Manungsa”, “Wanoja”, “Kentang”, etc.   5) Are locally created comics/manga popular in your town? Do you know any local creators? There are no popular local comics in my hometown, but some of my friends here chose the same path as me. We made a local comic community and called it “PANYOET” (the cafe’s name in my entry has the same name). “Panyoet” means “oil lantern” in Aceh language. We gave this name so that the community can become a “light” that shines upon everyone. In this group, we each publish our original comics, and together we share the knowledge to improve our works. In Bandung, there are a lot of popular comics, and I’m friends with some of their local creators, like Alex Irzaqi, Sweta Kartika, Azisa Noor, Fauzy Zulfikar etc.  



PAYONET comics

      “The entry is based on my personal experience”    6) Where did you find the inspiration for the entry? Well… maybe it’s from my own story. When I was a child, my mom often cooked fried rice for my sister and me, every morning before we went to school. But there was a big catastrophe in my hometown back in 2004, and I lost my mom and sister back then. I miss my mom’s cooking.  

Mom & Son’s reunion!

  7) How long did it take to create the entry? I got the idea a month after the theme was announced, but I start drawing in mid-February. My progress was quite slow because of my University studies. Even two weeks before the deadline I hadn’t finished 50% of it… But somehow I made it on time.   8) Why was the protagonist separated from his mother? When he was a child, his family had financial problems and debts. His mother decided to give him to another family, but the family lived far away from the protagonist’s hometown. Originally, I wrote up a scene where the debt collector approaches the protagonist’s family, and get kicked out from their home. But I decided to cut it out, to make it shorter.   9) What happens to the Mom & Boy after the story? They still live apart. But they do contact each other and meet more often.   8 ) What is your country’s most popular food? Most people will say “Rendang” (spicy meat) or “Nasi goreng” (fried rice). But there’s other numerous tasty food in this country, especially in my hometown! Every time I go back to my hometown I always gain some weight because I eat too much.   9) Any specific ingredients in the “Special Fried Rice”? This is going to be the most cliche answer ever… It’s like ordinary fried rice, but with a special ingredient in it: LOVE. Hahaha! 13) Your favourite SMA7 entries? “Like that old Italian wine” by Hagane Ishi and “Hard Simplicity” by winsoy. Those are my favourite. I like the first one because of its unique style and the “space” theme. “Hard Simplicity” shares a similar story with my entry: a taste that reminds the protagonist of his family. That’s why I like it. Also, the art style is impressive.    
  “I have three stories for the SMA8!”   14) What do you want to create now? I really want to be a pro. Right now I’m trying to improve my drawing skills. Seeing younger artists who have far better skills than me sometimes lets me down, but I’ll do my best to be better. Right now I’m working on the SMA8 entry. I have three stories for it! I hope I can make at least two entries this time, and get a better result! 😬   15) What do you expect to achieve by taking part in SMA Community -the fans, readers and the Japanese pros? I really want to join the SMA MASTERCLASS. Seeing my friends Alex Irzaqi, Kjati, DS STUDIO already there, make me want to become a member. I hope my next entries can take me there! And I also hope I can improve myself by taking part in SMA.   16) Anything else you would like to share with the community? I thank SMAC!, because I am excited again to create comics, thanks to you guys. Before the result announcement, I was having some trouble with the final assignments at college, wondering if I really can become a pro comic artist. But after that announcement, I got my passion back to create comics!
Thank you, Agung! Your manga tells us how manga can give you the strength to move on, and heal a wounded heart. SMA and the whole SMA Community is waiting for your next THREE entries! You and all our community’s members can join the SMA8 round until September 30th! Friendship and shared passions: manga and comics are powerful tools indeed! Let’s create the BEST TOOL EVER together! Be one of us! Be part of our family, TODAY! Join the competition by clicking the banner below!   See you next time!
Enrico Croce

Enrico Croce