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Christopher Tordoff Christopher Tordoff 16/12/2020 9 min read

Pen-Name: ci-jins Name: Cinzia Carpene Manga: Bisso Galeto Award: Excellence Award Age: 31 Country: Italy Favorite manga: I can’t choose, I love so many! Favorite movie: Disney movies and musicals. Favorite band/musician: They change with each project and idea.   QUESTIONS    

About the SMA

  1. How does it feel to win a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
Incredible! I hoped I would reach at least last place, so I can’t believe I archived this result!

  1. What was the inspiration behind your winning work?
The “bisso galeto” is a creature that resembles a basilisk or a dragon. My family on my father’s side comes from a place called “Saint George”, named after the knight who famously defeated the dragon. So the story was already written in a way, of how an evil dragon wants to devour a young lady and knight comes to her rescue. But I couldn’t kill the dragon! I showed to my friend and he said, “He’s so cute, he looks like a little chick!” She could just pick him up and cuddle him. Even monsters can be good if raised with love.  
  1. What challenges did you face making your manga? How did you overcome them?
As always, my biggest challenge was thinking too big! I went over the pages limit at planning stage, while juggling other projects. I overcame the first issue by shortening and simplifying the plot, and cutting any superfluous elements. For the second issue, I wasn’t so lucky. I damaged my knee and was unable to work. I inked three-quarters of the manga with my leg resting on a chair!

  1. How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?
I’ve always liked drawing, but I took my first serious steps when I was in middle school. I mostly copied, but I knew I had a passion for storytelling. I just felt I something to say. I took inspiration from anime and tried to imitate the style. I made many mistakes along the way, but I learned from European comics and manuals and kept trying. Tips for beginners? Train your arm and eye, and study everything! From anatomy, perspective, line-art and pagination to techniques on building storyboards. The trick is to keep on studying and remain curious about how to do things. Look at what other artists are doing and how they do it. But the most important tip is not to lose passion, even when you want to give up, keep pushing through. Dedication and hard work really does make a difference!  
  1. What was the first manga you picked up?
Inuyasha! One morning during the holidays, in the most improbable place to find a manga.
  1. Which manga changed your life?
“Marinefords war” story in One Piece had a huge effect on me and played a key role in my growth. After my study at the comic academy, I returned to my village. I had left many friends, not knowing if I’d ever see them again. I was jobless and felt very discouraged, but this manga helped me through it. I don’t think I could ever cried so much reading a story! Portgas D. Ace, whose friends are trying to desperately save, along with White Beard announcing the end of his era with bravery really hit home to me in my own situation. The manga inspired me to get up and start on a new project (which is still ongoing). That project still keeps me going and gives me the strength to continue.  
  1. Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
That’s a difficult question! I love protagonists from Shonen manga, because they fight for their dreams and ideals. Maybe I most identify with Naruto, because he really fights hard to achieve his goals, and in the end is finally accepted by his people.  
  1. What kind of manga do you want to make next?
I would love to tackle an action/fighting manga, with drama, weapons and magic set in a fantasy world! I love stories with multiple crazy characters! I also dream of writing a “spokon” (sports) manga. I thrive on creative stories to test myself. If something is difficult to draw, then I will push myself to draw it! Though I do struggle with modern settings.

About You

  1. What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
I haven’t had a lot of free time lately, but I do enjoy sports and walking. Of course, I like to read and watch anime but also hang out with my friends. I also like to sew, whether they are shirts, elegant clothes or cosplay, I like everything I can create with my hands  
  1. What industry do you work in (If manga making isn’t your primary job)?
I worked in the animation industry, then out of necessity I started to do other random jobs.  
  1. Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
I’m not very optimistic, but if I had to dream big, I’d like to draw a series and continue to draw many other stories.  
  1. What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
Test yourself and don’t be afraid of showing your work. No matter how many times you fail, it is important to stay open to criticism, as it enables you to reflect upon your work and learn from your mistakes. If you don’t put yourself in the game, you’ll never have a chance to succeed!      
Christopher Tordoff

Christopher Tordoff