Name/Pen Name: King Shu
Favorite manga: Slam Dunk, Berserk, Gantz
Favorite movie: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Reservoir Dogs
Favorite Quote: “It is my personal belief that human beings are naturally meant to persevere.” – Hungry Box
Entry title: “Mom… please don’t kill me!”
Round: SMA17 “Moments of HASTE, RAGE, or SMILES”
Award: Excellence Award
“Don’t ‘just’ create a manga with a message; entertainment value is always the priority of crafting good manga.”
- How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
Happy is probably the most cliche thing I would say, but other than that I feel relieved. I always thought that I had what it takes to create a good manga, but sometimes the confidence would fade for a long time. Receiving an award in SMA is an eye opener for my future manga career and also eases my anxiety. Sugoku Yokatta. :)))
- What was the inspiration behind your awarded work?
It’s gotta be my surroundings. I have 3 nephews and recently a niece whom I’m not exaggerating when I say I would die for them haha. There’s a lot of subtleness and nuance in the way kids act when playing or crying that just piques my interest. I was like “Bro this is manga material yo!”
- What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them?
Creating a storyboard is definitely the hardest part of the manga making process, and also to incorporate the theme while making it as entertaining as possible is very challenging. When facing things like this I always take a step back for a few hours and try to “knot” the beginning scene and the final scene. A little bit of foreshadowing is always good to deliver the outcome. Other than that, just git good eh?
READ KING SHU’S SMA17 ENTRY HERE!
About your Manga
- How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?
At the age of 9, the reason I started drawing manga is because I had a weird habit of drawing and crafting stories to the things I was currently obsessed with at the time. From Dragon Ball to Kingdom Hearts to The Fairly OddParents to Harvest Moon and even WWE! Yes, I have drawn a manga about John Cena. If there’s one piece of advice I could give for beginners, it is always “having fun” when creating your manga. Please, please be as “edgy” as you want when creating your first manga, don’t be scared to be as immature as you can! Express everything that you obsess and love and translate it in the manga. Don’t worry, you will mature as you go on to your next work. I’ve been drawing manga for more than 10 years, and the last thing I want to lose is having fun.
- Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools?
Digitally! If you’re a beginner or semi pro, I highly recommend Clip Studio. It’s just that good and keeps getting better and better.
- What was the first manga you picked up?
Dragon Ball Volume 1. This is the manga that made me realize how much of a genius Akira Toriyama-sensei is. Imagine this: I’m a 9 years old brat who has never ever read a manga in his entire life. No one taught me how to read a manga, but Akira Toriyama Sensei’s paneling and composition was incredible! The way he leads the eye of the reader from the top right to the bottom left is so clean, like a hot knife through butter. I still vividly remember how powerful that moment was when I realized that. What a GOAT.
- Which manga changed your life?
Slam Dunk, this one is a classic. If you love manga, you “must” read this! The way Inoue Takehiko-sensei matured and came to his own as an artist throughout the Slam Dunk series was phenomenal. The manga changed from a fairly good to a magnum opus of sports manga. If you have read the last couple chapters of Slam Dunk, you know how legendary that final scene is. I also think this is the manga that solidified my conviction in becoming a professional manga artist.
- Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
Okay this is kinda weird, I love Berserk! It’s one of my favorite manga of all time. But the character that I identify the most to is not Guts, but Griffith. Even though he’s pure evil in every sense, I kinda understand and relate to him when he speaks about his ambition. It resonates within me whether I like it or not.
- What kind of manga do you want to make next?
I’m currently working on a personal manga called “Half Blind Heart” (previously known as “Blind Sport” in my group of friends and my community). It’s a sports manga about ping pong/table tennis. I’ve been working on it for quite a long time and I hope it comes to fruition in the future.
- What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
I usually play video games to release some stress. But lately I’ve been really into watching documentary and complex movies. Sometimes reality can be more fascinating than fiction.
- What industry would you want to work in (if not related to manga-making)?
Honestly I don’t know, manga is everything for me. It’s crazy to think that I bet all my future into making manga without ever looking back. Here’s a little story from me, when I was 17 back in high school. There’s this one time that I didn’t go to school for a month, not because I was being bullied or didn’t have any friends, but because I was busy making manga for a competition. My conviction and immature self was so strong that the whole school and my mother was worried about me. I still regret doing that till this day, but at least I understood what really matters to me. Go to school kids!
- Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
Becoming the number 1 manga artist in Malaysia. Probably… probably.
- What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
Always use references when you’re drawing! That is the fastest way to improve. You can’t draw something good if you never see anything good. And one more thing Shu, stop being too pretentious damnit!
- What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
Don’t ‘just’ create a manga with a message; entertainment value is always the priority of crafting good manga. After all, that’s the reason why we love manga, right?
Thank you, King Shu! We’re eagerly expecting your next manga masterpiece!
Get some inspiration by checking out the other AMAZING awarded works from SMA17!