Name/Pen Name: PSI Team (artist: Rogério Hanata “RHanata”) (writer: Walacy Machado “WMachado”)
Age: RHanata: 42, WMachado: 44
Favorite manga: RHanata: Blade of the Immortal, WMachado: Kimagure Orange Road
Favorite movie: RHanata: The Crow, WMachado: Schindler’s List
Favorite Quote: RHanata: “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” WMachado: “Done is better than perfect.”
“If you have any cool ideas, don’t be afraid to show them, but also remember that your story needs to be as satisfying for the reader as it is for you.”
- How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
WMachado: I felt like a piano had been taken off my back! I had a sense of relief as soon as I saw the results. I remember taking a deep breath and trying to contain my excitement because it was still the middle of the night here in Brazil.
RHanata: Getting an Excellence Award for the first time was amazing. The feeling of having your work rewarded in this way is very good.
- What was the inspiration behind your awarded work?
WMachado: To be honest, Hanata and I spent days on end going after the best plot and message for the story. We had a very long brainstorm that was fueled by all sorts of references and memories that we believed to be useful.
RHanata: I don’t know if there was anything specific. Inspiration comes from the things I watch, read, observe… But I tried using a little of Studio Ghibli for the atmosphere of the story.
- What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them?
WMachado: To conciliate the deadline with our other works and activities. But I confess that all the tension and adrenaline surrounding the final submission is exciting and part of the process, and after the final submission was made I realized how much fun it was.
RHanata: The most challenging thing is to do something with a minimum of realism. It’s not entirely realistic, since I’ll never be able to do that. But something that comes from my imagination, albeit with a little built-in reality. To overcome this challenge, I try to do as much research as necessary, but it doesn’t always work.
About your Manga
- How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?
WMachado: I don’t know if I have anything to teach newcomers, since I can’t be considered a professional for not being able to live and support my family with my works, but if I can give some advice I imagine it to be perseverance, insistence, and to prepare for many “no’s” that you will surely hear throughout your journey. The literary market here in Brazil — with rare exceptions — does not allow an author to live exclusively from his writing without having to focus or have another “main” profession, so imagine what it’s like to make comics or manga around here, with the aggravating factor that I’m not a good sketch artist. When I put in my heart the desire to make manga it was very difficult, since at the time there was no internet as we know it today, and the information and the foreign market was closed to us.
Throughout my life, I have had to prioritize my “official” profession, but during this journey I have never stopped practicing, believing, studying, observing, and especially — insisting in every way on the means necessary to show my work. After so long, I’m only now reaping some results, many of my friends (much more talented than I am) who started with me back there, gave up or were forced to give up, but precisely because I never stopped believing — always keeping my eyes fixed on the prize — I can say that I’m closer to it than ever before. It is no secret that my dream has always been to be able to live from producing manga and, as utopian and naïve as it always seemed, I continued and continue to believe even with all the adversities. The idea here is to maintain the absolute conviction that this will come true. How? I don’t know, but — just like me — if that’s what you really want to do, then never fade, persevere. I imagine regretting not having tried to get to your limit should be a horrible feeling that I’m definitely not interested in experiencing.
RHanata: As a teenager, I did some fanzines with my friends, that’s how I started creating stories. My advice is to always believe in yourself.
- Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools?
RHanata: I used to draw my stories in the traditional way, but the last ones I’ve been doing were all digital. It is more practical and enables several things that if you draw handmade are very laborious.
- What was the first manga you picked up?
RHanata: I don’t remember. As a child, I kept seeing my cousins’ shoujo manga, but I do not know the Japanese language so I just saw the illustrations and found everything very beautiful. There were also some shonen, but I don’t remember any of them in particular.
- Which manga changed your life?
WMachado: Barefoot Gen.
RHanata: I don’t think any of them have had that much of an impact on my life. But as an artist, I think I was really impressed the first time I saw Akira.
- Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
WMachado: Akito Takagi from Bakuman; his dream is to write good stories. He could go on with a literary career, but his love for manga is greater and that’s why he surrenders to this art. However, because he has no talent for art, he needs to partner with a talented artist, but not just any artist; one who will be his friend and companion on his journey. I believe I have a lot in common with this character, since our motivations are the same.
RHanata: I don’t think any one in particular.
- What kind of manga do you want to make next?
WMachado: A drama. A story of overcoming something.
RHanata: I do not know. But I always try to do something meaningful, not only for myself as an artist, but also for the reader.
- What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
WMachado: I play with my son and get involved in family activities.
RHanata: I play the guitar, listen to music, and watch movies.
- What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job)?
WMachado: I am a UX Designer. I help develop apps.
RHanata: I’ve been trying to move on as a freelance artist for a few years. I’ve done some work for TV commercials and even a movie storyboard.
- Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
WMachado: I believe that I will be producing manga and supporting my family with this work. Anything beyond that is profit.
RHanata: I don’t know. In a good place, I hope.
- What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
WMachado: I don’t know how “he” would do it, but I would tell my younger self to try to study the Japanese language and dedicate himself even more to studying the English language.
RHanata: Study harder.
- What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
WMachado: Don’t leave uploading the pages to the last minute.
RHanata: I think SMA, despite having its rules, allows everyone to express themselves in the way they want. So if you have any cool ideas, don’t be afraid to show them, but also remember that your story needs to be as satisfying for the reader as it is for you.
Thank you, PSI Team! We’re eagerly expecting your next manga masterpiece!
Get some inspiration by checking out the other AMAZING awarded works from SMA17!