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HELLO SMA19 AWARD WINNERS, Alcro and Papouchiko!

SMA Editorial Dept. SMA Editorial Dept. 05/10/2023 14 min read

Alcro (left) and Papouchiko (right)

Pen Name: Alcro
Social network profiles: Instagram: @Alcro_art
Country: France
Favorite manga: Solanin by Inio Asano
Favorite movie: The Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis
Favorite quote: “There is the one who wants to catch up the best and the one who wants to surpass the best. It’s this difference that makes the victory.” – Hajime no Ippo

Pen Name: Papouchiko
Age: 19
Social network profiles: Instagram: @papouchiko_draw
Country: France
Favorite manga: ONE PIECE
Favorite movie: Princess Mononoke
Favorite quote: I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee

Entry title:Lost in flames found in memories
Round: SMA19: “Overflowing Tears”
Award: Excellence Award Runner-Up

“SMA is a good opportunity for learning the way to create a story.” – Alcro

Draw characters and don’t try to learn everything at the same time!” – Papouchiko

About SMA

How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
Alcro: I’m still surprised! I didn’t think that I would win a prize at this contest. It’s an amazing surprise, and I’m very happy to see our project being so liked. Participating was a rewarding experience that I don’t regret.

Papouchiko: It felt great, with a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

What was the inspiration behind your awarded work?
Alcro: The concept of this project and the script was created by my classmate. Next, we adjusted the script together so that it would be more interesting and understable for the reader. I found my main inspiration thanks to my biggest fear and nightmare: losing a member of my family due to a fire. During the project, I tried to put myself in the place of the protagonist and tried to imagine what she would feel in this situation.

Papouchiko: I wanted to draw an emotionless character and create a story where the main character lacks facial expression.

What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them?
Alcro: The biggest challenge and goal on this project was to create something with some new techniques, and to try different things as much as possible. I learned a lot from my classmate and we exchanged some tips. I didn’t necessarily feel difficulty except for when drawing hands that were drawn by Papouchiko, hahaha!

Papouchiko: The biggest challenge was working with my teammate. It was the first time I had collaborated on a one-shot with another person. Trying to work as a team was quite challenging, but through a lot of discussion about the distribution of the work, we managed to do it. The second challenge was the schedule. We were kind of cramped with our schoolwork, but because there were two of us in the team, we managed to finish on time.

READ Alcro and Papouchiko’s SMA19 ENTRY HERE!

About your Manga

How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?

Alcro: I created my first manga 3 years ago! “Lost in flames, found in memories” is the 6th project that I have brought to life. Since September 2022, I have done 5 different projects in the framework of my studies, and I could notice big progress. As for advice, I’m sure that there is nothing more formative than to create and draw a maximum, and to have a lot of curiosity and the courage to experiment.

Papouchiko: I began creating manga when I attempted to enroll in a manga school. For advice, reading a wide variety of manga will not only bring you joy but also provide you with a vast reference database. Practice making manga; there is no better way to learn how to do it. It will help you identify where your art lacks and, at the same time, you will learn about narration.

Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools?
I use both of them. Basically in my personal projects, I like to work by hand for the storyboard, the sketch and the inking, after I put frames and do some latest digitally readjustments. “Lost in flames, found in memories” was done entirely digitally for practicality.

Papouchiko: I draw the storyboard on paper and the rest is made using Clip Studio Paint.

What was the first manga you picked up?
Alcro: My first manga was Shugo Chara! I had found it in a library after seeing the anime on TV. I remember reading a big part of the page upside down hahaha, I didn’t know the right way to read manga!

Papouchiko: Surely something like Naruto. 

Which manga changed your life?
Alcro: Solanin is one of the first manga that touched me the most sentimentally! The type of writing that Inio Asano does is my biggest inspiration for all my projects. 

Papouchiko: Naruto; if it weren’t for it, I don’t think I would have started reading manga when I was younger.

Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
Alcro: I think that Kaori Miyazano in Your Lie in April is a character who represents me and touches me a lot. Like her, I’ve been sick during a big part of my childhood. Her strength, her freedom, her independence, and the smile that she kept despite the hardship are some values which accompany me today. She shows her feelings and her experiences with music like I did in my drawings. 

Papouchiko: Haruhiro from Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash or Yatora Yaguchi from Blue Period are possible answers. Those two characters harbor a lot of doubts about themselves and express their concerns to us, the readers. I appreciate it when a character is portrayed like this because they feel like a genuine human being.

What kind of manga do you want to make next?
Alcro: My next projects will affect subjects which for me are very important. I’d like to touch readers with sensible subjects by bringing big values. I wish that my readers learned things in my manga and felt big emotions. 

Papouchiko: The last one-shot I made was about grief and sorrow. For the next one, I’d like to try something a little more cheerful.

About you

What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
Hmmm… I do manga hahaha! I don’t have any other hobbies! I use my free time for cleaning, doing some great things to eat and sharing them with my friends!

Papouchiko: I try to read and watch things. I also attempt to engage in outdoor activities.

What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job)?
Alcro: I’m a student at the Human Academy Europe, a manga, animation, and Japanese gaming school.

Papouchiko: For the moment I’m a student.

Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
Alcro: I see myself promoting my self-edited manga at a convention pretty much everywhere in France! My main objective is to create a big community invested in my project and to be able to make a living out of my passion.

Papouchiko: Sign a contract or work as an assistant.

What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
I think I would encourage them to work more on their weak points, not avoid them and diversify by drawing a lot of things.

Papouchiko: Draw characters and don’t try to learn everything at the same time. Also, take note of all your ideas, even if they seem useless.

What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
Alcro: Try! This project will permit you to learn and improve yourself even more! SMA is a good opportunity for learning the way to create an understanding story for all and accomplish a good storyboard. I think that it’s a good workout that will definitely benefit you for future projects.

Papouchiko: Try the exercise of narrating a story without using text; it’s an interesting challenge. Moreover, without language barriers, anyone will be able to enjoy reading your manga.

Thank you, Alcro and Papouchiko! We’re eagerly expecting your next manga masterpiece!

There’s time until December 4th to join SMA20 and have a chance to develop your potential as a manga creator with us in Japan!

SMA Editorial Dept.

SMA Editorial Dept.