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HELLO SMA19 AWARD WINNERS, Dani Bolinho and Carlo!

SMA Editorial Dept. SMA Editorial Dept. 28/09/2023 14 min read

Pen Name: Dani Bolinho (Artist)
Social network profiles: Twitter: @BolimDani, Instagram: @dani_bolim
Age: 26
Favorite manga: Oyasumi Punpun
Favorite movie: Shrek

Pen Name: Carlo (Writer)
Social network profiles:
Twitter: @carloblind_art, Instagram: @carloblind_art, and Artstation: carloblind_art
Favorite manga:
Favorite movie:
Favorite quote: 
“Break it all down to essentials, and draw the hell out of what’s left.”

Entry title:
Round: SMA19: “Overflowing Tears”
Award: Excellence Award

It’s an eternal cycle, but a worthwhile one. – Dani Bolinho

“Start doing it now, and finish it. It will be really fun even though it looks silly.” – Carlo

About SMA

How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
Dani Bolinho (Artist): It’s hard to describe, but it was a mix of euphoria and happy anesthesia. The night before the results were announced, I had a dream that we (me and my friend Carlo, the writer) had won, and when I got the news I honestly didn’t know how to react. Did the gods of manga give me a premonition?? Lol

Carlo (Writer): It was unbelievable to be honest. I did have a lot of faith in our project, but at the end I could see that we had fallen short of some potential. We just did not have any more time left, so we finished and submitted it. But now I can appreciate the things we did right, and I am already excited to start working on the next one.

What was the inspiration behind your awarded work?
Dani Bolinho: Actually I invited Carlo to help me in this journey because I was insecure about my ideas, and was sure he’d make something exceptional, something that I wanted to give life to. We did various video chats (we live in different parts of Brazil) to make sure that the script was as tight as we could get, and with each new meeting we had new angles and ideas about how to represent the scenes come to my mind. I think in the end, the inspiration was that of creating something cool with an artist that I admire a lot, and that has been inspiring lately.

Carlo: Dani invited me to create this story, and since I had complete freedom, I really wanted to tell a story that reflected the reality of a lot of people in Brazil. Then I arrived at this idea of a father desperate to provide for his family and I considered making it a bit supernatural, but I liked how grounded it was, so I kept it as is.

What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them?
Dani Bolinho: Unfortunately some days before I started doing the pages, my cat spilled water on my drawing tablet (RIP, it didn’t survive), then I had to do it on paper. Actually I was unsure in what medium I should make it in, because each one has its pros and cons, but I think my cat solved that question for me. So after finishing the inked pages, I asked Carlo to fill in the blacks and halftones. In the end it all worked out.

Carlo: Dani had already done some pages digitally when the accident happened, and he had to scramble his materials to finish it in time. He sent me all the pages in the last week I think, and I had a lot of fun and a lot of learning to finish the pages in Clip Studio.

READ Dani Bolinho & Carlo’s SMA19 ENTRY HERE!

About your Manga

How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?
Dani Bolinho: I have a manga I did when I was 10 called “Super K,” and before it I did child comics that got lost; it has been a while hasn’t it? But only at 14 I started being more consistent with it, making comics and posting them on a Brazilian site called DPZine. There was a forum where you could comment and interact with other manga artists, and I loved it. It was a happy moment of my life, filled with lots of learning.
One of the advices that helps me the most is: “Better done than perfect”

Carlo: I started doing manga with my friend Heitor Amatsu; he is an absolute machine. I saw him burn through pages and create amazing visuals, so I started helping him with some story beats, and before you know it, we were writing our own manga together, which we publish here in Brazil, called Lampião which is currently in its 4th volume.

As for beginner advice, just do it. The journey is forever, so fall in love with the process. It’s something you are going to do everyday, and if the thought of doing it everyday makes you excited, that’s a good sign.

Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools?
Dani Bolinho: Currently I work mostly in digital. I like to draw on the non-display tablet looking straight at the monitor, which is way better for my back.

Carlo: I draw my own manga as well, and the name and sketching is mostly traditional, but then I finish the pages digitally.

What was the first manga you picked up?
Dani Bolinho: I think the first one was Saint Seya. But the one that really got me was Fugushi Yugi.

Carlo: Naruto. I remember to this day finding this weird, cool looking comic that you read in the reverse order, and it was fun and mysterious. It wasn’t the first or second issue, it was the 15th issue, where he fights Gaara, and I remember being able to deduce the story solely on how good the storytelling was. And since then I fell in love with manga.

Which manga changed your life?
Dani Bolinho: Definitely Fushigi Yugi. It was thanks to it that I found a whole new kind of manga titles, and what manga even is.

Carlo: Akira really expanded my mind on what’s possible through manga, and Dorohedoro came and showed me that if the characters are fun, you can get as weird and crazy as you want. I think about these two manga almost everyday!

Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
Dani Bolinho: I don’t think I identify 100% with any specific one, so I won’t be able to answer this one.

Carlo: I identify a lot with Garou from One Punch Man, the way his drive is unstoppable and that people don’t really understand what his motives are, but in the end he is still helping people. I just love him!

What kind of manga do you want to make next?
Dani Bolinho: I want to make something that people can bond over and have fun with.

Carlo: I want to make people cry, because that’s what my favorite manga did to me.

About you

What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
Dani Bolinho: When I am not making manga, I sleep a lot. Sometimes I go out for a walk and try out new things.

Carlo: I usually work on my other stuff honestly. I spend the week painting and doing concept art, and by the end of it I hang out with my girlfriends and friends. In general, it’s a fun cycle.

What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job)?
Dani Bolinho: At the moment I am a comic book artist and an illustrator.

Carlo: I’m a writer and illustrator.

Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
Dani Bolinho: I hope to have already done lots of manga, besides evolving my storytelling and craft

Carlo: I will be approaching the end of my current serialized manga here in Brazil (Lampião), and by then I want to be making my own stuff, just for the sake of telling stories. Professionally I just want to write stories, but the drawing part I like to keep it as my pleasure.

What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
Dani Bolinho:
Have close friends to support you.

Carlo: Start doing it now, and finish it. It will be really fun even though it looks silly.

What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
Dani Bolinho: Don’t be scared. Study and make stuff to cement what you have learned. It’s an eternal cycle, but a worthwhile one.

Carlo: Do your best, because we will bring our best.

Thank you, Dani Bolinho & Carlo! 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.