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HELLO SMA19 AWARD WINNERS, Zanuse and Beatrush!!

SMA Editorial Dept. SMA Editorial Dept. 09/11/2023 14 min read


Pen Name:
Zanuse (Art)

Country: Italy
Favorite manga: Golden Kamui, Uzumaki
Favorite movie: The Thing (1982), Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Django Unchained 
Favorite quote: Danger doesn’t always come from the enemy.”

Pen Name:
Jim Yiu (Pen name: Beatrush (Story))
Favorite manga:
Hellsing, Gunnm, Trigun Maximum
Favorite movie: 
Aliens, Terminator 2, Macross-Do You Remember Love, Redline (レッドライン)
Favorite quote: “Push on! You can sleep when you’re dead.”

Entry title:
My Friend Chonkuin

Round: SMA19: “Overflowing Tears”
Award: Honorable Mention

“Don’t go for complex stories, keep it simple and tell it in a meaningful and engaging way!” – Zanuse

“Learn the fundamentals! Start with a small concept, develop your twist, and pay attention to page/panel layout and camera angles.” – Beatrush

About SMA

How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
Zanuse: I woke up to the news of the award, so I was a bit dazed. It was completely unexpected, but it’s an honor that professionals read our entry and that I can share this moment with Beatrush! I’m so happy!

Beatrush: Incredible! This was our first time entering and to achieve an award with so many talented artists and storytellers in this competition feels surreal. I am very honored that professionals whose work I have read/watched growing up reviewed our entry and shared their knowledge with us. I am so happy to share this award with my friend Zanuse, who is an amazing person and artist.

What was the inspiration behind your awarded work?
Zanuse: I was often called ‘’daydreamer’’ or told that I had my head in clouds, not paying attention to surroundings or just imagining things for fun.

Beatrush: Personal experience. Growing up, I lived only with my mother and I didn’t have many friends so I frequently had to entertain myself. Just like the girl in our story, sometimes I would be lost in my imagination and not pay attention to dangers in my environment.

What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them?
Zanuse: I would say the storyboard. I’m rather new to this, and previously I had only worked on a couple of pages just for fun without even knowing if I was doing things correctly. Because of that it all felt overwhelming, so I started from the basics: yonkoma and ki-sho-ten-ketsu. 

Beatrush: The main struggle that comes to mind was convincing my peers who reviewed our entry on the story. Many expressed that they felt our story/twist was too simple compared to the topics they chose (which were mostly about life and death). In the end, I’m glad I believed in my ability as a storyteller.

READ Zanuse and Beatrush’s SMA19 ENTRY HERE!

About Manga

How and when did you start making manga? Any advice for beginners?
Zanuse: I’ve been drawing since I was little but had tendencies toward illustrations more than manga. Recently I got the chance to work on manga/comics and webtoons and thanks to this I got to know Beatrush and also ComiPa who mentored me on manga making, art, and storytelling! I owe them everything.

My advice for beginners would be to read a lot of manga and practice everyday!

Beatrush: I started creating manga roughly in 2012 but it was more of a hobby at the time. Things didn’t really pick up steam until I met SMA18 winner ComiPa in 2017.  He mentored me on the fundamentals of manga and visual storytelling and I owe much of my success to him.

My advice would be if you want to start creating manga, the earlier the better (or just start right now!).  Having started so late in my life, I fear I only have so much time left to tell all the stories I have in my head.

Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools?
Zanuse: I use both digital and traditional mediums. For digital I use Clip Studio Paint EX and Photoshop. For traditional I go for my trusted mechanical pencil and G-Pen. I love the sound of the pen tip dragging across the paper.

Beatrush: When I draw, I use Clip Studio EX and Photoshop. The rare times I draw traditionally I use a mechanical 2B pencil, as well as Copic and Sakura liners. However, since my strength for creating manga is more in the writing role, I rarely draw for my own manga projects.

What was the first manga you picked up?
Zanuse: It was “Wanted!”, a collection of one-shot stories by Oda-sensei.

Beatrush: My mother used to bring me random manga books from a cantonese bookstore in Chinatown. They usually were random volumes of Dragon Ball Z, Ranma ½ and City Hunter. Her hope was for me to learn to read cantonese through them, but I just ended up admiring the artwork instead.

Which manga changed your life?
Zanuse: I think Tomie and Witch Hat Atelier. I want to make something this beautiful too..

Beatrush: I would have to say Battle Angel Alita and Hellsing. Those two series introduced me to the world of seinen manga storytelling and showed me new examples of what can be done using the medium of manga.

Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
Zanuse: Taiga Aisaka from Toradora. I’m short and I still get mistaken for a kid because of that and my baby face. 

Beatrush: Currently, Bocchi from Bocchi the Rock!.  I can relate to her mindset in regards to self doubt and wanting to hide from the world.

What kind of manga do you want to make next?
Zanuse: I would love to make a story about mysteries and horror, but it has to wait for now. I’m working on a project with Beatrush.

Beatrush: Aside from SMA20, I am currently working on multiple series at the moment including one with Zanuse which should debut later this year. I also have a passion project series called “Gun+Blazer” that is currently on hiatus but I hope to work on it again soon. While I typically write action/comedy and seinen, I would like to try making something “gothic” like Castlevania or Vampire Hunter D.

About You

What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
Zanuse: I draw even more! But I also spend time playing videogames with friends and reading books.

Beatrush: I tend to work over 12 hours a day but the rare times I am able to relax, I enjoy watching movies/anime, reading, chatting with friends and casual gaming.

What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job)?
Zanuse: I’m a freelance Illustrator but also a tattoo artist. 

Beatrush: That’s a good question… I guess the best way to describe it is digital and interactive communications.  My job usually consists of writing, coding, graphic design, video editing, and creating marketing materials.  I often refer to myself as “jack of all trades but a master of none”.

Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
Zanuse: Don’t know! I can’t tell what the future has for me. The only thing I can do is work hard to achieve my objectives. So that’s what I’ll do for now.

Beatrush: It’s tough to say at the moment. I would like to transition full time into creating and writing manga one day though.

What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
Zanuse: Be more confident and don’t be afraid of experimenting new stuff! Many good things can come out if you try.

Beatrush: Don’t hesitate, if you wanna make manga, just do it. Take risks and don’t be afraid to fail.

What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
Zanuse: Just do it! Don’t go for complex stories, keep it simple and tell it in a meaningful and engaging way! 

Beatrush: Learn the fundamentals! Start with a small concept, develop your twist and pay attention to page/panel layout and camera angles. Read the interviews of the winners because many of them share useful information you can use for your own submission.  Lastly, don’t give up! Keep trying and learn from the feedback the masters provide to both you and the other creators.

Thank you, Zanuse and Beatrush! 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.