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SMA Editorial Dept. SMA Editorial Dept. 29/04/2024 10 min read


Pen Name: Heol
Age: 21
Social network profiles: Instagram: @heol_m
Country: France
Favorite manga: One Piece
Favorite movie: Azur and Asmar: The Prince’s Quest
Favorite quote:
“Let us dare before we die.” ~Rilès

Entry title:ROSA
Round: SMA20: “Memorable Smile”
Award: Excellence Award

I create stories rich in emotion, be they negative or positive.

About SMA

How does it feel to receive a SILENT MANGA AUDITION® award?
I didn’t expect it at all. I’m grateful and touched that my story could please the judges to this extent! It encourages me to continue creating manga!

What was the inspiration behind your awarded work?
I lost my great-aunt last year, so this story is inspired by my real life, and the plot twist is almost true, except that I left her a recent drawing of mine. I wanted to pay this tribute to her and to all the loved ones who have passed away.

What challenges did you face while making your manga? How did you overcome them?
This story falls within my comfort zone (nostalgia, the concept of passing time), so it wasn’t the manga that gave me the most difficulties. However, I could say that juggling completing my pages with student life wasn’t always simple. However, with a shonen spirit, I managed to get through it!


About Your Manga

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

Since I could talk, I’ve been inventing stories. Once I started drawing, I never stopped. I would copy cartoons, redraw Mickey and Donald, or create my own characters… Then I discovered manga! At around ten or eleven years old, I created my first manga with a childhood friend. We dreamed big and wanted to show it to publishers. It was called ‘Elements Fury’, and it was about two boys embarking on an adventure, who had powers granted to them by magical stones.

The most important thing was that we had fun, it was something we were genuinely passionate about, and it brought us together to create our pages. So, my advice would be to not get disillusioned with drawing and manga (it happened to me) and to enjoy telling our authentic stories. We tell our stories best when we draw from what we know.

Do you draw your manga digitally or by hand? What are your go-to digital or analogue tools?
Before, I used to draw my manga by hand, but now I’ve switched to drawing digitally for time-saving purposes. I’ve had my computer and graphics tablet for six or seven years. However, I hope to get an iPad. I would like to be able to draw everywhere without being limited to my desk!

What was the first manga you picked up?
My father bought me Dragon Ball from a second-hand store, but it wasn’t even the first volume. It was during the Namek saga, if I remember correctly!

Which manga changed your life?
Without hesitation, I would say One Piece. There are many reasons, but mainly because it’s a true refuge from the real world, and I only find that feeling with a few manga. It’s the only work where I absolutely do not want to die before reading the end! Otherwise, I really love Tokyo Ghoul, which had a big impact on me during my adolescence and in shaping my identity.

Which manga character do you most identify with? Why?
That’s a tough question! I’ve thought about it, and I’d say I identify with Armin Arlert from Attack on Titan. At first, he’s physically weak, not very skilled, and he relyies on his stronger friends for help. However, his greatest strength lies in his mind; he thinks and understands things quickly. As he evolves, he becomes stronger physically and mentally, eventually earning the blind trust of others and taking on great responsibilities. I feel like he represents me quite well.

What kind of manga do you want to make next?
All my manga are designed to embody what I call the ‘Heol spirit’. I create stories rich in emotion, be they negative or positive. However, I always end on a hopeful note. ‘Heol’ means ‘sun’ in Breton, and I want to leave a warm and positive impact, even if my stories start off dark.

About You

What do you do when you’re not making manga? How do you relax?
When I’m not creating manga, I spend time with my partner, friends, family, and my dog. I watch a lot of videos on YouTube, TV series, and anime. Of course, I also read and write.

What industry do you work in (if manga making isn’t your primary job)?
I’m a student in comic art until May. When I finish my final year, I’ll present my publishing portfolio to publishers, then I’ll try my best to make a living from manga while finding additional income at the beginning!

Where do you see your manga career in 5 years time?
In five years, I want to have a community of readers who appreciate my stories and are touched by them! Regardless of my path to getting published, I hope to create manga every day, whether it’s one-shots or a series. I don’t really have an ultimate dream, as long as I can succeed in working from home and doing what I love!

What manga making advice would you give to your younger self if you could?
You should read more manga and work on anatomy more! (Oops… that’s advice for now too!)

What advice would you give to people entering the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®?
Don’t hesitate to read old stories that have been published and won awards. Try to understand why they succeeded and how their creators conveyed emotions. I especially think of monotone_ink, who is a huge inspiration for me, whether it’s his delicate line work, art style, layout, or composition…he is a major inspiration that has motivated me a lot!

Be courageous!

Thank you, Heol! We’re eagerly expecting your next manga masterpiece!

There’s time until July 1st to join SMA21 and have a chance to develop your potential as a manga creator with us in Japan! 

SMA Editorial Dept.

SMA Editorial Dept.