RULES & GUIDELINES
1. GENERAL GUIDELINES:
- The SILENT MANGA AUDITION® is about the ability to tell a wordless story in an effective and entertaining way – NOT a trial of skill that fits a pre-set standard. Be creative and entertain your readers by igniting their imagination!
- “A creator’s ability to tell a story through a visual narrative” is the main focus of evaluation. Study the theme and create a simple, easy to understand and entertaining manga.
- We welcome all emotions – happiness, sadness and everything in-between. However, we recommend always ending your story with a positive, heart-warming message. Like a good chef, the mixing of opposing flavors can sometimes produce the best results.
- The Audition Judges assess each entry for… “its message and how it makes the reader feel within a short, limited number of pages.” There is no limitations to what you can draw, as long as it’s an original creation that perfectly captures the theme.
SILENT MANGA AUDITION® Committee reserves the right to withdraw entries from public display at any moment.
2. DRAWING MANGA:
Silent Manga is the ability to tell a story through visual narration alone. Though dialogue is strictly forbidden in Silent Manga, we do however allow the following:
- Speech balloons containing “!?”
Exclamations and other punctuation marks are fine, but always keep in mind that those devices are there to ENHANCE your expressive emotions, not to substitute them. Many artists draw expressive marks near characters faces, often without speech balloons. Be creative and see what works for you!
- SIGNS: e.g., Parking / Flower Shop / Restaurants
Signage is also OKAY, provided they are very common and universally understood. Again, try to use words to enhance your drawings, not as a substitution, e.g. If you’re drawing a unique cuisine that people outside your culture may not understand, be creative and try to make it visually understandable, like adding food related icons to the signs, etc.
Drawn letters that represent sound is welcome and actually encouraged in ANY LANGUAGE. Most comic forms outside of Japan usually just use a set typeface for sound effects. However, in most Japanese manga, sound effects are usually incorporated into the art by the original artist, in a unique style that somehow sets the tone of the sound.
Though manga displays the action on a single page, it is designed to be read as a “double page spread”, with the action starting from the right and flowing from page to page. Even in the age of digital media, reading manga on a smart phone or tablet, these same rules apply. The key ingredient is to ensure the reader turns the page!
3. RECOMMENDATIONS & ADVICE:
Silent Manga is the ability to tell a story through visual narration alone. Though dialogue is strictly forbidden in Silent Manga, we do however have the following tips and advices:
- Don’t kill characters for the sake of “moving” people’s emotion. Think of heart-warming tales of triumph over adversity, maybe in a sporting event or through helping friends.
- Utilize the 1st page, as part of the storytelling and not just a cover page.
- We encourage you to make good use of a “W-Page spread (a pair of 2 adjacent pages in a book)”. Treat the page spread as ONE WIDE CANVAS.
- Use effective “Mekuri” and “Hiki” (the last panel before turning over the page to the following panel), and other techniques for effective storytelling.
- Complex stories are often inappropriate for silent manga. Plan ahead, and think of a simple, yet effective story before you begin your final manga.
- “A simple message that captures the theme” will be awarded higher than a “complex story with a confusing message”.
- THE STORY ITSELF is NOT a part of the assessment. Instead, we want to see what “message(s)” the story clearly presents to the reader – evoking emotions and feelings.
- While drawing can be a tough challenge, always remember to have fun and enjoy yourself. Do your best to entertain the readers.
- For all other guidelines and tutorials, please see our regular content, like the “FAQ Section”, “weekly articles” and the tutorials found on our YouTube SMAC! Community Channel.
4. TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:
- Your manga must not exceed 31 pages, so use the appropriate number of pages for the theme. We welcome short, focused stories.
- Your manga must start from A SINGLE PAGE, on the left side of the spread.
- All Manga to be drawn from “Right-to-Left” (Japan standard).
- Pages MUST BE uploaded as “1 page / 1 Image”. For “Page Spreads”, please upload each page as “2 separate image files”.
- Images will be displayed on the web exactly as you upload them, so please TRIM AND CROP your images. All gutter, trim marks and other parts of the image you wouldn’t present to a reader, should be trimmed off.
- Those comfortable with preparing print-ready images may upload “print-ready” images as one .zip file, accompanying the separate page images*.
*Doing so has no affect on the evaluation process, although it ensures your work will be presented in the best possible image quality, in the event of winning an award.
For more information on Technical Requirements, please refer to the FAQ
5. CANVAS SIZE INFORMATION:
- If available use JIS Standard B4 (257 × 364), if drawing on paper. If unavailable, use any paper size you can easily obtain.
- Final output size, when printed, trimmed and bound as a book, is W 220mm x H 310mm – inclusive of in-page content margin (“20mm” all around), but exclusive of “3mm” trimming margin (the gutter).
- Draw fully to the outer trim margin (including the 3mm gutter), remembering that the gutter will be TRIMMED OFF.