Shuichi “Mocchi” Mochida
Coamix Inc. Board of Directors Chairman, The SILENT MANGA AUDITION® Committee. Chief Editor, SMAC! The WEB/MANGA Magazine
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the large number of entries we received for SMA11. The theme this time was “Promise”, a theme that clearly struck a chord with creators around the world as we received a staggering 436 entries from over 50 countries and territories, a higher number than the previous round. Each of the judges enjoyed reading the “promises” that differ from culture to culture, as well as the more universal ones that transcend all cultural differences.
Though this SMA round didn’t include a Grand Prix winner, as there wasn’t a defining entry that stood above all others, the two Grand Prix Runner-up finalists were both very highly praised. Choosing a winner between these two works proved too hard so we kept them as joint runners up.
We received many skillfully drawn entries, most of which were evaluated positively for their improvements in art and panelling. It was gratifying to see several artists who have entered the audition many times and clearly demonstrated an improvement in ability. Yet unfortunately, there were also some who didn’t make full use of their potential.
I understand that many creators who enter the SILENT MANGA AUDITION® do so as a means of taking a step closer towards their goal of becoming a professional mangaka. It may sound obvious, but unless you muster up the spirit and determination to draw the very best work you can every time you sit down to draw, you won’t have what it takes to become one.
The SMAC! and COMIC ZENON editorial departments have started an initiative to offer creators the chance to debut in Japan, with some overseas SMA alumni already seizing this opportunity. We never hesitate to support creators who continue to work hard and never lose sight of their dreams and aspirations. As such, I sincerely hope you all seize this chance to show us the very best you have to offer.
I look forward to reading your future works.
Best of luck, and have fun!
“I’m happy to see the overall standard of work increasing yet again, but there wasn’t a clear winner this time. That said, I did enjoy the humor shown in entries such as “Papa, Fighting!” and “AIM!”, particularly the neat little 4-panel bonus strip at the end.”
Creator of: ‘Cat’s ♥ Eye’, ‘City Hunter’, ‘Angel Heart’, etc.
“Once again, I’m amazed by the attention to detail that many of younger creators have exhibited in this round. It’s really gratifying to see an increasing number of young artists, still in their 20’s with so much ability and potential.”
Creator of: ‘Fist of the North Star’ , ‘Keiji’, ‘Ikusa no Ko’, etc.
“Though none of finalists really captivated me on this occasion, the quality of art has definitely risen across the board. I can see a marked improvement in paneling and composition too.”
Creator of: ‘Yoroshiku Mecha-Doc’, ‘Restore Garage 251’, ‘Shonen Readom’, etc.
“Though many of the entries relied heavily on darker tonal techniques, overall it was a very easy round to read. Artistic ability and technique are worth having, but I personally like to judge a work based on how much it moves me… so don’t be afraid to dig deep!”
Creator of: ‘Commander Zero’, ‘Kigyō Senshi Yamazaki’, ‘Koroshiya Menkichi’, etc.
“Though the level of work was high, there wasn’t a definitive winner this time. However, both “Reborn” and “Bon Voyage” were very well deserved winners of the Grand Prix Runner-up award.”
CEO, Coamix Inc. (Former Chief Editor of ‘Weekly Shonen Jump’ and ‘Monthly Comic Zenon’)
GRAND PRIX RUNNER-UP
“Both the art and expressions are of a high quality, with a gritty, yet curious tone. I particularly liked the shark fishing scene in this manga.”