Shuichi “Mocchi” Mochida
Coamix Inc. Board of Directors Chairman, The SILENT MANGA AUDITION® Committee. Chief Editor, SMAC! The WEB/MANGA Magazine
Thank you to everyone who participated in SMA14!
Our intention was to create a fun Round using the theme “Creatures, Spirits and Monsters”, where we could all learn more about the different cultures of our global community. We are very proud of the response we received with the SMA reaching out to so many countries around the world!
We received an outstanding 390 entries, from 65 countries! Every year we can see the skills of our returning artists improve with each Round, and are astounded by the talent of the many newcomers to the Audition.
Once again, the Round was full of incredibly drawn entries! If myself and judges could voice an observation, it was unfortunate that artists focussed solely on introducing the “creature”, rather than giving us an exciting story arc. Additionally, because of the bigger page count, the stories tended to be a little overambitious for a short, dialogue free Silent Manga.
As previously mentioned, it is better to create a short and focussed story rather than a large epic that is underdeveloped. Next time, we recommend creating a theme driven story that connects emotionally with your reader and leaves a lasting and positive impression.
This year has been uniquely difficult for everyone, so we hope you had fun participating in SMA14 no matter the result. In these challenging times, we can all unite and overcome with the power of Silent Manga! We hope to see you all again for the next SILENT MANGA AUDITION® Round. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy and stay creative!
“The level of skill has improved greatly from past Rounds. I sensed a lot of enthusiasm from artists resulting in too many pages (a symptom of quarantine perhaps?), making these entries more like complete one-shots rather than short stories. Unfortunately this made some of the stories hard to follow without dialogue.”
Creator of: ‘Cat’s ♥ Eye’, ‘City Hunter’, ‘Angel Heart’, etc.
“I wish to applaud those who delivered a lot of pages! The theme had a lot a freedom, so creating a story over so many pages would have required a lot of hard work. In general, I wished to see more innovation with character design. Additionally, wide shots tended to be weak thereby failing the scenes. I also saw a lack of full body illustrations, so the artists need to go beyond what they are comfortable with and focus building memorable characters.”
Creator of: ‘Fist of the North Star’ , ‘Keiji’, ‘Ikusa no Ko’, etc.
“The level of art has improved a lot. I could really see the artist’s intention to make facial expressions as detailed as possible. Previous themes were very conceptual in nature, but not this Round! I would have liked to have seen work that pushed beyond the introduction of creatures, fairies and monsters and shown us an exciting story.”
Creator of: ‘Yoroshiku Mecha-Doc’, ‘Restore Garage 251’, ‘Shonen Readom’, etc.
“The theme was much closer to the world of manga, so I could tell everyone enjoyed themselves. Although there was a lack in storytelling, everyone managed to create their own unique “creature”. It was very entertaining to see artists proudly present their culture’s creatures, and though well developed stories are more engaging, it was nice to read uncomplicated and straightforward stories like these.”
Creator of: ‘Commander Zero’, ‘Kigyō Senshi Yamazaki’, ‘Koroshiya Menkichi’, etc.
“The “Beautiful lie” is one of the major key elements of manga, and the theme for SMA14 embraces this maxim well. I could see the artists worked hard at creating manga that is easy to understand, with very focused plot points throughout. Overall, I was very impressed with the vivid nature of these entries.”
CEO, Coamix Inc. (Former Chief Editor of ‘Weekly Shonen Jump’ and ‘Monthly Comic Zenon’)
EXCELLENCE AWARD RUNNER-UP