Shuichi “Mocchi” Mochida
Board Member, COAMIX Inc.
CEO, Kumamoto COAMIX Inc.
Chief Editor, SILENT MANGA AUDITION® Committee
Thank you very much to everyone that joined SMA17!
This round we received 694 entries from 90 countries, with the top number of entries from the United States and 6 countries in Africa joining the SILENT MANGA AUDITION® for the first time!
Both myself and the other judges were excited and pleased to see so many new countries joining SMA. This is proof that the love of manga is both universal and spreading throughout the world. We also saw a large number of high quality entries this round, which is additional proof that your manga-making skills are improving with each SMA round. We could also see much potential and promise in many of the creators, so please allow me to give you a few pieces of advice that may be useful when creating your next silent manga.
Having beautiful artwork and showing your own unique style is important in manga, but it’s all for nothing if the reader cannot understand your story or what message you want to tell. By asking someone close to you early on in the manga making process, you’ll be able to find what is missing or unclear in your manga. Moreover, learning more about story construction, page layout, paneling, camera work, etc. will also greatly improve both the quality of your manga and its readability. By all means, please feel free to visit our social media accounts for manga making tips and advice from the SMA Editorial Dept. when getting ready for SMA18.
In addition, we saw many entries relating to one of the “Moments of HASTE, RAGE, or SMILES,” or even multiple moments, but the key is to focus on one of these key moments and to craft your characters and story around it. By crafting a simple story with one of the themes as the emotional core, you’ll be able to convey your message in the most simple and understandable way possible.
At the same time, you should also understand your own abilities and focus on expressing the strongest point of your manga in the best possible way to the judges. Doing this will show the judges what kind of creator you are and that you have what it takes to debut in Japan.
We’re eagerly waiting to read your SMA18 submissions and looking forward to seeing what stories you have to tell. Great job this past round, and best of luck in your preparations for the next one!
Shuichi “Mocchi” Mochida
“This time the variety of works made me really enjoy the judging experience. Spooky manga, funny manga, action-packed manga… SMA17 had it all. As always, some works were difficult to understand initially so I needed to read them again and again to really grasp the final message the creator intended to convey. Please remember to create simple yet entertaining stories.”
Creator: City Hunter, etc.
“Young artists from different countries always make my eyes shine when I read their amazing works. All of the finalists made me happy with their passion for manga and the message they convey within the limited number of pages. On the other hand, some manga were difficult to fully understand, so my suggestion is to always rely on friends and professionals when applying to SMA: remember you are making manga for others, after all.”
Co-Creator: Fist of the North Star, etc.
“The drawings and the great number of styles portrayed in this round are proof once again that international creators really have what is needed to succeed in Japan if they are published. However, manga is not only created with drawings but also with stories, and there were only a few manga that left something in me after scoring them. Please, keep on practicing how to leave a strong impression on your readers.”
Creator: Yoroshiku Mecha-Doc, etc.
“I really enjoyed judging the entries this time, too. If I can give everyone some advice it would be that even if you are good at drawing, it doesn’t mean you have to overwhelm the pages with details and unnecessary lines. The drawings, as much as the stories, are the way you express your message to the readers, so try to find a way to keep your drawings simple yet direct.”
Creator: Koroshi-ya Menkichi (Menkichi the Avenger), etc.
“I’m happy to see that more and more creators with original and personal characteristics are joining the audition. At the same time, I wish that those creators would not let their personal touch win over the final goal of entertaining the readers. I’m not just talking about drawing style; I hope that from now talented international creators could have a talk with our SMA Editorial Dept. and work together on much more enjoyable entries.”
CEO, COAMIX Inc.
Author: Keiji’s Kabuki Adventure, etc.
(Former Chief Editor, Weekly Shonen Jump)
“We were happy to finally be able to publish in our magazine two works from international creators that won important Japanese awards in Comic ZENON. monotone_ink and Enewald are young yet important representatives of the SMA MasterClass, and we hope that they can be an inspiration for many other creators to apply to SMA for their chance to debut in Japan.”
Publications: Record of Ragnarok, etc.
EXCELLENCE AWARD RUNNER-UP
SMA Editorial Dept. Award