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SMA8 Interview #06 – Eudetenis (Grand Prix Runner Up Award Winner)

Vivi Vivi 02/02/2018 20 min read
Manga with flavor!! “Bean soup” “Pasta” “Tennis shoes…!?”   Gigi and Paulo are a stupendously talented Brazilian manga team who go by the pen-name EUDETENIS. Their shared love of manga brought them together, and now this unstoppable creative duo is itching to showcase their incredible manga on the world stage. How do they plan world manga domination? A tasty, flavorsome soup helps…. They sat down with us and their cute white cat called “Kuro” for a talk about the thoughts that goes with their work and of course about SMA7 and SMA8! Good morning, EUDETENIS!    

“We met at a Manga event and have been creating manga together since 2013”

  Nice to meet you! Once again, congratulations on your Manga Award! Paulo – Nice to meet you too! Thank you very much for the interview! Gigi – Hello everybody! We can’t wait to come to Japan and meet you all!     When did you start thinking about making your own manga? Paulo: I think I started thinking about it since the first time I saw “Saint Seiya”. I loved the story! Gigi: When I was young the first manga that I found was “Dragon Ball”. I thought it was a coloring book, so I started coloring them and trying to copy the characters. I also really liked “Inuyasha”, the monsters in that world and the mix between romance and action was super interesting to me.     How did you come up with the name “Eudetenis”? Paulo: Ahaha!  I was trying to create an email… we kept trying using our names Paulo and Gigi, but they were all taken. I looked down and I was wearing tennis shoes. That’s it ! “Eudetenis”. ( in Portuguese means “Me wearing tennis shoes”. Giovanna: I like the name because it creates a mystery about who the artist is.     How did you begin creating Manga? Gigi – I started in middle school. Daily training was essential to understand how to ink and roughly create a Manga from scratch. Many years later I started selling my Manga at a convention in Brazil called “Saga Entretenimento”, where I met Paulo for the first time. Paulo – That’s right. That was in 2006 and at that time I was studying mechanical engineering in college. I bought her Manga and fell in love! After that meeting we decided to collaborate, me writing the stories and Gigi drawing the Manga.     Aha! So Manga brought you two together! Together – Exactly!     So EUDETENIS was born and your career started from that very moment? Paulo – It took us several years to organize, but by 2013 we managed to make Manga our primary job. Right now, we work with clients from all over the world, especially the U.S. In April we were invited to the Middle Eastern FILM & COMIC CON event in Dubai to sell a Manga we made for the attendees.  Gigi – I also worked as an illustrator for several online companies. One of them was a Tokyo company called ToTheWorld. I’m looking forward to finally coming to Tokyo for the very first time for the SMA MASTERCLASS ceremony!     Are local comics/Manga popular among young people in Brazil? Paulo – Unfortunately not. Part of the reason is that local creators do not receive enough support from Brazilian editors and publishers. We have been lucky to have mostly collaborated with international companies. Gigi – That’s right, but today we see lots of talented local creators trying hard. We hope the situation will improve in the future.  

“We know all the Brazilian SMA MASTER CLASS members!”

    SILENT MANGA AUDITION is a huge global event and we’re delighted that so many Brazilian creators are joining SMA, with many successfully entering the SMA MASTER CLASS. Are you friends with any of them? Paulo – All of them actually! (laughs) Gigi – We reached all of them through SNS I suppose. We met ICHIROU and Max Andrade at several Comic events here in Brazil. We are good friends, but we don’t get to meet them very often because we live in different states.     Yes, Brazil is huge! Is there anything else the world should know about your country? Gigi – We live in a state called Rio Grande do Norte, its full of nature and lush greenery. Our city is Natal, its lakes and beaches are the perfect place to go when we need to relax. We love long walks along the seashore at dawn once we finish our daily drawing jobs. Paulo – I really love Brazilian cuisine! I have a passion for cooking, especially fish, meat, rice and beans… Gigi – Yes, Paulo is the chef of the family. All I can cook is pasta! (laughs)    

Gigi creates with a mixture of traditional and digital techniques!

    ABOUT SMA7   This seamlessly leads into our next question! What is the delicious soup the protagonist eats in your award winning entry “Grandma’s Flavor”? Paulo – Oh, that’s one of Brazils most famous soups, “Sopa de feijão” (bean soup)! It’s made of spaghetti, carrots, rice, potatoes and beans that are left to ferment for 24 hours. Gigi – Soup is essential in Brazilian cuisine. We often put everything in the same pot, even fruit! Banana is one our favorites.  

“Human altruism during the 2011 Haitian and 2015 Brazilian earthquakes gave use the inspiration for the story”

  Where does the story take place? Paulo – We were deeply shocked by the 2011 Haitian earthquake. Sometimes, such cruel events tend to be forgotten, so we decided to set our story in a Haiti-like environment, to show the reader how human altruism can be born even during the worst of natural disasters. Gigi – The mountains of garbage formed after a tremendous earthquake is the scariest thing I can think of.     Your entry depicts the human condition beautifully, what other inspirations and influences did you draw on? Paulo – The old woman is actually based on the awesome work of Doctors Without Borders. Also, one of the orphans in the story didn’t have an arm in his first appearance, but by the end he wears an artificial prosthesis. This reference comes from our second inspiration Team Unlimbited, a voluntary organization run by two English researchers that provide innovative artificial limbs made by 3D printers. Gigi – In addition, some familial inspirations helped us to create the characters too. The grandma is loosely based on a combination of Paulo’s mom and grandmother. From his grandma her physical appearance and his mother the ‘teacher’ aspect of the character (Paulo’s mom is a school teacher).     Looking at your previous work, we can see that there is a very humanitarian and social awareness theme deep in your stories, is something that is important to you? Paulo: We are both very humanitarian, so when we, as artist, have a chance to get exposure like in SMA8, we felt the responsibility of giving a positive message to the world. Gigi: We wanted to make people think more about helping each other and have empathy for others.  

Creativity is born from organized Chaos! 🙂

    ABOUT SMA8   What did you think about the theme ? Paulo: I loved the theme ! I also really liked other round’s theme, like “Mother”. Gigi: I thought we could really do something interesting with this theme.     Are  you both happy with the results ? Paulo: Yeah! We are very happy! of course everyone wants to get the first prize, but at the same time we are not very show-offs, we just like to make our own way and get attention for the quality of our work. Gigi: I am very proud! I like the feeling that I can do it. When I am sick I can’t stand being still doing nothing, so I rather keep drawing until I have finished.  

“We had a great team work with Quillcannon”

  How did you develop the idea? Paulo: This time, the script was made by Quillcannon. He sent us a couple of stories for us to choose. Gigi: He wanted to work with us for the SMA8, after reading all the stories  we ended up choosing the little girl that wants to play basketball. We work very well together there was not even one problem.     How did you and Quillcannon meet ? Paulo: He was interested in Giovanna’s work and contacted us. He also writes stories and has an amazing talent as a writer. Gigi: Through him we were invited to participate in a comic book event in Saudi Arabia, we really connected and was a great experience.     How is for you to work as a team? Paulo: For the two os us  usually am in charge for the script, we already know to work together and have our own process. Gigi: The story was good but it needed to have some points review so we did that together with no problems. Once the script was finished I just started drawing, I like to keep working until I am done.     What was the part that you struggle the most? Gigi: I was fighting while drawing the tennis shoes. I didn’t really know much about professional basketball shoes. Paulo brought me a lot of basketball shoes pictures as reference. Paulo: I know a lot about tennis (laughs) so I was very passionated for it to look like real basketball shoes.     The character design were they made purely from your imagination ? Gigi: I wanted a very small girl, thin and because she likes basketball, I wanted her to be tomboyish, large clothes and messy hair. I tried many type of faces and hairstyles.     Thats is very interesting from your work we all understand your characters emotions through their expressions. Giovanna: I am so glad to hear that! I was having trouble drawing them…I realized that I tend to use the same expressions most of the time. Paulo: I bought her reference books to help her study human expressions.     What are you favorites manga? Do you have different taste? Giovanna: actually we don’t really differ too much, we like artists like Oh! great, Yoshihiro Togashi, Obata Takeshi and of course Tesuo Hara!    

“We want to create a series in Japan that reaches lots more people”

    What are your ambitions and dreams for the future? Paulo – We want to create a personal series in Japan. We trained ourselves all these years to be able to create a weekly Manga! Gigi – I am really looking forward to collaborating with the SMAC! editorial team to help improve my technique as a Manga creator and as a member of the EUDETENIS team!     Finally, any words of advice you wish to share with all the budding manga creators within our community? Gigi – Don’t be afraid of losing. In this job you’re not facing others as rivals. Your main “rival” should always be yourself and your daily challenges. By sharing and studying other artist’s work, you can improve your skills. Don’t make excuses and keep drawing. Paulo – Believe in yourself and in your own talent. Fight for your dreams and always remember to share all of yourself with others!  

It seems that they already have an assistant!

    Thank you EUDETENIS, see you in Tokyo next year!!!   Did you enjoy soaking up EUDETENIS’s passion and dedication for creating manga? Were you inspired to pick up a pen and begin creating your own manga with the same fire in your belly?? If you felt inspired than you can do it to! Check out the next Silent Manga Audition 9, send us your work and hope to see you soon!     Twitter – @SmacViVi Facebook – Vivi Fabbri Smac