Learn, Understand, Grow. Dedicated to the challenge. For the future of Manga.
Technical preparation is vital for an editor, especially when judging new talent:
“It’s ok if the style isn’t great,as long as there is potential”
CEO Horie, as an editor yourself you have worked with some legendary manga creators such as Hojo sensei and Hara sensei. Do you remember the beginning of their careers?
Horie: I remember it well. Hara sensei was amazing from the very start, especially how he drew a punch! I vividly remember recoiling from the manga feeling physical pain from those illustrated punches.
And Hojo sensei?
Horie: Hojo sensei’s first prizewinning work already had huge potential, promising an incredibly talented artist. His characters filled the frames, showing a unique style previously unseen in manga. His pages had many frames, so the illustrations should be small by conventional methods, but his characters burst from those panels. This is what I call “Hojo magic”.
Even manga legends who produce hit after hit were not 100% in the beginning.
Horie: Of course. Even if the style is bad, as long as there is at least one element that stands out, such as frame composition, we can make it work. If you approach people’s work this way, you will undoubtably discover a lot of new talent.
So the editor’s skill is vital when judging an artists work.
Horie: If a young artist who dreams of becoming a professional manga artist, one who has studied manga from a young age submits their work, it would be a pity if I couldn’t find any ability. When I started “Monthly Comic Zenon”, I had a strong desire to discover raw talent and nurture it so I started the newcomer prize “Manga Audition” to examine the artists ability in directing a narrative without dialogue.
And now “Silent Manga Audition” has gone global!
Horie: As the work is solely judged on direction alone, without dialogue, I decided to open the award to overseas talent as well. It’s now become a very successful international manga award with over 1000 entries every year. Therefore, this technique of assessing work on direction alone is a crucial skill for an editor to learn, enabling them to succeed in their role.