The 4th M.I.C.C. result announcement

While this is the fourth time that this competition has been held, it is the first since its name was changed from the Morning International Manga Competition (M.I.M.C.) to the Morning International Comic Competition (M.I.C.C.). Throughout the previous three competitions, we found ourselves keenly noticing something. While in Japan the word "manga" (マンガ) encompasses many broad genres and is still home to innovation and freshness, the term "manga" abroad refers to works of fantasy that are drawn in a specific style, and further confined to a small genre.
This time, we saw an immediate change resulting from the contest's revised name, as we received many submissions that could be classified as "seinen manga," the genre that our magazine Morning primarily publishes. Not only that, we also received many highly exciting works with stories and visual designs that we could not imagine ever seeing from creators within the Japanese industry. We value this quality, as seen by the prize-winning works.
This year, Kim DaeJin's "The Unreverberating Echo" (響かないこだま) captured the grand prize. In the past, we had formed a vague preconception that Korean authors' works submitted to the contest were mostly "highly aestheticized stories with flowing lines and a craftsmanlike approach to tone work," but we were pleasantly surprised when this story's individualistic and powerful style overturned this prejudice. The story’s theme also possesses a level of originality that seems very well thought out.
Two second prizes were awarded, one to Tawainese comicker little thunder (小雷)'s "APPLE BABY CAT," and another to British creator Michael Aubtin Madadi's "Starfields." The world created by little thunder is fashionable and exotic, but the underlying tenderness of the work can be understood by all. I believe that little thunder's talent reaffirms the universality of manga. Then there's Michael Aubtin Madadi, whose "heta-uma"-esque (so bad it is good) touch and offbeat sense were swiftly perceived by the judges, who nicknamed him "London's Yusaku Hanakuma." Including Mr. Madadi, half of the works that passed the second screening were by authors from Western countries, including some regions where one could not say that manga is widely read. We found this fact very interesting, as it made us feel a sense the potential that this competition offers.
We now find exhilarating the question of how to foster and give exposure to talented individuals who broaden the borders of manga, beginning with the winners of this competition. The methods to do this may lie beyond the printed book, or even the world of the eBook.
Of course, the sponsor of this competition, Morning magazine, is an entity for whom manga is a business. However, our objective is not to "import" manga authors from around the world. While we naturally hope to encourage and attract talented individuals who could never have been raised within Japan, we do not believe that there would be anything that could make us happier than to "export" the joy of reading manga. We truly hope that increasingly diverse manga, such as the prize-winning works in this competition, will be able to act as a foothold to do just that.

M.I.C.C. Selection Committee, Koji Tabuchi

"울리지 않는 메아리"

Kim DaeJin/Korea

《Story》 대학시험을 준비중인 최 장수는 날마다 공부에 박차를 가하고 있다.
그러나 이 날은 어딘가 느낌이 이상했다.
놀랍게도 최장수의 교과서에서 자음이 사라져 버린 것이다.
자음을 읽는 것도 입으로 말하는 것도 할 수가 없다….
왜 모두 이 사태를 알아차리지 않는 걸까?
「○※△#――」。누구에게도 전해지지 않는「메아리」를 외치면서 거리에서 몸부림치는 최.
「인간은 본질적으로 광기가 있다」―― 철학자·파스칼의 말을 상기시키는 것 같은,
인간과 현대사회의 모순을 그린 문제작.

≪Comment from the Grand Prize winner≫ 부족한 작품을 뽑아 주셔서 너무 감사드립니다.
제 작품에 대해 믿음을 가지고 더 열심히 할 수 밖에 없는 기회를 받은 것이 너무 좋습니다.
이번 기회를 계기로 더욱 좋은 작품을 만들겠습니다.
감사할 분들이 너무 많습니다.
저희 가족을 비롯해 편히 작업에만 열중할 수 있게 도와주신 부천 창작만화스투디오와 직원분들에게도 감사드리고 옆에서 항상 힘이 되어준 친구들 같은 공간에서 함께 작업을 하고 있는 사륜구동 식구들도 감사드립니다.
무엇보다 제 작품을 인정해 주신 모닝에도 감사드립니다. 지금까지 준비해온 제 만화를 빨리 독자에게 보이고 싶은 마음이 앞서네요.
정말 좋은 만화로 인정받는 만화가가 되도록 하겠습니다.
다시한번 감사드립니다. 

≪Judge’s Comment≫ 「울리지 않는 메아리」 김대진 한국 이야기의 컨셉이 재미있다. 주인공이 어느새 말려들면서, 이상한 방향으로 자꾸만 흘러가는 모습이 잘 그려져 있다.
읽으면서 나도 모르게 작품에 푹 빠져 들어갔다.
본작품은 이른바 한국의 WEB만화 스타일로, 일본의 코마만화와는 다른 스타일이지만, 그것을 능가하는 스토리의 강함이 있다. 「자음이 없어진다」라고 하는 것으로, 전혀 자신이 말하는 것을 알아 주지 않는 초조감이라든가 좌절감이 굉장히 자연스럽게 그려져 있다.
사회와 배반할 작정이 없는데도, 오해를 받게되고 , 발버둥치면 발버둥칠 만큼 파멸을 향해 가는 주인공이, 누구라도 일어날 수 있다고 느끼게 할 정도의 긴박감으로 그려 졌다는 것에 작가의 재능을 느낀다.

"STARFIELDS"

Michael Aubtin Madadi/England

《Story》 A low-spec machine from generations past gives birth to the end of a sad romance. This short fantasy story uses slow-paced conversation to create a heartbreaking, gentle, and mature tale. A man sits alone in a park, when a robot suddenly appears next to him. The awkward pair begin to have a clumsy conversation, though neither knows which one started it. And upon asking, "So, why did you go to Doctor Enwa's place?" The robot reveals its tale of a sad, midwinter night. That evening, the bot fell in love with a snowman, but it would be a short, fleeting romance. And he alone was responsible for the loss of his beloved. All he could do under the infinite, starry sky with the "hot" passion of his old-fashioned Braun tube was to eventually run idle. What will this warped, old-fashioned pair ultimately find in the age of hi-spec and the hyper positive?

≪Comment by the Second Prize winner≫ First of all I would like to thank Kodansha for their commitment to such a great competition. I would also like to express how delighted I am to be awarded the second prize. When I think back now making this comic was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done. I really mean that. And I think if you've asked me then, when I was working on it in the middle of the night, I'm sure I've have said the same. I feel very passionately for these two characters, and if just a bit of that comes across to the reader then I'm more than happy.

≪Judge’s Comment≫ This is a work with a strong sense of individuality. Full of naunces, such as a cast of characters that leave you uncertain of their race or age, it causes one to think that no other person could have drawn this comic. While the story develops in a way that follows none of the rules established by prior manga, a sense of sadness and loneliness is present in the background, leaving the reader with a lasting but indescribable feeling. However, is the work a surreal piece. Or maybe it’s a story that deals with the many subtleties of daily life...? It is hard to tell how it should be read.We felt as though more readers might read this work if the author focused either on the absurd or on the ordinary.

"APPLE BABY CAT"

小雷−little thunder−/香港

《故事大綱》 牠似乎是蘋果,卻又像是貓?闖入人類生活中的神秘生物「Apple Cat」。
牠們逐漸增殖、蔓延,最後又以可愛的聲音誘惑人類說:「吃我」。
以溫馨又悲傷的色彩與筆觸,成功地描寫出鮮明的世界,是充滿寓意的佳作。

《小雷(little thunder》 知道自己得了獎實在是很高興。畫漫畫也差不多有10年的時間了,在中國?地或香港也有嘗試過發表作品,可惜可以給漫畫家穩定發表作品的刊物總是越來越少。
現今好玩的東西太多,看漫畫的人也相對少了。漫畫家也可以有更好的選擇,放棄很容易,放下筆,不再拿起就行。看著身邊畫漫畫的朋友,一個一個的離開這個行業,總是感到無奈和寂寞。
這一篇《Apple Baby Cat》也是好幾年前的作品。好多作品,多努力畫,也不一定有機會發表,這是漫畫家都要接受的事實。能?發表已是很感激的事情。
謝謝所有看過和喜歡這個作品的人。我會繼續努力的。

≪評語≫ 作者具有能力可以畫出許多種角色,而且女孩子之間對話的氣氛、身體的線條等細部都表現得非常好。
除此之外,創作的神祕生物的造型也非常精采,令人充分感覺到作者能夠吸引讀者的實力。
然而,相較於繪圖的實力,台詞的處理以及內容有待加強。
即便如此,確實能感受到作者今後的可能性,我們非常期待下一部作品。

"蜃"

李俊良/China

≪Judge’s Comment≫ 細膩描繪出作為故事舞台的虛擬城市,令人賞心悅目。但是,由於構圖太過精細,因此人物的位置以及發生時間反而變得模糊,讓讀者無法簡單融入故事。而且,故事本身放入太多元素。當然專注於細部的描繪是很重要,但是更為重要的是讀者的存在,希望以後能考慮到讀者後建構畫面與故事。

"SPYWARE"

Mattias Elftorp/Sweden

≪Judge’s Comment≫ While the story driven by the main character's monologue is flat, the protagonist's behaviors and the appearance of the "god" he sees are surprising, giving this work a strong impact. Unfortunately, this entry’s ending was difficult to understand, and ultimately it did not leave a good impression.

"Bird Spotting"

Clio Millett/England

≪Judge’s Comment≫ This work gives the impression that the artist began drawing it before internally sorting out what would be created. While on first glance, the story's world, filled with fantastic monsters, is an interesting one. However, its many enigmas forces the reader to think about what they're reading, keeping them from becoming engrossed in the story. If a story is to take place in a fictional world, we think that it is essential to present truths about that world in order to bring it to life. Creating a framework for a narrative and a solid image of the story's setting would make for better works in the future. Nevertheless, Millett’s art is skilled, and it features a sense of searching for expression.

"The Half-Underground Town"

Song Taewook/Korea

≪Judge’s Comment≫ 「반 지하 타운」 송태욱 한국 대단히 읽기 쉬운 작품으로 응모작품들 중에서도 가장 엔터테인먼트한 작품이었다.
특히 리듬감. 만화라고 하는 미디어는 페이지를 넘기는 리듬감이 중요하다고 생각한다. 이 작품은 에피소드가 연이어 계속 전개되기때문에 읽으면서 지루하지가 않다. 그리고 그림이 최근 한국 작품에서 보여지는 것 처럼과도하게 텃치되어있지 않아, 단순하지만 매력이 있다.
단, 얼굴의 구별이 잘 표현되었다면 더욱 좋았을 것 같다.
만화는 그림과 말이 세트로 전해지지 않으면 의미가 없다. 이 작품의 약점은 등장인물이 혼잡하는 마지막 씬(last scene) 가까이에서 확실하게 나타난다. 얼굴을 봐서는 누가 누구인지 알 수 없음이 이야기의 재미있음을 반감시켜버리고 있다.

"Dinner for Three"

Jasmine Ghalib/Canada

≪Judge’s Comment≫ While the atmosphere of the work's art shows skill, the characters all speak too much, sadly cutting into the enjoyment that a reader feels when using their own imagination. The work should be a better one if the author gave more thought to how the reader reads it. However, knowing exactly what you want to say and convey in a work is also commendable, and we look forward to the artist's future works.

Selections of initial screening