By UOW Malaysia KDU
The comics and manga culture is globally recognised with recent developments within this genre including movie and broadcast series adaptations. However, it was not very long ago that it was confined to a small community of enthusiasts. Today the comics and manga culture is a US$3.96 billion dollar industry and the digital manga market accounts for US1.77 billion in Japan alone.
One of the forerunners of digital Manga software, ClipStudio Paint, organises an annual International Comic/Manga contest for schools, with 1,245 schools from 85 countries participating within year 2021. It’s objective is to foster and nurture new talent within the creative content production industry.
On the 15th of July 2021, UOW Malaysia KDU student, Danish Fitri Bin Jaslani from the Diploma in Sequential Art program, managed to be placed ‘runner-up’ in the webtoon category. Danish edged ahead of 73 submissions from 57 prestigious schools, such as Savannah College of Art & Design, to take home a 3-year license for Clipstudio Paint EX software. Webtoons are digital comic strips meant to be read vertically on the screen by making use of the infinite scrolling /canvas that was popularised by the Taiwanese.
All entries were judged by respected experts within the comics and manga industry, including Charlie Adlard, Simone Ferriero, Masafumi Okamoto (Shueisha), Takuya KashimaI (Booklive), Kim Bedenne (Ki-oon), Ichihara Takenori (Shogakukan), Takashi Hijikata (KADOKAWA) and Koji Yano (Wacom). All judges agreed that it was difficult to select the winners due to the diversity of culture and content. In addition, most judges spoke in unison when asked about the future talent available and agreed that the industry has a bright future after witnessing the range of talent and creativity on display within this event.
Danish, with the help from the lecturers at the School of Computing and Creative Media, worked tirelessly to complete the project. Having no face-to-face contact during Malaysia’s Movement Control Order proved an obstacle however Danish and lecturers persevered and were awarded for their hard work and dedication.
Amongst the judges comments for Danish’s work included: “Real sense of drama with good storytelling and consistent colouring” by Charlie Adlard. “This has potential to improve” by KADOKAWA and “The sharp drama of the main character was drawn with great finesse” by Shueisha. With such motivating comments, we hope to see Danish complete his webtoon story and to be a source of inspiration to other UOW Malaysia KDU students in their pursuit of excellence.
Diploma in Sequential Art is a 2-year course offered by UOW Malaysia KDU, Glenmarie campus. The course offers a unique dive into the industry of comics and manga culture with the aim of producing talent to fulfil the need for culturally diverse content and adaptation for edutainment and entertainment.
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