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Comic Artists from Japan & Abroad Light Up Kumamoto with Characters' Smiles

posted on by Eric Stimson
Part of international manga festival

A year after earthquakes severely damaged the area, including the iconic Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto Prefecture could use some cheering up. That's why it's the location for this weekend's international manga festival, where comic artwork from famous Japanese artists and talented amateurs from around the world is on display with the theme "smiling faces." 551 of the drawings comprise a giant mosaic of Kumamoto Castle.

Eiichiro Oda (One Piece)

Tsukasa Hojo (City Hunter)

Nobuyuki Fukumoto (Kaiji)

Takehiko Inoue (Vagabond)

Tetsuya Chiba (Teppei)

Muku Amida (Meshinuma)

Yukiko Asano (Hannari Girori no Yoriko-san)

Masato Deguchi (Gifū Dōdō!! Naoe Kanetsugu -Maeda Keiji Hana-gatari)

Eiji Hashimoto (Chiruran Nibun no Ichi)

Eiji Kazama (Kaze no Daichi)

Kei Koga (Trace)

Yori Kurokawa (Hitorigurashi no OL wo Kakimashita)

Una Megurogawa (Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga)

Kei Ōkubo (Arte)

Yoshiki Tanaka and Mizuki Mizushiro (Gas Masquerade of Miasma)

Ryuji Tsugihara (Yoroshiku Mechadock)

Kyosuke Usuta (Food Fighter Tabelu)

The international artwork is entries from an extra round of the Silent Manga Audition, a global comic contest that breaks through the language barrier by relying on visuals only to convey stories and emotion. There are 178 entries from 32 different countries on display.

Molico Ross ("Nobo-san to Kanojo?")

Kyushu natives Tsukasa Hojo and Ryuji Tsugihara will participate in a talk with Kumamoto native Nobuhiko Horie (City Hunter's editor) as the festival's opening event on April 15, and Hojo and Horie will have another talk the following day. City Hunter's final chapter will also be screened as a motion comic, and attendees can watch a video of Hojo drawing the event's key visual (seen below).

Other key visuals by Tetsuo Hara (Gifū Dōdō!! Naoe Kanetsugu -Maeda Keiji Tsuki-gatari, above) and Tsugihara (below)

The Kumamoto International Manga Festival will be held on April 15 and 16 on the seventh floor of Kumamoto's Tsuruya Department Store; entry is free. One Piece artist and Kumamoto native Eiichiro Oda has been particularly active in using his manga to revitalize the prefecture. The animator training project Anime Tamago also supports earthquake relief with its compilation of anime shorts.

Source: Comic Natalie

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