Manga Jiman 2010 Exhibition
21 Feb - 31 Mar 2011, London
Manga, the Japanese art form of comic strip narrative, and anime, its motion picture cousin, continue to inspire all kinds of artwork and graphic design worldwide. Not least, they exert an obvious influence over young people here in the UK. To encourage and reflect this, the Embassy of Japan in the UK holds its annual Manga Jiman (literally 'having pride in manga') competition. Entries in this, the 4th consecutive year, all had to refer to 'nami' or wave and numbered approximately 80. They came from all over the nation and from an exceedingly diverse group. This year's entrants were also younger than in previous years, suggesting an exciting future for manga in this country.
Any comic-strip endeavour must corral an
impressive array of skills - not least the ability to write and draw clearly and well, but also requires skill in character and costume design, pacing, and so forth. The creation of entire and realistic worlds, whether mundane or fantastical, needs technical wizardry as well as heart and soul. An awful lot of patience and perseverance goes into completing even one successful page, let alone between 6-8 of them, and to have it work completely and consistently well from first to last. So, whether or not they have made it to the final prize-winning shortlist, each and every entrant can rightfully feel proud for having completed their entry.