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The 4th Int’l Manga Award for Xiao Bai’s Si loin et si proche Wins

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced the winner and runners-up of its Fourth International Manga Awards (国際漫画賞) on January 12. Chinese creator Xiao Bai won the top award for the graphic novel Si loin et si proche (”So Far, Yet So Close”), which was published in Belgium last year. In the story, a Beijing college freshman named Xiao Tian suddenly meets a boy who calls her “Mother.” The boy, Li Wei, turns out to be her son from the future. Xiao Bai studied illustration and graphic design as a student in Beijing, and this is Xiao Bai’s first full-length graphic novel.
si lion et si proche
(International Manga Award / Xiao Bai /Si loin et si proche)

France’s Olivier Martin and Sylvain Runberg (Face cachée tome 1), Spain’s Enrique Fernández (La Isla sin Sonrisa), Thailand’s Verachai Duangpla (”The story begins with ・・・”) won awards of excellence or Silver Awards. America’s Abby Denson (Dolltopia), Belgium’s Little Thunder (Kylooe), Taiwan’s Chang Fung-Chih (The little polar bear), Thailand’s Akekarat Milintapas (Pandora Book), Taiwan’s Yeh Yu Tung and Syu Shu Hao (The passionate sword), and Belgium’s Frédéric Genet and France’s Jean-François Di Giorgio (Samurai) received awards for honorable mention.

Awards of Excellence
face cachee tome
(Olivier Martin, Sylvain Runberg Face cachée tome 1)
isla
(Enrique Fernández, La Isla sin Sonrisa)
storybegins
(Verachai Duangpla, “The story begins with …”)

International Manga Award is an award established to encourage non-Japanese mangaka in 2007. This award was created by late Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who proposed this award in a policy speech he gave in Tokyo’s Akihabara district in 2006.

This year’s judges were Machiko Satonaka (Lady Ann), Monkey Punch (Lupin III), Takao Yaguchi (Tsurikichi Sampei), Yoriaki Yakubo (former Weekly Shonen Sunday editor-in-chief), and Hiroyuki Yoshidome (former Manga Action editor). A total of 189 entries were submitted from 39 countries — less than the 303 entries which were submitted from 55 countries last year. 368 entries from 46 countries were submitted during the second year, and 222 entries from 22 countries were submitted during the first year of the awards.

Thai creator Jakraphan Huaypetch (a.k.a. Ton Huaypetch) won the Gold Award in 2009 for the basketball story Super Dunker. Hong Kong’s Lau Wan Kit won 2008’s top award for Feel 100%. Another Hong Kong artist, 43-year-old Lee Chi Ching, won the first International Manga Award in 2007 for his Sun Zi’s Tactics comic series.

By AS on Jan 18, 2011
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