Aspiring manga artists looking to start careers as comic professionals will be able to get a leg up on the competition by attending the Sept. 22-23 Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair 2012.
The Tokiwa-so Project, which assists just such budding artists, will have a booth set up on the basement level of the Miyakomesse complex, where the event will take place. The manga-anime fair will also be open to industry professionals on Sept. 21.
Editors from leading manga publishers in Tokyo will be present at the booth to interview young artists in the Kansai region and offer them career-planning advice.
About 20 editorial departments of major manga magazines, including Shueisha Inc.'s Jump Square, Kodansha Ltd.'s Nakayoshi, Kadokawa Group Publishing Co.'s Shonen Ace and Square Enix Co.'s G Fantasy will also accept original drawn pages from amateur artists.
Formed in 2006, the Tokiwa-so Project was inspired by Tokiwa-so, an apartment building that once stood in Tokyo's Toshima Ward and housed a community of well-known manga artists including Osamu Tezuka, Fujio Akatsuka and Fujiko Fujio.
Managed by nonprofit organization Newvery, the project offers aspiring manga creators low-rent housing and encourages them to concentrate on producing their works. The project has helped boost the careers of more than 200 young artists.
Currently, Newvery is renting 21 houses in Tokyo in which amateur artists live in 116 rooms. So far, 23 young creators have made their professional debuts.
In 2012, the organization was commissioned by the Kyoto city government to implement a local edition of the Tokiwa-so Project to assist students and aspiring artists in the Kansai region.
In recent years, Kyoto has raised its profile as a center of manga education. About 1,000 students are studying manga and other related courses at three universities in the city. It is also home to the Kyoto International Manga Museum, the first of its kind in Japan.
The international manga fair is intended to create new businesses and foster human resources in Kyoto and its surrounding areas.
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