|Three versions of Long Than Tuong volume 1. — Photo betado.com
HA NOI (VNS) — The first volume of a historical comic series by Vietnamese Phong Duong Comic has won the silver award at the ninth International Manga Awards hosted by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The comic group has received an invitation letter from the Japan Foundation to attend the award ceremony in Japan between February 23 and March 3.
Long Than Tuong is a historical story, with some fictional details, about a young man named Long (Dragon) who lived during the reign of the Tran dynasty (1225-1400), a time when the country faced a second Mongolian invasion. This period saw one of the most heroic chapters being scripted in the nation's history.
Two volumes of the series, which is the brainchild of playwright Nguyen Khanh Duong and painters Nguyen Thanh Phong and Nguyen My Anh, together with researcher Tran Quang Duc, have been published since November 2014.
Painter Phong will represent the group at the award ceremony and interact with international authors there.
"Our first volume won the silver prize, which is not the highest award," Duong said. "But it has been selected from hundreds of entries from all over the world. That's why we are very moved and proud."
The series is the first of its kind in Viet Nam that has been published with funds raised from the reader community.
"We highly appreciate our financial supporters, who were the first to make the series succeed," Duong said.
The International Manga Award is hosted by Japan's foreign affairs ministry to honour manga artists who have contributed to the promotion of manga overseas.
There were 317 entries from 46 countries and regions last year. The Gold Award last year was won by Bumbardai, a comic by Nambaral Erdenebayar of Mongolia.
Bumbardai is the story about the connection of a mother and a son, and Mongolian traditional life connected to Mother Nature. Five-year-old Bumbardai, carrying his basket and rake, bravely leaves his house in a snowstorm to find faeces for fuel for his sick mother. But a challenging trip awaits him.
"I have for a long time wished Viet Nam to be able to produce cultural products that can ‘attack' the international market," Duong said. "I think comics are the field in which Viet Nam can produce top-ranked products of international standards. I hope this first success will motivate state agencies to pay more attention to promoting comics." — VNS