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CELSYS Holds Third Annual International Comic and Illustration Contest for Art Students

November 12, 2019 - CELSYS, creators of the acclaimed Clip Studio Paint creative software, will host their third annual international comic and illustration contest for art students, the “International Comic/Manga School Contest,” with submissions accepted beginning Thursday, January 9, 2020. 

Through this contest, students of all ages receive the opportunity to have their works critiqued by a panel of professional artists and even have their art published for viewers across the globe to see. Contest winners are additionally eligible for cash prizes and digital art goods. 

This year, the theme of the International Comic/Manga School Contest is “Promise.” 

The contest is made possible in part through the generous sponsorship and support of a number of entities well-known in the worlds of comics, manga, pop culture and digital art. This year, three entities have pledged special sponsorship. These entities are digital art tablet and pen manufacturer Wacom and Japanese comics and manga publishing giants Shueisha and KADOKAWA. 

2019’s contest saw participation from 639 schools in 67 countries with over 1,400 individual pieces submitted for consideration across multiple categories. The 2020 contest is expected to further grow the number of participating schools and submitted works.

See below for a list of categories, sponsors and an introduction to 2020’s special guest judges. 

Contest official website: 


【International Comic/Manga School Contest 2020】

▼Submission Categories
2020 Overall Theme: “Promise”

Original Color Comic
Original Black and White Comic/Manga
Original Bande Dessinée
Original Webtoon 
(Submission requirements for each category are detailed on the official website)

▼Contest Schedule
Submissions Accepted January 9 - April 27, 2020 (Japan time)
Winners announced Late July, 2020 (subject to change)

Those submitting a work must be students of a school registered for the contest. For school registration directions and submission details, check the official website

Contest winners are eligible for prize money, Wacom digital tablets and free copies of Clip Studio Paint in various versions. The full list of awards is available on the official website

▼Special Guest Judges
Shuichi Hiratsuka
Shuichi Hiratsuka has worked over 16 years at Shueisha Inc. in the comics department, contributing on best-selling magazines like Super Jump, Grand Jump and Bessatsu Margaret. Hiratsuka was also in charge of “Bartender,” by Araki Joh and Kenji Nagatomo. He currently works in Shueisha’s digital department, developing new digital services.

Cameron Stewart
Cameron Stewart is an award-winning comic creator and artist. He is celebrated for his work on DC Comics properties, including Batgirl, Batman and Robin and The Other Side. He has been nominated for numerous awards throughout his career and is a winner of an Eisner and Shuster Award for best Digital Comic.

*An additional two judges are planned to serve on the panel.

▼Special Sponsors
Shueisha is a publishing house that deals in everything from manga comics and fashion magazines to art photobooks and more. Among the more well-known items in their portfolio are weekly comics magazine Shonen Jump, Ribbon, and Bessatsu Margaret. Their weekly comics publications have birthed many worldwide hits, including One Piece. 

KADOKAWA is a comprehensive entertainment company that is involved in a wide range of businesses, including book publishing, movies and animation.
Comic Walker is a free comic site that offers many popular KADOKAWA manga in one place. From the latest media mixes to popular sci-fi comics, more than 2,400 works are posted here free of charge.

Wacom is a pioneer of creative pen tablets and displays which are being used to create some of the most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashion and designs around the world.

Amutus Corporation
Japan's largest e-book site. Amutus, together with production partners, is responsible for planning and producing Mecha Comic and the original comic brand “Amcomi.” Amcomi works are distributed on e-book sites in Japan and overseas, including on Mecha Comic.

BookLive Co., Ltd.
BookLive! is a general e-book store selling manga, novels, magazines and more, stocking over 900,000 titles. BookLive! also offers over 10,000 titles to read for free, without even registering. 

Solmare Publishing  (NTT Solmare Corp.)
Operator of Japan's largest e-book store, Comic Seymour. The "Solmare Editorial Department" is responsible editing the e-comics that appear in the store. Solmare Publishing is also now creating original comics that appeal to global readers. 

Mag Garden Corporation
Publisher of Monthly Comic Garden and operator of e-comic distribution platform MAGCOM. Mag Garden counts animation company Production I.G., WIT STUDIO and more among its group companies, working together with these partners in planning and producing anime series based on popular properties from their catalog.

Established in 1969 by Jacques Glénat, Glénat is a French publisher specializing in bande dessinée, manga, American comics and books on leisure topics (sea, mountains, gastronomy, cultural heritage, children and youth). 
Pioneers of manga publishing in France, Glénat remains the leader of this market today.

Ko-fi allows artists to receive money from fans of your art. Create your page and share it anywhere on the web. Fans can support you with a 'Ko-fi' (a small payment that is roughly equal to the price of a coffee). It's free to use. All you need is a PayPal account to receive payments. You can also post exclusive content, take commissions and receive subscriptions from fans.

G Fantasy
A monthly comic magazine released on the 18th of every month by Square Enix Co., Ltd., which will be celebrating its 27th anniversary in 2020. Known for titles like Black Butler, Horimiya, Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, The Royal Tutor, and others. G Fantasy additionally offers a number of serialized works that are ongoing now!

One of the largest and most successful manga contests in the world. Operated by publisher Coamix, Inc. which was established by renowned manga artists, it aims to discover, nurture, and publish the next generation of manga artists active internationally.

No9 Inc.
With the mission of enriching people's lives through manga, No9 Inc. is a digital comic agency that strives to maximize the manga market and sales in the digital age through four business pillars: manga agency services, manga app development, crowdfunding, and tax return services.

Inspired by similar comics markets in Japan, CoAket is the first of its kind in Germany and is getting attention from local artists. Open twice a year in Hamburg, CoAket focuses on artist displays and publisher’s booths.

Super Crowd Entertainment GmbH is an event management company in Northern Germany. It holds the world's largest indie game developer booth, Indie Arena Booth, and a pop culture event, “MAG,” that covers games, comics, and all things Japan. MAG is held in central Germany. The company also supports many developers and artists.

Building the bridge between Asian pop culture and the rest of the world since 1997, TOKYOPOP stands at the intersection where tradition meets innovation. Producing, publishing and distributing manga from all over the world, we strive to create an exciting fusion of content for fans of all ages.

Japan Cartoonists Association
The Japan Manga Association was established in December 1964 as the only nationwide organization of Japan's manga artist at that time. It’s engaged in a variety of projects, such as research on comics, efforts in popularizing comics and comics culture, and comics cultural exchange with other countries. The group became a Public Interest Incorporated Association in 2014.

Manga Japan
Manga Japan is an organization that aims to promote the development of manga culture and artists, contribute to society through the manga industry, promote international exchange and improve production environments for manga authors and others involved in the industry. 

▼Operations Support
Graphixly LLC

Toutlemonde Production Co., Ltd.


CELSYS supports creators globally in the production, browsing, and distribution of digital art utilizing information technology.
We provide solutions for content creation, distribution, and browsing, including support of creative activities through our illustration, manga and animation production software “Clip Studio Paint” and web service “Clip Studio”, as well as our e-book solution, “Clip Studio Reader”.

Corporate site: https://www.celsys.co.jp/en/
Clip Studio Paint site: http://www.clipstudio.net/en/

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Note: Information in this news release is correct as of the date of publication. Please be aware that changes may occur at a later date,

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