PETALING JAYA: The story of a 15-year-old boy named Orange who shares a wisecracking friendship with a perky young girl called Kiwi, earned Malacca-born cartoonist Benny Wong a Shorei encouragement prize at the inaugural International Manga Award in 2007.
No Malaysian has since come close to winning an award.
Five years on, Malaysians can try to break the duck as entries are being invited for the world's most respected manga comics fest.
The Japanese Embassy here is calling for entries for the 5th International Manga Award to promote and share the increasingly popular comic culture that has spread to almost every shore in the world over the past two decades.
The embassy said the selection committee would choose the best manga from all entries for the Gold Award and three distinguished works would receive the Silver Award.
These four winning cartoonists will receive their award in a ceremony in Japan in March next year.
Last year, the organisers re-ceived 189 works from 39 countries, with Thai cartoonist Xiao Bai clinching the coveted Gold Award for her masterpiece titled Si loin et si proche.
In Japan, people of all ages read manga.
The medium includes works in a broad range of genres: action-adventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror, sexuality, and business, among others.
Malaysian manga cartoonists are encouraged to submit their work to the Japanese Embassy here by Aug 31.
Submission guidelines and entry forms can be downloaded from the embassy's website http://www.my.emb-japan.go.jp.
The website of the International Manga Award: