Taiwanese artist Cory Ko (柯宥希) won a silver Japan International Manga Award on Friday, while two other Taiwanese artists received bronze awards.

Ko entered CliniClowns: Last Goodbye (小丑醫生 – 最後一次說再見), which saw her tied with Ukrainian artist Nataliia Rerekina, who featured Moonchosen, and Spanish artist Jordi Lafebre for his work Always Never.

The 15th edition of the competition received the highest number of entries ever recorded: 484 from 76 countries. One gold, three silver and 11 bronze prizes were awarded.

Photo: ANC

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony was held online, but the Ukrainian winner, who has been under Russian attack since February 24, was unable to appear virtually.

Ko’s CliniClowns: Last Goodbye tells the story of Hsiao-han (筱涵), a 17-year-old high school student who doesn’t see her sister until she dies because she wanted to escape the atmosphere of the terminal illness ward of the hospital.

Hsiao-han regrets her actions and lingers in the hospital all day until she meets a red-nosed clown doctor who helps her find the exit.

Photo: ANC

She then decides to train to become a clown doctor in order to be able to bring happiness to sick children.

Ko’s work is based on a story written by Taiwanese writer Feng Shih (逢時).

Taiwanese artists Chang Ki-ya (張季雅) and Evergreen Yeh (葉長青) won bronze awards for Formosa Oolong Tea Vol. 4 (異人茶跡4:茶迷大稻埕) and Mayfly Island (蜉蝣之島) respectively.

Aimee de Jongh from the Netherlands won the top prize.

The competition was founded by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2007 to increase international exchanges and mutual understanding through manga.

At the awards ceremony, Japanese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Takako Suzuki delivered a message from Rerekina, who said she believed the war in Ukraine would end and she would continue to create manga, because comics can be encouraging for people in danger.

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