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Brain Diving: Becoming a Manga Monkey

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Joined: 15 Sep 2003
Posts: 266
Location: U.K
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:14 am Reply with quote
May have to check this book out. I read that Felipe Smith interview, and it was very interesting insight into his progression from what many consider OEL to being published in Japan. Picked up a copy of Peepo Choo vol 1 and really enjoyed it.

I especially liked Felipe's other video from the Argentinian comic shop, which shows the hurdles that many OEL creators face. Guess that guy is eating humble pie, now Felipe is working in Japan. Just goes to show with enough push and determination anything is possible. Check you tube for them.

As a manga fan, who also aspires to create his own works, I don't see going to japan as such a necessity now (especially with web comics around, or possibly visiting the U.S, and publish via normal comic avenues), now that I'm more aware of the realities of the manga industry, as their market is small and shrinking, but it's a noble goal all the same, so kudos to Felipe for shooting for those stars. My works I'd be happy to have in english, which has a much wider reach potential, while doing comics in my spare time, while a normal job pays the bills. Its much safer that way, and I'd like a bit of time for friends and family too.

Like you said about some other artists doing graphic design etc, I can understand that, as those kind of job pay much better, so that's a very good creative route to take, and one I hope to emulate eventually. An artist that does so is a smart one.

But enough about me, I hope that all those manga wannabes out there, watch Felipe's you tube videos, and read this interview especially. Food for thought indeed.

Totally understand the bit about story telling, the key part that many potential artists miss. My advice to them, is do what I did, and take a short course in creating and understanding comics and sequential art (yes dammit, especially even if its not on manga related). It will open your eyes, take you out of your comfort zone and make you much better at what you love. Whether you want to do this stuff full time or not, it will help you. Possibly try out, Joe Hubert's School of Comics and Graphic Art. If you can't make it to NYC or slum it on a three year course there, some books on the subject will help in the same way.
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Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:14 pm Reply with quote
This was very helpful. I knew that the manga industry was tough, but really, what industry isn't? And while some want to shoot for the moon, I'm kinda comfortable just going around the world. In other words, as much as I would love to make it big in Japan, I'm cool with just trying to get noticed here in the US.

Drawing to me was something I did on the side for many years. But over the past 8 years I've decided I want to make something of this hobby. Doesn't mean I'll go quit my job today, but it's not something I want on the back burner either. They go hand and hand to me. It helps that my family and friends are also a big support and even a source of ideas. I know it'll take time but I can wait as long as I know I'm trying my hardest.
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1875
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:53 pm Reply with quote
Just wanted to say I really liked this column- making comics is a really difficult, timeconsuming process, and the way weekly manga artists work is among the most insane in the worldo'comics. Some fans seriously have no respect for these hardworking people who work project-to-project [like cartoonists worldwide do], just look at the thread reactions of Black Butler, or comments in any thread that centers on piracy. It's pretty shameful, and something that's a real thorn in many domestic cartoonists sides, and I'm glad Brian touched upon it.

At a past artist alley I attended, one webcomic artist I know was confronted by a fan angry that she hadn't updated in awhile due to assorted things- angry at her for not updating this thing she *gives everyone for free, does in her spare time, and isn't being paid for*. That's just nutty and rude. They don't realize that cartoonists have real lives, that they don't lead glamourous, wealthy lives like wannabes fantastize about, and that even those who are successful are working insane hours, a demanding schedule, and with no guarantees of longterm stability.

This isn't *all* of fandom though, but when you see it happening, it's very discouraging
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Azure Shift

Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 15
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:03 pm Reply with quote
Ah..I have always been interested in just how the environment is like for creating comics,I hope I can pick this up soon it sounds like it will be very interesting to read.
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Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 376
Location: East of Eden
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:31 pm Reply with quote
After reading the Felipe Smith Interview and this column today, makes me want to work harder so then maybe someday my stupid dream could become a realty.

I know it's hard making comics, but for some reason I still want to do it. And I would be just happy drawing manuscripts for hours and hours in an apartment.
The reason why I want to work in Japan is that the hard work Mangakas are able to put up drawing 20 pages a week or more if possible.
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