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Manga Answerman - Why Do So Many Manga Artists Avoid Being Photographed?


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#861208



Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Posts: 421
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:21 am Reply with quote
I.... don't know why people don't get this.

I'm a writer/artist and I don't want my photo taken. It's not because I'm ashamed of my looks or anything. I just... don't want to be recognized when I'm walking down the street. Why is that hard to understand?

How is a photo better for publicity for you drawings, than, you know... one of your drawings?

I don't post photos of myself online at all, actually. I survive, I don't know why people have a problem with this.
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Afezeria



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 769
Location: Malaysia, Kuantan.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:33 am Reply with quote
Uh, I don't think it is hard to believe that certain people valued privacy. Hell, I'm a nobody and I don't want my picture to be spread online at all. All those answers given in the article spoke for themselves as well.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3099
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:53 am Reply with quote
Question: Why Do So Many Manga Artists Avoid Being Photographed?
Answer: Because they don't want their souls taken
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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 119
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:31 pm Reply with quote
#861208 wrote:
I.... don't know why people don't get this.

I'm a writer/artist and I don't want my photo taken. It's not because I'm ashamed of my looks or anything. I just... don't want to be recognized when I'm walking down the street. Why is that hard to understand?

How is a photo better for publicity for you drawings, than, you know... one of your drawings?

I don't post photos of myself online at all, actually. I survive, I don't know why people have a problem with this.


This.

And not so much Japan only thing. Most artist/writers I know tends to avoid being photographed and only really show our self to employer (and only if they asks our CVs) or Cons. So far none of us got any less jobs for not showing our faces at the press, Our publicity don't really get affected either, unlike when we didn't advertise our arts.
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WingKing



Joined: 27 Apr 2015
Posts: 548
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:24 pm Reply with quote
Afezeria wrote:
Uh, I don't think it is hard to believe that certain people valued privacy. Hell, I'm a nobody and I don't want my picture to be spread online at all. All those answers given in the article spoke for themselves as well.


Personally, I agree. I'm not in an artistic field, but if I were, I'd love to be able to live and work anonymously. Especially as a manga artist with how many lunatic otaku there are out there - sometimes one obsessive nutcase is all it takes to wreck your life.

Of course, there are also people out there who enjoy being famous, or dream of being famous, who can't understand why anyone wouldn't want to be famous. But that mindset is as alien to me as I'm sure mine is to them.
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Thaumana



Joined: 08 Jul 2017
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:46 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
Question: Why Do So Many Manga Artists Avoid Being Photographed?
Answer: Because they don't want their souls taken


Also to prevent getting killed by a death note owner.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 2329
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:54 pm Reply with quote
IMO this boils down to one thing: personal distance. In japan there is not much distance between people, so the moment your face becomes public you are risking lots of strangers bumping into your life. In the west personal distance is wide, even vast. Outside japan chances are even if you attend conventions every year as a special guest and make conferences, it will be unheard that someone in the street recognizes a writer or cartoonist and if they do chances are they will not be approached.

Last edited by mangamuscle on Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15493
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:58 pm Reply with quote
In the handful of interviews I've done for ANN, I've run into this once. Can't for the life of me remember who it was, but this artist even walked around an American convention with a brimmed hat down low over his eyes, as if he were trying to dodge the police, and I don't think he ever made eye contact with anyone but his handler. On at least one other occasion still shots were fine but video wasn't allowed. Most creative types that I've met have been happy to do it, though.
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H. Guderian



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 1114
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:13 pm Reply with quote
Also compare musical artists here and there. Over here you make it big and your personality is huge and its tons of sex drugs and rock and roll! That's how we expect our celebrities. Japan and perhaps other areas prefer their art speak for itself. Given how western celebrities tend to become Biebers or Khardashians, I think I much more prefer Japan's way of doing things on this front.
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Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
Posts: 684
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:53 pm Reply with quote
H. Guderian wrote:
Also compare musical artists here and there. Over here you make it big and your personality is huge and its tons of sex drugs and rock and roll! That's how we expect our celebrities. Japan and perhaps other areas prefer their art speak for itself. Given how western celebrities tend to become Biebers or Khardashians, I think I much more prefer Japan's way of doing things on this front.


Yeah, sorry to burst your weeb-bubble but that's not true at all. Have you ever seen any of Japan's (vast number of) talk shows, variety shows, etc. with celebrity guests? Publicity is a huge thing for celebrities in Japan, from the aforementioned TV show appearances, to fan meet & greets, to commercial deals and what have you. I don't think that really qualifies as letting "their art speak for itself."

As for the image thing, that has more to do with Japan being far more scandal-averse than the West, where shame is a much bigger deal, and most celebrities are signed to or affiliated with major companies who have not only the will, but the means to squash coverage of any potential scandal. It's not that those things don't happen, they just don't get reported on. Combined with the greater importance of privacy in Japan (not to mention the far more hard-line stance against drugs) you end up with less happening publicly, but it's still definitely happening.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1597
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:55 pm Reply with quote
I feel like this is mainly something that's become more prevalent in the past couple of decades, more than anything. If you look up iconic mangaka from the earlier days, like Osamu Tezuka, Shotaro Ishinomori, Masami Kurumada, Go Nagai, etc., you wind up seeing a ton of pictures of them, and Shonen Jump even had a yearly tradition of dedicating one cover to just showing off all of the mangaka who were being drawing manga at the time wearing all sorts of silly outfits. Jump's tradition of doing this seemed to stop sometime in the 90s, though, and since then we've seen the idea of mangaka wanting their privacy become more prevalent.

As others have stated, though, I'm sure a large part of it is that the mangaka simply want their privacy, and I'm positive that the internet has only made that feeling all the more prevalent. Back then, the mangaka & publishers could more or less control what pictures get shown to the public, but as more people got online, it became harder to monitor which pictures become "allowed".
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1337
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:41 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
I feel like this is mainly something that's become more prevalent in the past couple of decades, more than anything. If you look up iconic mangaka from the earlier days, like Osamu Tezuka, Shotaro Ishinomori, Masami Kurumada, Go Nagai, etc., you wind up seeing a ton of pictures of them, and Shonen Jump even had a yearly tradition of dedicating one cover to just showing off all of the mangaka who were being drawing manga at the time wearing all sorts of silly outfits. Jump's tradition of doing this seemed to stop sometime in the 90s, though, and since then we've seen the idea of mangaka wanting their privacy become more prevalent.


Same with Animage. I purchased a couple January issues from the 1980s because that's when Animage started running nengajo promotions, and back then, there were pictures of people like Akemi Takada in those issues. Takada never shows her face on Twitter, let alone her Pokémon Go trainer name despite being a serious player.

I've met a lot of artists over the years. Most are ok with pictures as long as you don't blast it on Twitter. Huke (Black Rock Shooter) was the worst; The man showed up to AX dressed in camouflage military fatigues, including a matching mask, for all his appearances. It just felt so unnecessary. I get trying to protect your privacy, but a simple face mask or sunglasses/hat would have more than sufficed.
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NearEasternerJ1



Joined: 29 Sep 2015
Posts: 395
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:55 pm Reply with quote
Why do people take photos of living creatures in the first place?
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Whatchamacallit



Joined: 01 Jun 2018
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:08 pm Reply with quote
Or because they don't want to show their weeb face coz they draw ecchi every frickin time
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 7777
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:45 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The main thing is to ask first, and respect their wishes if a manga creator says “no photos.”

I wish people had that attitude toward everyone, not just manga creators. Why is it so hard to respect someone's expressed wishes not to be photographed? Instead of complying, people turn it into a gotcha game to see if they can catch you off-guard. If they do, then they have to show you the picture to brag in your face that they got you. Everyone's paparazzi these days.

It does not matter why someone doesn't want to be photographed. That they don't should be reason enough not to photograph them.
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