Scott Pilgrim's Creator Talks With His Manga Mentors

posted on 2011-07-14 16:45 EDT by Andrew Osmond
Bryan Lee O'Malley discusses manga with Even A Monkey Can Draw Manga's Takekuma, Aihara

The Comics Alliance website has posted a discussion between Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley and Even A Monkey Can Draw Manga's Kentaro Takekuma and Koji Aihara on Thursday.

O'Malley said he encountered the pairs' satirical manga while he was still planning ideas for Scott Pilgrim. O'Malley noted in the interview that while he enjoyed the satire, he also found it an inspirational guide to the Japanese comics industry.

In the interview, Takekuma discussed the reason he began drawing Even A Monkey Can Draw Manga, noting that "the [manga] industry had already developed into big business, and was looking for manga that would make money instead of new forms of expression... I felt that these books were starting to lose the spirit and passion that characterized the manga we had read as children. I aimed to pick up 'patterns' that had started to develop in well-selling manga, and parodized them."

O'Malley added that while he still enjoys new manga, he said "it tends to be very slick and has a corporate feeling." O'Malley also added that he created all but the last volume of the Scott Pilgrim series on his own, without the help of assistants.

In the interview, O'Malley, Takekuma and Aihara discussed the differences between American and Japanese comics in their creation, themes, storytelling, and editorial process. O'Malley mentioned that he would be interested in working with a Japanese editor since he said he's "always been fascinated by the Japanese editorial process for comics."

Takenuma also noted he hopes American and Canadian readers will someday be able to read the entire Even A Monkey Can Draw Manga series in English, since only two-thirds of the first volume has been published in English.

O'Malley has been active in the North American manga scene, drawing a cover of VIZ Media's magazine Shojo Beat and commenting on Tokyopop's controversial Manga Pilot Program pact. Last year O'Malley spoke with's Deb Aoki about the manga and anime that influenced his work.

Image © Bryan Lee O'Malley

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