News ComiPo! Program Makes Manga for "People Who Can't Draw"
posted on 2010-10-18 01:11 EDT by Gia Manry
The Tokyo-based software company Web Technology Com Corporation announced on Friday a new piece of Windows software called ComiPo!, which allows users to create their own manga with pre-created 3D characters and settings. According to the company, even "people who can't draw" can create manga with this software.
Manga creator Keiichi Tanaka (Minori no Seishun, Doctor Chichibuyama) is currently the company's General Manager & Solution Sales Division, while Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga's Kentaro Takekuma consulted on the software's development.
Character designer Kumi Horii (Seitokai no Ichizon, Zone of the Enders) created the built-in character models. These models, along with the backgrounds, are available in 3D, allowing the users to shift the angles of either when designing their manga's panels. Users can also customize Horii's designs with different hairstyles, hair color, eyes, expressions, clothing, and other features. Users will be able to import their own original designs into the program; however, Tanaka told Otaku USA Editor-in-Chief Patrick Macias that the 3D modeling software will not be included at launch, but debut in a later version.
ComiPo! features a female character, 17-year-old Miho "Comipo-chan" Koishikawa, who gives advice to the users. Sayaka Nakaya (Usaru-san) of the female idol group AKB48 voices the character. As leader of the "ComiPo! Supporters," she will record the dialogue that will accompany a weekly one-panel manga starting in December.
Also in the works are translated versions of the software in multiple languages, including English, and a Flash-based version of the software. Tanaka said that the company expects the software to be popular both with casual users interested in visual storytelling, and with professional manga creators who need help with layouts and other work typically done by assistants.
Macias reports that users will be permitted to "make manga for limited business applications (such as fliers)," but that Web Technology Com retains the copyrights to all of the models within the program. A free open beta will be available for the Japanese-language version in November, with the software's full release in mid-December. At the formal launch, there will be three purchasing options: a free, limited version; a downloadable version (6,700 yen or about US$83.00); and a "deluxe" package in stores (9,700 yen/US$120.00).
The Japanese content agency Dopamin released Tanaka's Minari no Seishun manga in English for the Android mobile phone app market in June.