I love creating manga (Japanese style comics) – writing stories, illustrating them and bringing the world to life. But it can be difficult, costly, frustrating at times and very time consuming. Here’s what I do when I create manga:
1) I do research by choosing an era; study the clothing, customs, weapons, military and folklore. I personally like writing about myths, nature and anthropology.
2) Buy books for inspiration; learn and depict the story to be culturally accurate.
3) Designing the characters, which are always based on real people.
4) Once I have the main cast, I draw the character concepts designs.
5) Next I choose the genre (such as, adventure/fantasy/action).
6) I start writing the backdrop of the story by creating an entire world for the series: the environment, culture, government – and drawing a map to give an idea of what the world looks like in the story.
7) Then I work on a script by writing the dialogue, scenes and action. At this stage, the script is edited and reviewed by Zoraida and Aaron.
8) After the script is completed, I start sketching the manga according to the script.
9) If I’m happy with the result, I redraw the chapter using multiliner pens on a lightpad.
10) Each page is scanned into the computer, cleaned up and printed. If it’s going to be in black and white, screentones are used either digitally or by hand. If it’s going to be in color, I either color by hand using markers or digitally colored.
11) After the illustrations are completed, I insert dialogue bubbles and text.
12) Once I’m happy with the result, I resize it on the computer and insert watermarks.
13) The most difficult part I find is promoting it. I use sites like WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc. to posting ads of my manga on cork boards in stores, in an art gallery and the local newspaper. I also attend cultural festivals, craft fairs and comic cons (conventions) with a table of my manga art.
14) Lastly, would be printing the manga books. I don’t do webcomics, as I don’t have the time to create a page every week, so I opt for paperback. There are print on demand websites such as Lulu, Blurb and even Amazon, but I prefer printing the books myself because it’s easier, faster, cheaper, more flexible and higher quality printing.
Time it takes for me to complete a chapter is about 4-6 months. It can be stressful at times, doing all the work yourself and trying to gain a fanbase – but it’s a fun challenge. Creating manga is tedious, but I enjoy it. All I can do is keep at it! Maybe someday it may become a “hit” and perhaps turn into an anime series! 😀