Manga Big Bang! has released a one-shot manga comics by a special guest titled Avianista on 25th July 2017 via our Patreon site. Avianista follows the daily life of an Indonesian flight attendant Adinda, a fictional character created by writer Gerry Soejatman. This charming comic with art and story telling style similar to seinen genre in Japanese manga is sometimes comical, and at times, mellow. Manga Big Bang! editor Tiffany has interviewed the artist behind it, Rimanti Nurdarina Baga.
Welcome to Manga Big Bang, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello Manga Big Bang!, glad that I can be part of this exciting project with you.
I'm Rimanti Nurdarina Baga, or Rima. Jakarta, Indonesia is where I live and also the setting place I usually use in my daily life themed comic books.
In my free time, I spend my lone time going around anywhere, observing anything. Sometimes there's always unexpected new insight that I can put into my works.
I love listening to chill indie or lo-fi musics, also some movie soundtracks. I can crouch in my bed with the lights off, concentrating on the musics by my earphones for hours just to imagine the plot of my comic characters as if they were in some epic film reel in cinema. It helps me writing the stories as close as possible to its sentimental point. Watching films definitely inspires me.
Last but not least, obviously, I put my soul in aviation, mostly the commercial industry. Nothing beats the thrill of listening airplane engines roar near me and the crazy idea of flying tons of steels to the sky.
I can talk about aviation for hours and days with anyone, sharing my passion on it, through illustrations and comic books. Oh God sorry it's no longer 'a bit' anymore isn't it hahah.
Adinda from Avianista
Tell us about the upcoming debut in MBB with the story Avianista:
It's about an aviation geek and how the said aviation world reacts to him, in a very small scale, humorous banter.
Avianista is a one-shot comic book with open ending so I just leave the opportunity of continuation there.
I don't know if I would in near future though because right now I'm putting my concentration on newer works, about aviation too, definitely.
Avianista had been published by myself two years ago during a convention, people were looking forward to my works, and now to have a chance partnering with MBB, setting Avianista off to international readers is giving me back that excitement. I feel honored to be chosen as a partner here. Let's do our best together.
We are also very excited to be working with you Rimanti :-) How did you and your team came up with the idea of writing a story like Avianista?
First I need to explain about 'Airdrama'. It's an alias name I made as my works are usually within helps or participation of others. I can't take the whole credit alone. Airdrama revolves only in aviation theme, and we focus on the authenticity, the accuracy of our works. This is to fill our educational mission as well. We have to be believable.
For this Avianista project by Airdrama team, I worked with Gerry Soejatman as writer and Fadjar Nugroho as producer. Gerry is a renowned aviation consultant that often gets invited by media, while Fadjar is a captain at Qatar Airways and he owns an educational website about commercial aviation. Avianista was intended to be a mini experimental project to test the water, on the target audience's interest for niche genre like what Airdrama aims. The idea came straight from Gerry himself, a full fledged aviation geek. I supervised him throughout the story building. Fadjar helped on the publication for a major pop culture convention at Jakarta.
We printed Avianista for only about 125 copies and it was sold so fast like a hot cake, we could barely sell anything by the 2nd day over 3 days long convention. We totally didn't expect that. Even after the convention ends, people were still demanding for reprints but we never had a plan, put aside the cost itself. A year after, we decided to make it free for read through our Facebook page. People shared it like crazy and we recognized that our target audiences are totally there.
Now, with MBB, we'd like to see how our Avianista flies in the 'international airspace'. We definitely hope for a smooth flight ahead.
Which places would you like to visit/ have visited?
UK, London. Then to Brooklands Museum, meeting Concorde. The.Most.Beautiful.Airplane.Ever.Period. Would love to have a chance attending the events.
There's also one in Manchester at Duxford Museum. Not to forget meeting the MBB team hahahah.
Toulouse, France, for Airbus and Seattle, USA, for Boeing. For leisure, I'm dreaming about Santorini, Greece. I love all those white and blue combinations.
Honestly I've never been to many countries but I could frequently visit Singapore for a good, long walk around, feeling the city vibes.
I wish I can travel more to various places.
Any word for your fans and new readers?
If you are a fellow aviation geek, you'll enjoy this comic, and if you are an airline crew, you'll know the feeling of being weirded out by an obnoxious pax.
Even if you are totally not having a single clue about flying tins, you can still follow the drama while 'subliminally' being taught about aviation hahahah.
Avianista is not a long series but we'll keep working on some much more exciting new stories about aviation for everyone. Meanwhile, please enjoy the curious adventure of 'avgeek'.
Thanks and welcome to Manga Big Bang!
To read Avianista 1, click on the image below and follow the instructions to be our Patron! *Avianista 1's download link will expire on 25th August 2017.
Manga Big Bang!'s Avatara manga artist Andrés Zerpa did it again! Winning entry for Silent Manga Audition
Andrés Zerpa, the artist of Manga Big Bang!'s comic Avatara has won the Editors Award this time in the prestigious yearly manga competition, Silent Manga Audition 2017 held by Coamix corp in Japan. He had previously won the Excellence Award in Silent Manga Audition 2016 along with his co-creator, the story writer of Avatara, David Thomas. What is the driving force that keeps Andrés' performing at high level? Manga Big Bang! editor Tiffany had interviewed him to get a glimpse into the life of this emerging star.
Grace Flowers from Avatara
Andrés' winning entry at Silent Manga Audition 2017
Hello Andrés Zerpa, you’re already part of the team of MBB but can you please tell us a bit about yourself for those new readers?
I am 22 years old, I live in a city called Mérida in Venezuela, and I am 100% Christian. I decided that this is what I would do for life, so I started getting serious about drawing Manga since 2012. There have been ups and downs along the way (many more downs than ups) but I have continued giving my best despite all the circumstances. I see myself drawing for ever, with wife and kids, maybe in my country or in Japan drawing for one of those big and prestigious magazines, well... unless The Lord has other plans for me.
Could you tell us about the implications of being an artist in your country?
Being an artist in my country is like riding a bike... but through burning lava. In Venezuela the situation is really delicate, in the economic aspect having the current highest inflation in the whole planet; in terms of security one of the most dangerous countries and not having a good leader to try to fix things up, really limits an artist work because almost nobody is interested in buying art, but staple foods, medicines and basic items. But thanks to The Lord and because I did not give up and continued straining, I am currently hovering over the lava, working for Manga Big Bang, winning SMA contests and designing characters for someone overseas I have been able to live of my drawings.
We know you’re a manga artist, but are you planning to write your own stories in a future? if so, what would you like to write about and why?
Oh yes definitely! I would like to write a "shonen" story like Saint Seiya wich is my favourite series. A story where the hero continues to fight up against really powerful enemies, that may look impossible to defeat in order to save the earth, but by the power of the will and the support of brave friends he can overcome all and defeat them in the most wonderful way. That! is the type of story I would like to draw.
Tell us about the process of being the manga artist for Avatara
It has been wonderful working in the Avatara project, thanks to the stories of my friend David Thomas who portrays the scenes in the script in such way that manga panels in my mind just start to flow like a river! Also with the advices of a pro Mangaka such as Miss Vivian (Dr. Vee), my brother in Christ and editor Ricky Hardjono and the help of my very talented assistant Alcula. I have to say it is hard to draw an action story with few people, but with them its not impossible.
On 2016 you won along with David Thomas the Excellence Award from Silent Manga Audition, with the title “Clowning Around” and this year 2017 you won for the second time the same award with the title “Boogy Boogy”; talk to us about this contest, award and the experience of competing with other artists around the world.
Winning a Silent Manga Audition award was my dream since 2012, its one of the most prestigious world wide contests on the planet with very talented judges. This been said, obviously the competition is hard, there are exceedingly talented Manga artists in the most unthinkable places. Despite the "easy" guidelines for the silent manga, it is difficuld to portray the story without words but it is the essence of Manga; the text is suplementary, Manga should be like a silent movie on paper, to be able to entertain the reader with performance is the heart of Manga, what makes it unique from the other type of comics. This contest has taught me all of that, I am not saying that I am an expert or a proffesional in the field of Manga, but I will continue to work hard in order to fulfil my dream.
Impressive enough, Alcula, assistant to Andrés Zerpa, also got a nomination this year in SMA with the title “Spicy Love”. Alcula also happen to be a member of Dr.Vee Mangaka Club, online manga mentoring program founded by Dr.Vee the chief editor of Manga Big Bang! and is currently studying at level 7. We have included a brief interview with Alcula below.
From Alcula's nominated entry, Spicy Love
MBB would like to know how did you met your teacher; what did you gain from the experience and your future plans in this amazing industry.
I met Andrés sensei about 2 years ago. I don't know what the exact story at that time but apparently he need an assistant to help him draw (mostly) background for Avatara. So my teacher Dr. Vee sensei introduced us and then we started working together.
I was never drawing via digital media before and he taught me really patiently.
And then there is Silent Manga Audition. I joined it twice and I got much more than an improvement in my skills. The first time I joined SMA, I got my mental and mind blown because creating a "good" manga is not as easy as I thought. It's different from when I was an assistant because no one guided me in the process of making manga. Becoming an assistant is easier because you just need to draw what the mangaka (*manga creator) tells you. I remembered that I almost gave up and I also remembered that I cried with a so-not-manly-tears when I finished the silent manga.
The reason for my tears is because: first I finished the manga and second is because I know that no one in the right mind want to read this (sorry for my language) f*cking piece of sh*t. Even so I still submit it to the audition knowing that I will not get any award because I felt something special in it. It's like a mark in my life which I can't never forget. It teach me to have a mindset of grit, perseverance and not giving up because I believe that failure is not a permanent condition.
Sorry if I talk to much because I don't think that the reader will understand if I only say that "I got a slap from reality and learn to become more perseverance" from my first experience in SMA.
In the second time I joined SMA, I used my experience from my first audition and somehow got an "award candidate". It's an improvement although I felt there is not much I gain other than improvement in skills and a bit of joy.
For future plan, maybe I'll join the next SMA round and I considering to go publish via web comic. But still, I really want to try to publish my work in Japan so I need to learn Japanese first, mainly kanji.
Thank you very much Alcula for sharing your experience frankly. It is inspiring and insightful, and we hope that it will be a source of learning for budding creators out there.
Links to read Andrés Zerpa and Alcula's winning entries at SMA 2017: