Advice on shortcuts to becoming successful creator by manga magazine editor
Realities of work after professional debut
What would life be after debut as a professional mangaka (mangaka = manga creator)? This is the insight of what life is like from the moment mangaka debut as a rookie to multi million best selling author.
The hardest part is right after debutThe period after achieving grand, spectacular debut or "### Newcomer Award" to becoming a celebrated manga creator, must be the hardest, most painful time in a mangaka's career.
After debut, a rookie will be asked to produce a couple of pilot episodes that can potentially be made into manga series, provided that improvements are seen at each stage. If the readers' responses and anchete results are good, the rookie will be asked to write some story boards (called name in manga lingo) for potential series. If not, all the editors do would be to look for new rookies. As cruel as it sounds, it is business after all, and running a business is tough, so too bad.
Mangaka will use all power and abilities (those who doesn't are out of the equation, obviously), pour his heart and soul into the work. The rejection of a work done on labor of love is very, very painful to them.
Lately, young people are getting weaker in spirit. It is a shame when young talents with great potential quit only after a few defeats. If possible, it would be best when these youngsters can get guidance from a teacher or mentor before debuting as professional, by actively creating manga, showing them, take in the advice and practice applying it to his own work.
Rookies working as manga assistantThe norm is to work as manga assistant while being a rookie. Work environment pretty much depend on the mangaka sensei, while some have decent policies, others will make you work for many hours without enough sleep.
I would send rookies with potential that I feel will benefit from apprenticeship to established authors. Workplace of a professional before deadline is full of tension and it can be a stressful experience for a rookie even to get simple tasks done such as blackening parts of the panels (beta, in manga lingo). Yet, it is a highly inspirational experience for a rookie to be able to handle professional manga manuscript.
Some people write manga only during the weekend while having other jobs, side jobs, or being a housewife. Most rookies would be in such position, but this can go on for 10,or 20 years in some cases.
Different aspects of life can contribute to creative process, so I can not say that it is necessarily a bad arrangement, but if you want to be a professional, it is best if you could work in jobs related to manga.
It would be best for rookies to work as manga assistant. Rookies who had acquired skills to certain extent by going to manga school are in demand for assistant jobs, and are certainly in advantage for better jobs.
Life of mega-selling mangakaIf you run series and got your own manga books published, you would be considered a fully fledged mangaka. Once your books starts selling, it is a constant battle with deadline. Weekly deadline for weekly magazine, and monthly deadline for monthly magazine.
There are authors surviving by running a series in bimonthly magazine without hiring a single assistant, but such cases are very rare. Basically, as a rookie you would be fighting for your life, and as an established mangaka, you would be fighting with time.
Certain horror manga author would have to write a story in 2 days, and despite of that, never ever failed a deadline. Hats off to him.
Another high in demand female shoujyo mangaka (shoujyo manga = manga for girls) have deadline once every 3 days, and she maintained the work at the same pace even while looking after her new born.
As an editor, it is best to see mangaka maintaining social commonsense in everyday life while pouring out creativity onto paper.
There are many people who study in manga school before debuting, so I feel that comparatively we have better quality rookies now than ever with good senses. It is my hope that such people will bring great contents to the magazines in the future.
Now, my take as a non-Japanese professional mangaka running monthly series in Japan, is that this could be a reality for you, though who might think that you haven't got the right conditions to make this happen, because:
1. You don't have the money to go to Japan, or enroll in manga school, or university that offer manga as subject.
Vocational school for manga is expensive. In fact, the yearly tuition fee is more expensive than medical school. People still choose to go because the idea of overnight success as mangaka is lucrative. All the urban legends of mangaka rags to riches stories are true, because I have met many of these authors in person. People do get rich almost overnight once the work hits jackpot.
2. You don't speak a word of Japanese.
Except for the words 'oppai', 'hentai', 'otaku', and 'kawaii'
3. You haven't got the time.
You are working full time, studying full time, looking after spouse/children at home, running a business etc.
4. You think you suck at drawing.
5. You think you suck at story writing.
6. You tried self publishing or getting published by your local publisher, only to discover your manga books laying dormant in some obscure corner of a bookstore collecting dust and spiderwebs.
Sounds bleak? What if I tell you that there is a way around all of those problems?
If you can not afford the living expenses in Japan, or the ginormous tuition fees, can you afford something you can earn from working part-time serving fries at you local fast food chain for a month? If the answer is yes, read on.
2. Language barrier
Do you speak English? What the heck, you are reading this article, of course you do! So read on.
Can you spare 1 hour and 30 minutes per week off office hours to learn the professional skills? Good, read on.
Can you draw stick figures? Yes? Read on.
Can you think of any statement or idea you want to tell somebody else? Can be as simple as 'smoking is bad for health', 'My girlfriend is awesome', 'Life is tough but it can be rewarding' etc. Yes? Then here's the deal:
Dr.Vee Mangaka Club is an international online manga school that can accomodate participants from anywhere in the world.
You CAN afford the education to gain the basic skills necessary to climb up the manga ladder to richness and fame, because our courses are made to be affordable for most people.
If you speak English, good news, our course materials are available in 3 languages: English, Japanese and Indonesian.
Our courses runs once weekly, at convenient time for you. Adjustments can be made for members residing at certain time zones. We also have intensive courses during holiday seasons for those who wants to complete a level in 5 days.
Can you imagine having a professional mentor giving you a pinpoint advice on how to get your drawing to new levels, to the level of professionals that you admire so much?
Can you picture being able to pull out ideas in abundance at anytime you want, and being able to write stories effortlessly?
Can you imagine receiving your first million dollars, or pounds cheque from your publisher for the royalty payment? Seeing your book in top 10 best seller list in your local bookstore?
What if you get thousands of fan letters every day from ravaging teen fans who absolutely love your work, and YOU for being the author who touched their lives?
Do you agree with me that you need to be doing something different to get from where you are today, a system or new strategy to get to the glorious place as manga author?
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