[BoichiDay] Boichi.com’s launch Interview
• What is your goal with Boichi.com?
I have several goals with Boichi.com. One of these is to provide and share informations about Japanese manga circle with both fans and readers.
To show my works from time to time such as color artworks, manga works and share some good news as well.
I’d also like to test and experiment with new business models never seen before on the Manga market. The opportunity as a mangaka to deeply explore and reach out to the new generation of manga readers around the world. Whether they have different comic market and cultures or not.
I want to find out how these can be a small yet meaningful new type of business for manga.
But above all, my main goal and wish is to help those aiming to become mangaka around the world.
You see, Japan has many ways and learning opportunities to create your own manga. Japan is the kingdom of manga. It’s a paradise for those who love manga!
There are many good manga tutorial books, teachers, decent school and academies to learn about manga. There is also a huge Doujinshi market and great manga editors working for the large manga publishers.
These are necessary for anyone who want to be mangaka around the world. Those are filled with dreams, passions and talents, but leave only very little opportunities for non Japanese.
Foreigners have to pay a much higher price to get advice from Japanese editors, pro mangaka and Japanese manga inquisitors.
Sometime it can become impossible. When looking at their problems, I felt that we have to handle it more seriously and I found a solution. That is Boichi.com.
This is the place for those who love to learn how to draw, create manga and want to enter Japanese manga circles.
Of course, there are also those who want to become a mangaka in countries where there are no official manga market. I believe that even people living in small manga market have the right to make their dreams come true.
Every single one of those who dream is to become a mangaka are the treasure of future manga circles.
If they have the skills and mindsets of a good mangaka (or a comic artist), then they have a chance to work as a mangaka in Japan or their respectives countries.
Giving them even a little help would be a small return of the grace I received from Japanese manga circles. It is a precious thing to help those who have dreams. Because I am a dreamer just as they are.
Finally, I’m going to talk about cooking and food on Boichi.com. This is my own way of understanding Japanese culture and the artisans spirit of Japan.
I believe that if you love drawing manga and Japanese culture, you will find some helpful things in my Food Adventure posts as well. That is because I studied the spirit of manga through cooking and food. Similarly, for those planning a trip in Japan, it will help you with some informations about which good restaurants to visit.
And it will also be an opportunity for my fans to see how I live and share my thoughts.
• When and how did you first realize that you had an important fanbase outside of Japan?
Here, Boichi.com has three members. Me, Lucas and Steve.
Steve is my long time friend and He lives in Canada. He told me that I have a fanbase outside of Japan.
We know each others since the 90’s and he shares infos about western comic works and their markets to me.
He also loves the manga tutorial books I published in Korea. He believes they will be very useful and helpful for those who want to learn about manga outside of Japan. That’s how he persuaded me to share my experience and Know-how in Japan. They are very important lessons for those who want to be mangaka around the world.
He’s also the one sending me the fans’ mail from outside Japan.
One day, he told me that there was a fansite called SunKenRock.com and introduced me to Lucas, the site’s owner and a huge fan from France. We met this way and exchanged our ideas, thoughts and talked about what we love.
After finding there were many fans in other countries, I decided to go to comic conventions. Such as the Lucca Comics and Games or the Paris Japan Expo. Before that I kept rejecting offers because I was afraid, I was an unknown mangaka.
But once there, facing my fans, I was so amazed and surprised!! The fans’ love always encouraged me.
Lucas, as its developer and webmaster, is the creator of Boichi.com. He is a very passionate and talented guy with a kind heart and true friendship.
When he gave me the idea of Boichi.com, I was very surprised and it became a great opportunity for us to built our dreams.
I thought that it would be a chance to gave back a little of the love I received from my fans.
• Origin is your first weekly manga, what did this change for you?
Actually <Origin> is not my first weekly manga. I worked on a weekly manga series with 4 pages long chapters in the newspaper in Korea. It’s called <Science common sense in Movies>.
And <Raqiya> was a manga serialized in the Weekly magazine called <Weekly Morning>.
At first, it was serialized bi-weekly but I finished it as weekly. So it’s kinda embarrassing to say it was a weekly manga work.
What’s more, <Origin> is only published three times a month. It’s difficult to affirm that it’s a weekly manga because of that but I think of <Origin> as my first weekly series for various reasons.
I’ve only went through 17 deadlines for now but it’s been a very fun work experience.
Japanese editors working in Weekly manga magazine use to say “The truth is that weekly paces are truly deadly! They are merciless. Every deadlines is killing you.”. But it wasn’t so hard nor bad.
I have good assistants who help me and I’m always thanking them for their hard works.
An approaching deadline is like a Tetris game. It’s fun.
• With Dr. Stone, you’re starting a second weekly manga only half a year after Origin’s start. How is that even possible?!
I… I still don’t know, I can’t say if it’s possible to keep going or not… Impossible to know yet.
I haven’t started <Dr. Stone> yet so we will see if I can do both or not. For now, I have two deadlines: <Young magazine> and <Shonen Jump>.
Some editors say this is a whole new thing never done before. Some say, it’s impossible for a man to do so much work. And some others say weekly will be very difficult with my drawing style.
Well, I do feel that it’s a nearly impossible plan but I will try anyways. If it’s a success it will be a very meaningful thing.
Even if it fails, it will stay a worthy challenge for me and I would have the chance to learn many things from this opportunity. I believe that the way of success for this mission is to try hard everyday.
What I’ve learned from the great editors and mangakas from Japanese manga circles is that the most important thing for a mangaka is the effort produced!! I will say this is the artisan spirit.
So I will keep trying harder everyday and success or not, I accept this challenge.
In fact, I now need to draw 136 pages a month. It will ask of me to draw 6 pages a day but it’s not an impossible thing. I have good assistants to help me.
For me, planning to prepare for the series is much harder than being serialized in a magazine.
Preparing and publishing <Terra Formars Asimov> for 7 months, then serializing <Origin> and now getting ready for <Dr. Stone> only half a year later. It’s a lot of hard work that also requires lots of time and money.
<Origin> is still a new title on <Young Magazine> and I’ve yet to get used to it. There are still many preparations left to take care of.
• We don’t know much about Dr.Stone yet aside that it’s an Adventure/Action/SF manga with a story by Riichiro Inagaki. Would you like to add anything for your fans?
I’m sorry but as <Dr.Stone> is not solely my own work I can’t tell you much by myself.
Plus, the main creator of this work is not me but Riichiro Inagaki-sensei. He sent me a very detailed and amazing nemu (thumbnails) for <Dr.Stone>.
Riichiro Inagaki sensei is the creator of <Dr.Stone>’s universe. I’m trying to draw his amazing creativity world in a manga as best as I can.
I had a lot of fun when reading his nemu, it’s very cool! I’m learning a lot from him.
The main characters of this story are two boys. One is very strong and the other is very smart. The strong boy has a strong and good heart while the smart boy has a vision and a mission.
In some way, it’s a similar relationship to the one between Ken and Tea-Soo in <Sun-ken Rock>. They will have an amazing adventure.
It’s so much fun to draw this because both the story and genre of <Dr.Stone> are SciFi and Post Apocalyptic which I especially love to watch and read.
I am thoroughly enjoying myself while preparing for it.
• Finally, Dr. Stone will be published in the Weekly Shonen Jump. As the name imply this magazine is aimed at a younger audience. Will this change anything in how you draw girl’s butts?
On this issue I want to voice a complaint to my editor and Inagaki-sensei!!! They really have no interest in Bishojo (Pretty girls) at all.
I’ve drawn and designed two boys and one girl character. I was very dutiful when drawing the girl character but for the boys’ design… nope. I drew them with my feet.
I sent them all together but they didn’t even mention a single word about the girl. They focused on the boys and never talked about the girl!!! My god…
Does anyone want to read a manga featuring smelly guys? Do you read Sun-Ken Rock to see sweaty and stinky man characters, huh? Do you read <Origin>, because see what Origin says and what he does? I don’t!!!
When inking the male characters’ I’ll mix my booger in the ink…
I WANT TO MAKE A STRONG CLAIM TO MY EDITOR AND INAGAKI-SENSEI!!
FORGET ABOUT BOYS CHARACTERS!! LET ME DRAW MORE GIRLS CHARACTERS!!!
IF YOU DO NOT, I WILL USE INK WITH MY BOOGERS MIXED IN IT!!!