On June 23rd, Digital Manga Publishing ran a Daily Twitter Contest on Twitter and the question of the day was: “Ask @NaoYazawa a question!” All of these questions were fowarded to Yazawa sensei and she answered them all! She then picked 5 of them as winners for : 1 Gold prize, 2 Silver prizes and 2 Bronze prizes. We wanted to share some of those Q & A here with you!
GOLD PRIZE WINNER went to @mrs_gdragon of Woodside, NY. She asked:
Q: What are the hardships of being a manga artist?
A: Struggling to find what I want. The story, characters, drawings, etc. All the processes are tough but fun.
Q: What are the good points of being an manga artist?
A: It’s a tough life but also it’s fun at the same time. You might have to take boring works, but still you can find some fun in it. And the best part is getting responses and encouraging emails from fans.
Q: If you can turn back time, do you think you would do things differently in life?
A: I’d do better work. No, not different, I suppose.
Q: Do you have a cat? I know a lot of manga artist talk about their adorable cats, but why do most manga artist only have cat, but not dogs? (haha sorry for weird question)
A: Yup, I live with 2 cats now. I met one of them lost and meowing on a street. Yes- true, many manga artists prefer cats than dogs. Taking care of cats are easy; they are low maintenance pets, like you don’t need to take them out for a walk. My first cat came from a manga artist who I used to assist. Her cat had a litter full of kittens and she asked me if I could adopt one.
Q: Do publishing companies in Japan treat their manga artist well?
A: In my job they treat us like robots >_< Same in every fields, I suppose.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: Drawing Manga.
Q: Do you have friends who are not manga artist and how do they feel about your profession?
A: Old friends are don’t care who I am, but there are some who seem to be impressed with my job. They don’t know the reality!
Q: Random question again, if you were to be stranded on a desert island and you can only have three items with you, what items would they be?
A: foods, paper, pencils.
SILVER PRIZE WINNER went to @Mangaxanadu of Redlands, CA. She asked:
Q: I want to know which of the manga characters she’s created is her favorite.
A: Very difficult to chose. Ai from my current work, MOON AND BLOOD.
SILVER PRIZE WINNER went to @Quarteni of Orlando, FL. She asked:
Q: What inspired or prompted the stories for your two manga, “Moon and Blood” and “Mizuki” available for reading on eManga.com? What trigged their concepts?
A: The themes and ideas were suggested by the publishers. Though they did not specify too many things. I guess you can call them a “trigger.” I start to build my story and characters around it.
Mizuki series drawn for Ciao, Japanese manga magazine. I did that shortly after Wedding Peach series had finished. My editor asked me to do something similar to Wedding Peach for their special summer edition. But I didn’t want to do same thing again, so gave it a different flavor. Like Japanese-like style and kind of bust-up would come the end (like “Dirty Pair”/novel – Do you know the work?)
Moon and Blood was a “Vampire story.” I understand it is very popular in the West. If a Vampire is a hero or heroine, what the story will go? This is for manga fans in the West, so maybe I need a kawaii mascot character – what would that be like? A cat – little girl – how about Gothloli? something like that.
Q: I hope it’s okay to ask, but I was wondering… I’ve read a few interviews from you and various interviewers, but was wondering what the story was behind “Mizuki” the series. From my best understanding “Mizuki” was originally created for a magazine in Japan (Ciao, I believe), but due to some differences in opinions between you and the second editor the series was cut short. Is what is available for reading the short lived version originally created for Ciao or a version of how you meant to tell the story? Can you offer some other insight into the creation of “Mizuki”?
A: Originally, it would has been 3 parts. The 2 become lovers, happily ever after, so typical The story was not precised at that time. It is a task for Shojyo manga, right? “They love each other.” But failed, the part has never been born. I myself has desire to draw the some stories about these guys, if have a chance.
Q: My next question is about your manga creation process. How much do you do digitally and how much is done traditionally? What programs do you favor and why?
A: We call them Digital work & Analogue work. Usually I use PC for finishing – white, beta(paint the black parts) & tonework. Oh, + frame. I use Manga Studio(It named Comic Studio in Japan) and you can do a lot things with it, but I don’t – can’t - make full use of it. Sometimes I draw all the work with PC ( from pencil drawing to finish), the first page(inside cover) of Moon and Blood 1, for instance. I prefer to the touch of hand drawing, though. Do you see the difference? For me, it’s obvious.
And Photoshop(CS2) for coloring. I think Painter / Sai could be better for painting, Photoshop is not painting soft. But I’m used to it. ^^;
BRONZE PRIZE WINNER went to @ZEROINTELIGENCE of Moreno Valley, CA. He asked:
Q: How hard was it getting serialized in CIAO manga magazine?
A: Very hard, especially to meet the monthly deadline.
Q: And how did the idea of Wedding Peach, come to you?
A: The concept of Wedding Peach was created by Sukehiro Tomita. He said when he read about something 4 , the “wedding fighters” came to him.
Q: Did you ever look back on your past works, and asked yourself “I could have done that better.” or “Wow, a lot has changed!”
A: Every time I read my past works I can’t stop to think how bad skill mine was. You could have done this you could have done that. It will be same in future.
Q: Any plans on experimenting, like drawing for a shonen manga magazine?
A: I debuted at Korokoro comic (Syonen manga magazine), I’ve started as a Syonenmanga-ka. (or jido/young boys mangaka.) I don’t care what genre I work for. Shinku-chitai, my personal work(dojinshi) is “seinen manga”, for instance. No plan so far as business, though.
BRONZE PRIZE WINNER went to @YamatoAllBlue of Fridley, MN. She asked:
Q: What do you believe are the essentials of good storytelling? Of a good romance?
A: I’m the one who wants to know it! lol Study, maybe. Reading manga, books, watching movies…
Thanks everyone for participating!