Saturday, November 14, 2009

naoki urusawa on making comics

naoki urusawa's monster was the very first manga i read from start to finish, and, along with iou kuroda's nasu, opened my young, impressionable eyes to the fact that there was more to manga than ninjas, energy balls and sailor uniforms.

so it was such a pleasure to find this interview posted online and hear from the master himself. for example: he procrastinates just like us common folks!

Back at the studio I start by doing things like tiding up the bookshelves and cleaning the windows (laughs). While everyone around me is wondering what in the world I'm doing, I'm getting into my groove. Well, I guess you could say I'm wasting time, too (laughs). I'm going through the story as discussed in the meeting in my head thinking, "This panel should be like this, then this, then that, this, this, this.... That's it!"

In my comics I’m basically going for certain faces on my characters, or as we say “Face Manga” (???: kao manga). This is something I've been disliked for in the manga world; those long sequences of faces with word balloons. I think that’s probably because the editors have come to think that the faces the artist draws are just signs or symbols. However, I have come to question the general trend that shuns “Face Manga”. I feel like, "What’s wrong with going for the faces of the actors as they act!?"

so, meron din palang "ulo-ulo" komiks sa japan. but i never really noticed it in urusawa's work. probably because he does "ulo-ulo" the right way--as expressive reaction shots--rather than as a lazy draftsman's technique to avoid drawing bodies, backgrounds, etc.

he then goes on to criticize the manga industry's punishing publication schedule:

Honestly, the situation in Japan where comics are released in weekly anthologies is a very abnormal one. Everyone has become accustomed to it and deals with it like it was nothing, but people overseas think that producing comics of this quality on a weekly basis is insane. ... Yeah, it really is insane.
50 years ago, knowing it was something extremely difficult to do, weekly comics were created on a trial basis for the first time. But even after that initial trial period, it continued and is still the way it is now. It’s actually impossible. But it’s going through the impossible that has made today’s manga culture prosperous. It's an amazing story!

i've always thought that a twenty-odd-pages-per-week pace was an enviable central factor to the success of manga. though i admit that's more of a businessman's or selfish fan's outlook. it's amazing we don't get even more burned-out mangakas than we do today. WHERE'S MY HUNTER X HUNTER?!

full interview and more pics here.


dj said...

very insightful. salamat sa pag post nito.

mcoy said...

no prob! urasawa is DA BOMB

andoyman said...

ba't ngayon ko lang napansin 'to?
haha urusawa, ang pinakahinahangaan kong mangaka. yeah.

macoy said...

oo, da best yan. said...

ayos! urusawa fan din ako. ginimbal ako ng 20th century boys hehe. sadly, di ko pa nabasa komiks mo sir macoy. tuwing komikon kasi, tagtuyot ako. madalang din mabisita sa sputnik. pero pakiramdam ko maeenjoy ako sa mga piece mo. gawa ka ng makapal haha! salamat sa katulad mong nagtataguyod ng komiks industry natin \m/

macoy said...

salamat sa pagbisita zert! mmmm kapag na-compile ko na yung school run volume 1, medyo makapal na sana yun. :D

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