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January 25
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明けましておめでと, which means "Happy New Year" in Japanese :D! I don't know if you guys knew this but New Year's is a big deal in Japan! I would say that I think it's the most important festival throughout the year. This is really weird for me because in Italy none really cares about New Year's XD. Like, most of the time you meet with friends and just hang out until it's midnight and celebrate drinking wine ahah. To me the way Japanese people celebrate New Year's is the way we Italians celebrate Christmas. That is, staying home from work/school, finding banks and shops closed, staying with family, eating a lot, etc. I was also surprised with Japanese New Year's because all banks were closed and I was left with no money and no way to get some XD.

That said, how are you guys? My vacation was awesome. Me and Mea forced ourselves not to work or draw or do anything related to it for 3 weeks because we felt like we overdid things for 3 months before Christmas up to the point were our health was in danger. I have actually read a lot about this on the internet. Like many artists getting sick, losing hair or having stomach pain because of too much work. Does this happen to you? I think the main issue with me and my sister is Japanese working rhythm (what the hell is with this word O.O? Like it's made only of consonants XD), which is "always" and the fact that not being in an office that closes at a certain point we never "close" -___-. But now we are back yey! I feel energized by vacation and Italian food. A lot of food. :)

 

Well well, let's go back to my manga (sad) story up to the point were I got my manga "Elisa" rejected for the second time -___-. If you haven’t read the previous part of my adventure here in Japan and you wish to, you can find them here: Part 1- Part 2  Part 3 Part 4 - Part 5 - Part6.

If you guys remember I went to show my first real "well" done manga to a shoujo magazine and got rejected for all kinds of reason that made no sense to me at the time. However, the editor I met said the drawing was good even if not suitable for their magazine and he understood my story was different from usual Japanese manga stories also because I come from a different culture. So he suggested I would go show it to another magazine instead, which literally claimed to be "too innovative". I have known Japanese people for a while now and I know that their idea of innovative most of the time is "slightly different from regular" but I thought I had nothing to lose. I went there with no hope though and I think that was good because at least I didn't feel like I wanted to kill anyone when they said my manga was not ok. 

So, I was given the number I was supposed to call and I did. I made an appointment and went there (it was a different publisher). This time the editor was a girl and I thanked god in my mind because to me the way Japanese girls talk is so much easier to understand than the way man talk XD. She was extra nice. She took me to the "Room of Judgment" and this time there was none else beside us. I set quietly as she read the manga. Thank god they always give me one of their magazine to "read" in the meanwhile so that I don't have to look at them and their facial expressions as they look at my work XD. When she finished I could see she was "surprised" by my work. It happens all the time. The art style is different from usual, the story, the characters and everything else is different from usual. She said the manga was not ok mostly because the story is clearly for kids while that magazine was for adults also. However, she said that this new magazine was also a lot about art. I remember her saying "this is a magazine that people interested in art buy too". So basically she told me that she thought the magazine might have been "right" for me. Because it was innovative and art played a big part and apparently my manga are innovative and the best thing about them is art. So she gave me this advice : she told me to read 1 chapters manga from Japanese people (she gave me specific titles) and make a new manga following (I think the idea is "copying" though) their style an go show it again to her. I think she really meant it because when I went there again (next post) she did remember me. She was really nice so I decide to be honest with her and I told her I thought "Elisa" was good and I thought people would like it if it was a series. Like, I could understand their point when they said there were many "things" I didn't "close" in those 30 pages but if I was given a chance to make more, such as other chapters, I could have "closed" them right? So I said "how about making it a series then" XD? I still don't know where I found the courage to ask her that. And try guess my surprise when she said "it might work as a series". O.O. @.@. Excuse me? Can you say that again? I was shocked. They just said all sorts of bad things about my manga to tell me then that it might work a series?! Are you kidding me? She specified it might work as a series also because when you get a series the editor that follows you gives you advices so basically as a series they could have changed whatever they wanted to make it "right" since they know better. I didn't know what to say (especially in Japanese XD) so I asked her straight forward "are you telling me that if I win the competition with a one chapter story you might serialize my Elisa manga after even if only with your changes in it?". And she said "yes, that might happen".  That comment she made changed nothing since I still didn't win the contest or get a series published. However at that time it meant the world to me. It made me really happy because I felt like I was getting some credits for my Elisa manga because they said it might have worked with their changes in it. That is also the reason why I still haven't published it online. 

What to say? I wasn't surprised my manga was rejected again because I think that Japanese editors carry the same ideas most of the time. I say this because I get told the same things by whomever I meet. However, after this meeting at first I was excited because I thought "at least I have a magazine now". Knowing there was a magazine that might have been suitable for me made me happy. But after this I made a huge mistake. Something I regret even this day. But I have to tell you, it was something I have come to think I needed to do in order to understand a very important thing that is… I will tell you in next post ;P!

Be patient and I will sadly tell you all about the disaster I made in my 3rd manga. :(.

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*Question Corner*

 I remember I asked some time ago, is it better to make digital or traditional manga? Well, now I have my answer. Digital. Digital. Digital. And digital. -___-. Me and my sister made a shonen manga (that for some reason I haven't shown yet -_- I am going at the beginning of February) and we made it ALL traditional : pencil, ink and screentones. I was given 500 $ of screentones for free by an amazing person so we thought we would try to do it traditionally. Also because I think editors want me to even if they never said so clearly. It took 10 times what it took making it digitally. Putting screnntones by hand is the hell of a work while it is way easier with a software. And fixing mistakes is such a waste of time -__-. I am really happy with the result but boy, it took long!!

Have you guys ever tried making a manga 100% traditionally? Did it take you forever like for us?

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:iconfrogsnack:
Frogsnack Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014
Hmm, I used to use sakura micron or copic markers for linework, but when I switched to the g pen it halved my drawing time... (however there was that one, no make that two massive ink spills- but that's what I get for inking on an angled desk).

Screen tones could be worse, I actually make a lot more mistakes with photoshop even though I have tried several things... in the end I shade with a pencil half the time.

Anyways! Glad to hear it! That you're closer to your goal! Also- that your goal is worth reaching and is teaching you along teh way, that's a good thing, right? If it was easy you'd already be doing something else, and finding something more challengeing, right? (just assuming).... so keep at it!
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:iconmeamostro:
MeaMostro Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Hi! Thank you for finding the time to read my post and comment :D!
So using G pen is faster after all! Aaaaa I hate it when ink spills!!
Pencil shades are also the best looking to me!

Thank you, I will be here fighting then :)!! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! 
Reply
:iconmanjy:
MANJY Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014
HAHAHA! Sorry when you wrote "at least I didn't want to kill anyone for saying my manga was not ok" cracked me up lol! That's so something I would say as well hahaha

Just out of curiosity, why do you find Japanese girls easier to understand? And why do you think editors like traditional more?

Wow that is really good news! I'm so happy for you to know that now you finally have a magazine - you know, it's like a turf for mangakas right HAHA! From your stories, I come to realize that finding a suitable magazine for you is everything. Without the correct one, nothing will work out and it doesn't necessarily mean your art sucks, which is the most soothing thing to know for every artist. 

But then now that I have seen more of your art, I guess I understand the what editors have been saying till now. Your art is amazing no doubt (I can tell the how much effort you put into it), but then it's not a very stereotypical style in Japan. I guess that's why even though you have been wanting to debut in shoujo magazines it hasn't been working. Also, from what this girl editor said about how your story seems to be more targeted to teen girls while your art is more mature, that's quite a valuable lesson actually (well I feel at least). Because this shows that art and story must somehow work as a team, you get what I mean? It's not like you can just draw whatever style you want and pair it up with whatever story you can come up with. And like what the editor said, your art style is more suitable for adults so your story needs to be for adults too. 

In a way, what I just said isn't great news I guess, because it means you either have to 1) change your art to match it with the shoujo/shounen genre or 2) you have to make a brand new story with a different target audience. So have you thought about that? 

Once again, thanks for the wonderful update!!! Please keep us updated! ^^ I see you have a lot of fans out here hahaha


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:iconmeamostro:
MeaMostro Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
Ahahah, it's easy to feel like killing someone for not liking your work after you put so much effort in it XD!

Well, girls tend to use polite Japanese (the "masu" thing) which is what I use at school so I am used to hear it. Plus they speak slowly. And finally the speak as I do so I get it easier. On the other hand men speak fast, most of the time not clearly and often change the last part of words making it quite difficult for me to understand it easily. What about you? Do you understand them equally?

I think that editors prefer traditional because for example they really like when the inked lines are all different. Of course you could do that digitally too but if you do it traditionally you don't need to do an effort for the lines to be different. I mean, we are human so we can't make line identical if we are drawing with our hands, so it is natural for them to come out all different. This is just one example though. I just feel like all the advices they give me wouldn't be necessary if I was making it traditionally :).

I agree. Sometime your art not being suitable for a magazine doesn't mean your art is no good. But I wish there was a guide or something to pick the magazine XD.

I totally get what you are saying... it was a lesson for me too. It's just that when you are just thinking and dreaming about making a manga you feel like there is so much freedom into doing your own thing and then after you talk with editors you realize that is not it at all. There is freedom but there are also many rules. Rules for drawing, rules for your story and rules for the 2 of them to work together. I think this last year trying to publish manga changed me and my sister so much. We realized that if you want to make a living with art you need to stop thinking like "I am an artist and I do what I feel". It's much more complicated. Now I understand too why the editor send me in the shonen direction. I can feel how is much more suitable for us, not only for the art but for the story as well. I just wished it didn't take me this long to realize that.
Well, we actually have definitely said goodbye to shoujo. But it wasn't that sad because we realized we like what we do now better. We made a shonen manga that take place in a desert and has action and adventure and making it was fun. I am waiting for my friend to take me to the publisher (the story was so complicated I couldn't translate it myself, so I need my translator to come along this time) and see what they say ;).

You are very welcome, it's always a pleasure to hear your interesting thoughts and suggestions ^V^! They really help me :)!




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:iconmanjy:
MANJY Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014
Exactly lol!

Oh I see! Well originally, I was really used to the masu thing and find it very hard to change verbs to dictionary form, but then now I'm actually more dictionary form (so casual way of speaking) which is bad because I didn't want to accidently speak in casual form to my Japanese teacher (which I often did but later on tried more consciously not to - he doesn't really care because in Canada, Japanese people are really relaxed about rules and all)... And I actually do like them talking to me in casual form more because I feel like we're like more friends talking rather than in a formal context. But anyway most of the time I can't really control which form I use well (with I'd say 70% being casual) because I just say whatever pops into my head first haha! 

Sorry for rumbling on haha, but I don't find girls easier to understand than guys haha! But obviously no dialects please. I met these people with very strong kansai dialect and speak very fast before and I couldn't understand more than 50% of what they were saying. But I get you, speaking fast makes everything hard to understand. >< 

If that's the case then from your observation, do you think most mangas are done traditionally? But I think I prefer if it is done traditionally too, like I prefer not seeing shading that is done digitally.

Yea, hearing you say that is quite an eye opener. Just like what you said, people would think art is a form of expression so must be unique and you are free to do anything but the thing is, that is not the case at all (at least for manga). But then again, if you think objectively, maybe having rules and rights and wrongs could be a good thing too. At least that way you know if you are on a right track, and if not put you on one. 
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:iconprusce:
prusce Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the udate, it's really helpful and interesting to read about your experiences :D I'm looking forward for the next part. Keep it up! :dummy:
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:iconmeamostro:
MeaMostro Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you again for finding the time to read my journal and write a comment ^V^! People's support is what keeps me going ^V^!
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:iconprusce:
prusce Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome! I like reading your posts :D
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:iconsnakey-sama:
Snakey-sama Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Student General Artist
Oh the suspense! Arrghh i can't wait to find out what happened in part 8. xD 

I would very much like to see your entirely traditional manga. I've always liked the idea of doing everything by hand, but i can't really tell if a manga i read is traditional or digital. Any clues on what to look for so i could tell? 
I suppose i should learn how to make manga digitally. 

Anyway, as always, good luck on your journey! ;)
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:iconmeamostro:
MeaMostro Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional General Artist
I am not thrilled to write about what happened next though XD!

Really? Well, if it doesn't win the contest I might publish it online ^V^. Or I could upload just one page or something to show you guys. I am actually really happy with how it came out. It is really pretty and looks definitely more like a real manga ^V^. However, it really did took forever to make it @ .@.
I think that you can guess by looking at the ink and the screentones but I wonder if I myself would be able to tell XD.
Well, many people still think it's better to make them all traditionally so you don't necesseraly have to learn how to make them digitally. However, I think that digital is more convenient so I think it might be a good idea to learn :).

Thank you! Can't wait to tell you guys some good news ;)!
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