明けましておめでとう, which means "Happy New Year" in Japanese ! 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 !
Be patient and I will sadly tell you all about the disaster I made in my 3rd manga. .
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?