Manga Artists Are Taking it to the Small Screen

May 6th, 2012

Surely, you’ve noticed. Manga artists are no longer holed up in their apartments, appearing in public like groundhogs only for the occasional event. For one thing, events are becoming more and more common, so even the most reclusive manga artists are enjoying the company of their fellow artists and fans more than once or twice a year now. A mere 48 hours ago, thousands of fans and the artists they like were hobnobbing at Comitia 100. And Twitter has connected more of these artists together and more of the fans with those artists, than ever before. (Follow my Yuri Mangaka list on Twitter to see what your favorite artists are up to.)

But as small as the world is getting these days (and as glad as I am about it,) that’s not what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about the increasing role technology is playing in getting the artists, and their work, in front of fans in real time.

Last week, I took Yuricon into the live video age and a lot of manga artists are doing the same. Technology has reached the point where live video hangouts and streams not only make sense, but are accessible to nearly everyone, world-wide. Even at events, it makes sense for artists to show, rather than tell. At Comitia 100, creator of Dogs, Bullets and Carnage (a series I read regularly, but have not reviewed here,) Shiro Miwa, drew live and projected it on a large monitor for people to watch.

This is not a comprehensive list of live video sketching, but here are three mangaka of note that I know of who have been drawing live and doing tutorials, that you might want to check out:

Serial Experiments Lain, Haibane Renmei creator Yoshitoshi Abe has put some coloring demonstrations online for your viewing pleasure.

Iono-sama Fanatics, Ame-iro Kouchakan Kandan creator Fujieda Miyabi often sketches live on his Ustream site. If you have a Twitter account, you can sign in and chat with him.

Wedding Peach, Moon and Blood creator Yazawa Nao is doing a series of online demonstrations and Google Hangouts that you can join, for her Manga School Nakano. She’s got a Youtube channel with her videos, as well. (Yazawa-sensei has very good English, and is very friendly, so definitely drop her a message!)

These are only three of the many folks moving their work online. I think that the more we see how much work goes into even a single drawing, the less likely we, as fans halfway across the world, are to discount the amount of skill and effort that goes into a manga.

Technology has been kind of cruel to mangaka, so let’s support these technologies that give us access to them and to appreciate what goes into their work.

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7 Responses

  1. Kimiko says:

    Wacom Japan has a series of live painting videos on YouTube of various mangaka and illustrators doing their stuff on Cintiq screen/tablets.

    It’s really cool to see the art take shape under their hands, but also aweing to see how much work goes into a single (color) illustration.

  2. Thanks for that link, Kimiko! Yes I completely agree that the amount of work is staggering.

  3. Ellen says:

    This brings back memories. I was at a worldcon in the Sixties, and they showed a stop-motion film of Ed Emshwiller painting a magazine cover. Each brush stroke, he’d step out of the way and snap a frame. Damndest thing I ever saw.

    It’s nice to hear this sort of thing is becoming more common and accessible.

  4. Nytestorms says:

    This is a heck of a first post, so I’ll apologize in advance lol Unfortunately, I am unable to read Japanese (or Chinese, Russian…just about any other language lol) Would google translate work ok with it?

  5. @nytestorms – Not sure really what you mean. Google hangouts, livestream, Ustream, etc all have English logins and the demos are visual.

    If you don’t speak the language you won’t know what people are saying, but you can still see what they are doing.

  6. Nytestorms says:

    I’d just like to apologize for my first post. Normally, I don’t sound so stupid. Even I’m not sure what I was trying to say.

    I love reading your blog. It’s very informative, funny and educational. I really wish my first post was more smarter ;)

  7. @Nytestorms – Don’t sweat it, we all say stuff we don’t know really understand sometimes. I do all the time here. ^_^

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