An interview with Madeleine Rosca, mangaka of Hollow Fields

Hi guys! Once again, I’m able to invite yet another mangaka to grace our blog with her presence. Let’s give a warm welcome to Madeleine Rosca, mangaka of Hollow Fields~! =D

I personally find her style of drawing very cute and very colourful. =D So do support Madeleine by hopping over to Gomanga.com and purchase all the volumes of Hollow Fields~!

She was also one of four winners presented with Japan’s first ever “International Manga Award” for her work on Hollow Fields.

When did you discover you could draw?

Very young, like most kids. I wasn’t always particularly better than other kids at drawing; I just really enjoyed it, so the more I did it, the more practice I got. My parents were both art teachers, so there was a lot of encouragement at home.

Why manga?

Manga has a very cinematic feel to it; a good manga should be a lot like watching a good movie. Drawing the panels is a lot like being a director who’s in control of a camera. I liked that sense of action and movement. Often western comics look very static by comparison, so they didn’t appeal as much.

You’ve been both self-published and published by a publisher, could you tell us briefly what it’s like to be on both sides of the fence?

I was very, very briefly self-published before being picked up by Seven Seas. There are good and bad things to both sides. All in all, it’s much better to be published, because you get paid(!), you get professional editorial input and your work reaches a much bigger audience. Benefits to self publishing though, include full control over your work and your story. That’s not always what’s best for the story, though…sometimes having an editor’s opinion really helps.

How do you come up with the ideas for your manga?

I read a lot, watch a lot of films, talk to people…it’s a very organic process. I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious. Writers come up with stories just by living and having experiences. I like steampunk, so most of my stories end up with a steampunk aesthetic, and the themes that come from that – mad science, retro robotics, etc.

What can your readers look forward to in your future projects?

I’ve currently got one in the pipeline but I am still in the annoying ‘negotiating with publishers’ stage. It’s been a slow year, but hopefully next year will see another story coming out.

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Interview: Hu Jingxuan, mangaka of LAMENT

Hiya guys~! Today I have the privilege of interviewing Hu Jingxuan, thanks to the heads-up by annhell. =D

When and why did you go into manga drawing?

Since young, I had been enjoying cartoons and animations. The first few series that really sparked my interest in manga creation are Saint Seiya, Sailor Moon and Dragon ball. I started seriously drawing manga in 2003. I joined the Student Manga correspondence in Singapore Press Holdings and I submitted my works to be published in Friday Weekly every now and then.

Of all art forms, I especially love drawing manga. It is an escape from the real world into my own fantasy world. I can tell my own stories through manga and create characters based on personal experiences, making sure they are neither absolute monsters nor angels. But most of all, I love the challenge manga drawing requires.

Once I started drawing manga in 2003, I had decided that I would want to do this for the rest of my life. Since then I had been working consistently towards this goal.

Being a manga artist in Singapore is not easy, how did you manage to juggle both real life and drawing?

It had been really hard at first. Lament was produced when I was still in NUS High School. I had to balance between homework, exams and producing about 20 pages of manga per month. But I guess ‘when there’s a will, there’s a way.’ My passion had kept me going.

How long do you take to produce a page and where did you get your inspiration from?

It varies. It’s usually the concept and planning of the page that takes time. Inking takes around less than half a day usually.

I’m enchanted by myths and the ancient civilizations. Much of my comic and illustrations has setting in a fantasy or ancient world. My subjects tend to be mythical guardian beings or angels.

Over the years, I have developed an ornate and gothic art style. I’m obsessed with details, techniques and visual impacts. I put special attention to designs in my work, be it the clothing design or landscape design. Though I like painting and experimenting with colours, I’m more interested in the sharp visceral feeling created by the medium of micron pens and markers. I want to create in my art a surreal nightmarish dream realm. A worlds like an entangling spider web, where everything is crawling with pseudo-organic ornamentation and decaying roses.

You managed to publish “Lament” with the help of MDA and Chuangyi. Could you tell us how that came about?

I submitted my proposal for First-Time Writers and Illustrators Publishing Initiative in 2007, and I was chosen. Since then, I had been working on ‘Lament’. I had gained a lot through the process.

The experience and insights gained from working with editors. Lament is created from the team effort of me and the Chuangyi editors. Comic drawing is no longer a simple individual affair. It involves the combined effort in drawing, scripting, page layout and story development.

Along the way, I picked up invaluable tips from the editor’s suggestions. The main editor and Team Cy has helped me to develop my plot from its shaky beginning. They showed me how to add tension to the story. And with their help in scripting, my story becomes more polished and smooth. This project is a proper training for me to prepare me for future challenges.

Chuangyi and MDA had been selflessly promoting our works through conventions and autograph sessions. My experience at STGCC recently has really been fruitful and fun. Chuangyi had done a great job creating publicity for our works in STGCC from both the public and other publishers. I also had an interesting experience overcoming my shyness and learning a few promoting skills from Chuangyi. ^^

It’s an honour working with Chuangyi and it’s really a huge dream come true for me. At this moment, I need to say a loud, thank you for making it happen!

I still remember the first time I met the manager in Chuangyi, he looked at my art and told me that my works and my unique gothic style have the potential to go far, it has been one of my driving forces when I was drawing Lament =>

What was it like to contribute to “Liquid City”?

I felt both excited and honored. It’s a platform for me to polish my skills at telling a story in less than 20 pages. It felt totally different from drawing a long story like ‘LAMENT’.

Publishing anything of any sort is really challenging in Singapore, how would you advise an aspiring mangaka to see his/her dream come true in publication-land?

I would start by submitting my works to competitions and proposing my ideas to different publishers. Also, set up a good professional website to showcase your works. Or even start a webcomic to get feedback and create a fan base. And there’s always the option of self-publishing if you are confident that your work has market value.

Thanks to Jingxuan for granting us this interview. Check out her artwork at Deviantart. You can also find out details to purchase Lament there.

moon

Useful links for aspiring writers and mangakas

Here are a few useful sites for my readers, both aspiring writers and mangaka. =) Enjoy.

Submission of writing

Manga publishing tips

Manga tutorials

In other news the Mashable’s 2009 Open Web Awards is closing soon! Do vote for our blog at http://mashable.com/owa/votes. Thanks ya!!

moon

Virtual Book Tour #10-Dream Walker by Yeo Hui Xuan

When and why did you start drawing manga?

Dream Walker by Yeo Hui XuanI have always wanted to publish my own manga series/comic book.
From 1999, I started my training by drawing one-panelled and four-panelled comics. After graduating from secondary school, my time became much more flexible and I was able to work on story-type comics.

Who is/are your greatest influence(s) in your drawings?

Takahashi Rumiko and Togashi Yoshihiro. I really love their character designs and concepts.

What gave you the inspiration for Dream Walker?

I once had a short-story comic series that was featured in TCZ studio’s Steps Comics showcase (published in The Celestial Zone 2 Collector’s Series Volume 7 and 8). The work was titled “Dream”.

When I was planning for the series, I decided to use that work as a base for my concept. So I began researching and gathering various useful materials and information on dreams and built up” the “Dream Walker” series from there.

Tell us about your journey to publishing Dream Walker. What was it like to work with Mr Wee Tian Beng?

It’s been tough; I find myself constantly stressed, from the initial stages of brain-storming up till even now still… (laughs)

Mr Wee has guided me throughout the process: from artwork to story-telling, he is always ready to offer me constructive criticisms and useful ideas for my works. He has taught me the do’s and don’ts of working on comics. I have learnt much from him.

What are your future plans? When can we expect a sequel to Dream Walker?
As the preparation of each volume of Dreamwalker can take up to a few months at a time, I plan to produce and sell various Dreamwalker merchandise in between books. These items will be up for sale through the
Comix Pandora e-commerce network as well as during various local anime/manga-related events.

More details and various updates can be found in my Dream Walker offical journal as well as the ComixPandora website.

I have the story planned up until Volume 6; as the story progresses,Yume and the gang will have more than just Boumas to contend with, and of course they will grow stronger.

If one were to be a mangaka in Singapore, what kind of advice would you give him/her?

Many people think that being a comic artist is an easy thing, but once you start, you’ll come to realise that it is a tedious job, a tough road to trek. If your drawing skills are weak, you must train yourself by drawing more.
Try to read and watch anything that can inspire you to create a good story.

Always bear in mind that when you are working on a comic, it is completely different from working on an illustration. Those who wish to be a mangaka, my advice is to start by being a doujinshi artist, you can learn a lot from there.

Hui Xuan’s book is available at all Comics Connection outlets and all good bookstores in Singapore. You can also buy it online at The Celestial Zone. Do support Singaporean manga talent by buying her books!

Want to be featured as an author/mangaka on the AMWC Virtual Book Tour? Check out our simple guidelines and we look forward to hearing from you! =3

Got a book (fiction or manga)? Let us know!

Hi guys! Moon here with good news for our aspiring writers/mangaka who, despite all odds, have published their works online or offline! If you have an e-novel or e-manga or a hardcopy of your work that you’ll like to promote online but don’t know how or have no funds to do so, simply email me at aspiringmw[at]gmail[dot]com!

I’ll be happy to feature you and your book here on the AMWC blog! Simply include details of your book and your contact details so I can get in touch with you. =)

Have a great day ahead!

moon