Torendo:A Series of Interviews
Lindsay Cibos is the creator of the Peach Fuzz manga graphic novel series, the grand prize winner in the "Second Rising Stars of Manga" anthology, published by Tokyopop. She also wrote and illustrated Digital Manga Workshop (2005), published by Harper Collins Design (www.jaredandlindsay.com).
MICHELLE OLLIE: What trends do you see with manga and anime fans (readers/viewers)?
LINDSAY CIBOS: Angels, maids, and plushy hats seem to be in. ^_^
Seriously though, the biggest trend I see with the fans is that there seems to be a lot more of them. The market has really expanded. Five years ago, manga and anime were practically unheard of as terms. Only devotees knew about this stuff and had to follow it through comic shops, Web sites, and college campuses. Today retailers like Best Buy devote entire aisles to anime, and some Waldenbooks locations claim upward of 20 percent of sales comes from manga. It's incredible how an American fan base that was seemingly always there but was never catered to has embraced [End Page 186] manga and anime. The other trend I see with the fans has to do with specialization. We're in a marketplace with ever increasing choice. It's become impossible to buy all the merchandise and see all the shows. The fans are becoming more discerning. Overwhelmed, people are beginning to gravitate away from anime/manga in general and find particular niche interests within the market to focus on. Of course, recognition of these niche audiences has led to products that cater to ever more specialized fan interests. A good example of this would be TV anime shows like Kore ga watashi no goshu-jin-sama (He Is My Master), which is basically a harem show (already a niche) but clearly states it's made specifically for maid outfit fetishists. I think we'll continue to see more of this sort of pinpoint marketing when it comes to product development for the near future.
MO: Tell us about your soon-to-be-released Digital Manga Workshop book.
LC: There are plenty of books on the market that strive to teach people about how to draw manga. The art racks at bookstores are loaded with them. However, once you know how to draw your manga-style artwork, you've moved beyond the scope of most of these books. Using digital tools to color and manipulate art is something that's widely done in the anime/ manga-style art community, but there's very little comprehensive information available in print for those interested in learning about using digital tools. Lacking any sort of guidance ourselves, for years we studied other artists' works, picking up bits and pieces as we went, and eventually developed our own techniques. Digital Manga Workshop is the culmination of these years of experience, presented in a step-by-step format. We attempt to detail everything involved in the digital artwork process; from tools, to image preparation, to techniques like digital inking, coloring in cel, airbrush, and painterly styles, along with use of special eff ects and filtering to give your artwork that extra, professional shine. As a bonus, the book serves as a gallery for some of our best artwork.
From a College Student Perspective: Interview with Gregory John Pence
Gregory John Pence is a junior at Dartmouth College majoring in government with an emphasis on international relations. Gregory was the editor of the St. Paul's School Horae Scholasticae—the student arts/literature magazine—and the graphic editor/cartoonist for the school newspaper, the Pelican. Now a cartoonist for the Dartmouth and Union Leader, he aspires to save the comic strip from extinction. His strip, "Looking Up," is available at www.thedartmouth.com.
MO: Gregory, tell us about the "Manga Revolution."
GJP: No doubt Westerners co-opted conventions of manga prior to 9-11. Frank Miller's groundbreaking 1986 graphic novel Ronin drew upon the Japanese concept of samurai and transplanted it in a postapocalyptic Manhattan setting. However, American influence is currently working its ways into the Japanese creative community with even greater zeal, and the Japanese, in turn, are exerting greater influence—consciously or...