Updated: Dec 12, 2022
What Is Manga?
Japanese manga. What is it and why does AW and Artzenin avoid making it for the SFTG series? Let's start with the word and define it first. Manga originates from Japan, an Eastern culture. Manga is a term that is usually used to refer to comic books, cartooning and graphic novels that were originally produced and published in Japan. Most manga was developed in Japan in the late 19th century and the form has a long prehistory in earlier Japanese art. Unlike American comic books, which are typically printed in full color, Japanese manga are normally published in black and white.
Now that you know what manga is and where it started, let us explain why AW and Artzenin do not want to invest into producing professional manga. There are 6 steps to creating a professional manga. Some styles have been updated, but the overall set up is the same.
1. Chose A Theme
Before anything is created or inked, the theme or storyline is chosen. What is the theme of the storyline? What is the genre? Who is the targeted audience and why? What is the manga's message and how does it articulate that message to the reader? All these things have to be done first before the drawing takes place.
2. The Plot
If the artist/team decides on an idea for the manga, then they move on to the plot. This step is very important. People who are over the production, such as the artist or a team leader, must ensure that the manga does not go outside of the theme selected and keep the story flow smooth. When main events and the story flow is made the outline would look like this:
Birth Of A Ruler
Takashi is a royal baby, but was mysteriously kidnapped 1 week after his birth.
Takaishi was taken by the Queen's evil brother, who raises Takashi to be his heir and he grooms him to hate the Royal Family.
Takashi learns how to master the sword and bow and grows up into a handsome, striking young man, still unaware of what his uncle did and he still has no clue he is the missing child, destined to become the new king of Avalon.
Takashi Meets His Parents
Takashi is riding his horse and sees a broken down carriage on the road. He approaches it and sees there is a woman and man inside, trapped.
Takashi gets them out and upon seeing his face, there is a noticeable birthmark on the side of his neck. His mother informs him that he is in fact, her son and begs him to return to the castle to prove to Takashi he is their son.
Takashi goes with his parents, learns the truth and has a moment trauma. He was training to murder the people his uncle told him were evil and were not the true leaders of Avalon. Takashi must comes to terms about his life and that his uncle is the real enemy.
Takashi & Uncle Fight
Upon learning the truth, Takashi rallies the soldiers together and they depart from Avalon Castle to go find, capture and detain the uncle.
Takashi confronts his uncle and they fight to the death, for the uncle refused to go quietly and turn himself in.
Takashi is wounded badly, but he defeats his uncle, who dies. He returns to Avalon castle with his uncle's head in a sack and presents it to his parents.
Takashi is crowned king years later when his father and mother retire from the throne and he continues to legacy his parents started.
As you can see, the example plot is a very simple and short, but a plot for a professional manga is much longer and will have more information. Basically, details and specific things that take place during the plot. longer and contains much more information.
3. Character Design
When the storyline and plot are finished and set, character design is next. The artist/team start sketching different poses, expressions and angles of the characters as well as animal companions. Note taking of a character is involved during this phase, such as their height, size, expressions, fears, strengths, their weaknesses, etc. All important information about characters is written down as well. Next up is clothes for the characters. Clothing design is to help the reader identify social status, personality among other things that will carry that throughout the entire storyline.
Now is the time to start producing pages. The beginning of a storyboard is not clean or detailed. You just draw rough sketches on a paper to get a idea of how it will look. Then, you draw everything on the actual paper. First you start with the panels using a ruler and the panels get filled with the characters, speech bubbles and a background, which serves as the location or place of interest. Durning this phase you do not focus on drawing clean. That will come later. The borderline or the bleed is the small frame at the outside of the paper you sketch on. It is needed for the print you should not draw on it.
Inking is not easy. This is actually very hard and vexing for the artist/team. If a mistake is made, guess what? The artist/team will have to throw the page out and redo it. There is a pen that is used during this process called a G-Pen. With a G-Pen the artist/team is able to control the size of the line by pressing it harder or softer down on the paper.
6. Computer Editing
After a page is inked it will be scanned and edited on a computer. The artist/team cleans the page up with a photo editing program, such as Adobe Photoshop, Manga Studio, etc. This is normally done with a tablet. When the page is clean, patterns are added and those patterns are added for shadows and explosions in the panels of the manga. The pattern could be anything the artist/team wants. It is true that in today's generation manga is drawn on computers without a inking stage, but there are still artists use pencil sketching.
After the artist/team has completed all the panel pages then they send the manga off to a publisher and have the manga printed and produced. Some notable companies that publish manga are:
Zion Studio and Artzenin do not want the stress or the hassle of producing a professional manga series. A, Zion Studio and Artzenin do not have enough people skilled and certified in the craft of manga to make professional manga. In fact, Artzenin is the only person who understands manga and the way of it, Zion Studio does not have a single person who is on her level. B, despite knowing how to produce professional manga, Artzenin is too busy and sickly to put herself in a stressful situation like that. Honestly, Artzenin prefers creating illustrations for characters and a few scenes here and there. It is effective and gives her readers the visuals they need to have when it comes down to characters.
In the future, everyone in the organization desires for Yahweh to send us manga artists and more people to fill these responsibilities, but until that happens, Zion Studio and Artzenin will nicely keep doing what they are doing, which is creating illustrations of characters and not professional manga which would include backgrounds, shading, inking and a lot of computer editing that neither party is willing to commit to at this time.
Blog post written by AW
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