Thursday, November 1, 2012

Manga Talk

Yesterday, I was supposed to have 3 classes in 7 AM, 10 AM, and 2 PM. However, the classes in 7 AM and 2 PM was cancelled. So I went to campus just for attending the class in 10 AM. In the mid of the journey, a friend asked me whether the class was cancelled or not. After asking another friend, then I knew that the 10 AM class was also cancelled. No need to go to Unpar anymore. My mother asked me to get some money from ATM, so I had to go to Istana Plaza at least. It was rather clumsy If I just turned back to Istana Plaza, got money then went home. So before going there I decided to go to Acolyte (wasn't sure about this name, they might have changed the name, I didn't know) in Rajiman 23, a place to learn about manga, Japanese language, and also a place to buy manga tools. I intended to buy some manga tools to try at home.

All items I intended to buy cost about 86,000 IDR. Then another man came into the room, told me that in November and December they had a promotion and discount for the price. So if I bought them yesterday, that meant I bought just a day before the discount was valid! I smiled and asked to be able to get the discount that day and he agreed. The funny thing is then he told me again that in January they would have a bigger discount. So I said I would go back there in January to buy those stuffs and he agreed. I don't know whether that was a way to market products or they are just not marketing people... Neither am I, so I don't know.

Things I love every time I went there (I have gone there 4 times) is that I had a chance to try their manga tools and asked the function in detail, and especially, they told me various things about manga world. There were 2 men (teacher and professional I think) and young teenage boy and girl (seemed like both of them were student).

The men told me about the life of professional mangaka and how they started the career. They said, in Japan, manga is a kind of culture, and there is a university which has the faculty of manga. Manga world there is acclaimed, and business about it is run seriously. They suggested me to read Bakuman to know how the real life of a mangaka is. I have downloaded some early chapters of them and read the first chapter but stopped because unfortunately, subjectively I don't really like the style of the artwork. But now, I think I should read it. It's a kind of tutorial and really worth to read I think.

Back about manga. Mangas there are not usually made by one person only, but by a studio, a group of people. The mangaka whose name is written on the cover is the leader, he/she is the one who make the concept of the story, design the characters, penciller, and inker. The others are his/her assistants, like backgrounder and toner. Some mangakas started their career by being an assistant of a mangaka. There he/she can learn the style of the mangaka they are working for.

In Japan, manga competitions for newcomers are often be held. The newcomers make the submissions usually alone, that's why newcomer's manga are usually short, yes, because they make it all by themself. If one can be the winner, the publisher gave him/her an editor. The editor is a person who knows what is liked by market. It's important, because it is a mass product and the market, the buyers of the manga, is the judge of the quality of the manga, whether it is liked or not. At first, a newcomer must obey what the editor said. It might happen when a newcomer mangaka has made pages of manga and when the editor saw it, the editor told him/her that the manga is bad and he/she has to make it over again. Those sleepless works are useless! Newcomer mangaka has to prepare him/herself to have that kind of lifestyle: live poorly, work hard, obey what editor tells him/her to do, have back pain, and have hardly any sleep.

However, if one has become a popular mangaka, the state is turned. The editor is the one who must obey what the mangaka wants. It happens to a famous mangaka like CLAMP. If the editor makes the famous mangaka upset, the mangaka can just leave the publisher and moves to another publisher who is willing to publish his/her manga. If one famous mangaka gets out and moves to another publisher, the former editor can be fired.

As an Architecture student, I see that the life of mangaka is not so different from architect's. We have no money, back pain, hardly any sleep to make a design. And it could be happen, those sleepless works becomes useless if the mentor tells us those works are bad and we have to re-design from the beginning. Happens very often, hehehe. The man in Acolyte told me that it wouldn't be shocking for me if I become a mangaka, because I am used to the lifestyle a mangaka has.

The people in Acolyte told me a lot more but I think it's enough for today. The last words I want to share is the way to learn how to draw a manga.

Personally, I have loved manga since I was little and I often imitated their drawings. Old manga and anime like Sailor Moon, Doraemon, Dragon Ball, Detective Conan, and Cardcaptor Sakura are the firsts I imitated when I was a little child. Not only imitating the artwork, I also made some doujins since I was a little child. Somehow, I thought what I did was a plagiarism, making a manga which is based by another manga which has been published by another mangaka. What am I? A plagiarist? The one who can just copy other people's work? This thoughts ruins me, but I can't stop, because I love it! I also feel that imitating professional's works can improve my own skill and build my own style. I also usually get idea after reading good mangas. Then yesterday, the man in Acolyte told me this:

Imitating is one's very natural way of learning. Remember as a little child we also learn basic knowledge like talking by imitating our parents.

What I did was not a plagiarism. I just made fanarts. He said, as long as our fanarts are not copied and sold to make money, we are allowed to imitate proffesional's works. Precisely, that's a way to learn. Professional mangakas we know today also learned by imitating their mangaka leader while they was working as his/her assistant.

In the way from Rajiman to Istana Plaza, there is a place which sells pets like cats and dogs. I saw many of them and they are all cute! Oh my, I can't stand their cuteness o(>_<,,)o Here is one of them, a puppy which was peacefully sleeping. I give it title: 'Sleep in Peace - The Puppy Sleeps Today' and posted it to my Instagram. (just to mention, I intend to make a parody of a Lion King's song: The Lion Sleeps Tonight) For now we can't take care for dogs, but someday I hope I can take care of cute dogs in my own home!

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