I forgot how hard it is starting a new comic book series. I’m going to have to put Dragons Amulet on hold again, the ideas are just not panning out smoothly. I love creating manga, but it’s extremely difficult and time consuming to create. Here’s what I do to create a manga:
1) I do research by choosing an era and study the clothing, customs, weapons, military and mythology…
2) Then I buy several books in order to get inspiration, to learn and depict the series to be culturally accurate.
3) I use my “elemental character chart” which is a special system I use to create base characters, which I tweak them around into more unique characters later on by basing them on real people.
4) Once I have the main cast, I design the character concepts designs.
5) Next I choose the “flavor” of my story, such as; adventure, fantasy, comedy, action, drama…etc. and the targeted audience (niche and age group).
6) I start writing the backdrop of the story by creating an entire world for the series: the environment, culture, government, folklore and I also draw a map to give an idea of what the world looks like in the story.
7) Then I work on a script for the pilot chapter by writing the dialogue, scenes and panel cuts (which have to be exact). At this stage, the script is edited and reviewed by Zoraida & Aaron.
8) After the script is completed, I start sketching the manga with pencils according to the script.
9) If I’m happy with the result, I redraw the entire chapter again using special manga pens, Japanese sumi-e brush, stencils, rulers and a light box.
10) Each page is scanned into Adobe Photoshop, edited, add screentones if it’s going to be in B&W. If it’s going to be in color, I use my mouse and color the characters, insert my nature photos and use them as part of the textures in the background and foreground. I edit my photos using various effects.
11) After the illustrations are completed, I insert dialogue bubbles and text, which is edited again.
12) Once I’m happy with the result, I downsize my manga and insert my copyright watermarks ready for web. Then the most difficult part of all, is promoting it… I post my manga everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, Weebly, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Artfire and putting my business cards on cork boards in stores (hoping someone may check it out).
Time it takes for me to complete an entire 16-20 page chapter is about 4-6 months. It’s fun and challenging, but can be stressful, trying to gain a “fan base”, doing all the work and to get exposure. Creating manga is time consuming and a huge amount of work, but I still enjoy it! I’d enjoy it even more if it had more interaction and fans of my series though… All I can do is keep at it and maybe someday the right person will help market it for me and will someday become an anime! *_*
Map of the world of Ronin Yoshino, my original manga (comic) book series. http://roninyoshino.com
Check out my video on the different steps of a Ronin Yoshino illustration here: