We all love manga. There are a lot of reasons why someone may like reading manga, such as intricately detailed drawings, storyline, the art style, etc. The reasons never end. Have you ever wondered about the process of making a manga or the history of how it came to be in the first place? Well, at some point we all have. So,let’s take a look.
The History of Manga
Before we take a look at the process, let’s know some of the history behind manga. It is said to have originated from scrolls dating back into the 12th century known as ‘Chōjū-giga’, and it is believed they represent the basis for the right-to-left reading style.
‘Manga’ is a style of Japanese comics and graphic novels, the concept of manga came to be in the Edo period (1603-1867) by a book of drawings named Toba Ehon. The term manga then came to be in 1798 to describe the picture book ‘Shiji No Yukikai’ by Santo Kyoden. It wasn’t till 1814 when a real manga was produced. ‘Hokusai’ manga books of drawings by the famous ‘Ukiyo-e’ artist Katsushika Hokusai (Creator of The Great Wave) are considered as the first few examples of manga in comic history.
(Ukiyo-e: genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings.)
Historians believe that the modern manga we know today is influenced by the ‘Meiji period’ and WWII, when the US occupied Japan from around 1945 to 1952. During this time, Americans brought cartoons and comics like Mickey Mouse to Japan. This actually inspired the people and sparked the flow of art and creativity to be a mangaka. It was during this time the first ever successful mangaka named Osamu Tezuka came about, which some of us may know. (Osamu is considered as the ‘Godfather of Manga’. Some believe that it’s thanks to him that manga and anime got this popular.)
Some of his famous works include Astro Boy, Dororo, Black Jack, Phoenix, etc,.
Then, between 1950 to 1969, increasingly large audiences emerged for manga. During this period ‘Shōnen’ and ‘Shōjo’ genres of manga were really popular. After that, manga kept getting more and more popular. It is still a worldwide phenomena.
The story of the manga is very vital; some of us love manga because of the storyline itself more than the art. At this stage, the artist and the editor sit down and create a story. They plan through how the story will start and end (and other rough expressions of ideas). Then, the artist draws up a rough storyboard called the “name”. At this stage, the manga is really rough with just simple drawings and dialogues.
(A storyboard is a graphic organizer that consists of illustrations and images displayed in a sequence for pre-visualizing something, like a manga used by artists and writers)
The Comic Meeting and the Confirmation Sheet
A meeting is held, usually 3 months before the manga is expected to be published. It’s attended by the editor in charge of the manga, a sales team representative and a member of the Publication Planning Department. The editor presents his idea, a written proposal, and a detailed draft of what the manga might look like. They start talking about the strategy and all the other things that makes a manga good and successful.
After the meeting, a document (Confirmation sheet) is given to the upper management. It consists of the details about the author, cost, price, selling price, audience targeted and other important details. This sheet is usually shown to the managers, directors and the company president. Once the approval is done the manga can be made.
The Making of the Book
Finally, after getting all the approvals that are required, the book can be made! Now the work gets serious, things like construction of the plot and proper planning of the storyline. Character development and all the other things that make a manga good, all of them are worked on seriously. The artist can carry out research interviews at this stage (Depends on the type of the manga). This is usually the stage the artist can get stuck in due to the amount of work they have to do. But no worries! The editor is the perfect person to turn to for help. The editor offers plenty of advice and assistance to the artist, helping to contribute to the overall success of the manga.
After everything is done, the book can finally be published. First, they gather all the ‘data’ of the manga in question which means taking the data from all the comics that were published in the magazine, and creating a ‘draft’ for the book. The submitted draft is printed on a proof sheet and then checked by the artist and editor. If there is something to add or something to be corrected then it’s written on it, and then it’s once again sent to the printers.
While that is being made, The following are made for the manga:
The cover: The cover page is really important, we all love the cover pages don’t we? It is something I really find appealing.
The Wraparound: The wraparound is a thin paper that goes around the cover, it should contain a summary (of the contents) and a reason to buy the book.
The Jacket: It covers the whole manga, it usually is considered as the face of the manga!
The Frontispiece (optional): This is the illustration on the very first page.
These are very important, because most people judge the book based on the appearance so they are usually very detailed and colored properly. With a final check through, the books are sent to the stores and can finally be enjoyed by the audience.
According to https://www.comparably.com/ :The salaries of manga Artists in the US range from $12,521 to $339,998, with a median salary of $61,039. The middle 57% of manga Artists makes between $61,043 and $153,505, with the top 86% making $339,998.
The richest mangakas and their net worth:
1. Eiichiro Oda: $200 million
2.Akira Toriyama: $50 million
3.Gosho Aoyama: $50 million
4.Hajime Isayama: $45 million
5.Yoshihiro Togashi: $25 million
This article was really fun to write, the process is really regimented. It is something that makes me love manga even more. The mangakas are really hard-working, they don’t let us down by giving us an experience that is hard to forget. Mangakas are really inspiring for aspiring artists! Their artworks are on a really high level (Most of them are highly experienced at drawing). So that was it for the article, thanks for reading it!