Daku certainly disagrees with me on this point, but it’s no secret around here that I am not the biggest fan of non-Japanese artists creating comics in the manga style. Despite that, I’d like to point to a manga style comic created by a non-Japanese artist that I really, really like. Weird, huh?
Everyone should check out ‘How to Loathe Drawing Manga Style‘ by Robert DeJesus. This extremely clever strip is a semi-auto-biographical comic about the artist’s own ambitions of becoming a professional cartoonist. The strip is just getting started, but already it shows some huge potential.
Robert does draw manga style and he does it well, but the storyline parodies that fact to great effect. One particularly inspired panel depicts a Japanese artist interviewing for a position at a Japanese studio proclaiming how well he can draw American style superhero comics and getting promptly rejected. That image had me laughing out loud in my office. Brilliant.
Robert has started an FAQ page and I have to disagree with something written there. The comments he makes about learning manga can be applied to learning how to become an artist in general. Picking up a style in particular, however, does take some amount of study and/or tutelage of the style itself. Just my two cents.
Manga’s popularity is undeniably big and growing. However, the proliferation of manga styled comics has many wondering if the style is over done and debates on it’s use can be found across the comi-sphere. So, considering the current air of debate Robert’s writing and experiences are very topical and I think can really strike a chord with everyone who reads web comics. Keep an eye on this one, if Robert keeps it up this comic it could be big.