I have been reading a lot of manga lately, largely thanks to my YouTube channel. I haven’t really sat down and read manga in a long time, primarily because I’ve been distracted by so many other things. However, due to a mixture of wanting to actually produce YouTube videos about the subjects I spoke of focusing on (manga and novels by Japanese authors) and that my desktop’s keyboard is currently broken, I’ve been able to do so. Just today, I read through Blue Exorcists volume 1, Magi volume 1, and finished reading Unsophisticated and Rude. That’s about 2 and a half hours of manga reading. And I’m still reading more.
Reading so much manga recently has started to bring to surface some feelings I know I have, but ignore often — I want to draw manga.
To clarify, I don’t want to be a manga artist. Honestly, the lifestyle of a manga artist seems too…fast-paced for my taste and a lot of pressure. I don’t know how comic artists are in America, but if I understand from all the post-story content I’ve read, manga artists in Japan often have to do a chapter a week for the weekly magazines that come out…ick. That’s too fast.
I do want to draw manga though. I want to sit down, plot out a storyline, design characters, and put everything into a comic that people can read. I don’t even need it in a physical book (although, a physical book would be super nice). I just want to draw a story in a manga-format!
I usually get this feeling when I read manga about making manga (yes, they have those). I think I get that feeling from reading those not only because of the subject matter, but due to the excitement expressed in it. The situations and feelings involved are always intense and deep, which brings up the desire for me wanting to join the fun!
Occasionally though, just any old manga brings up the desire for me to draw manga. It doesn’t happen too often though, but it has today. Just reading all these exciting stories — I want to do something like that!
Immediately though, doubt sets in: my drawings aren’t that good, my backgrounds are terrible, I can’t really draw objects, I’m terrible with perspective, I’m not good at screentoning, and geez, just think about all the work and effort you gotta put into it!
Even if I brush off my “drawings not being good” (sometimes I read manga where the drawing skill level is probably just a bit above mine and I think, “hey, maybe I CAN do this”), I’m still left with all those other issues.
Issues that are really excuses.
Yes, I called my issues “excuses”.
It’s like I’m afraid of something if I draw manga. I don’t even know what I’m afraid of. Okay, sure, my backgrounds probably fall short of my imagination. Sure, I can’t draw objects that well. Sure, I’m terrible with perspective. And sure, I’m not good with screentoning.
But you know what?
Manga might just be the thing I need to improve on everything. It forces me to learn perspective. It forces me to learn how to draw backgrounds. It forces me to learn how to draw objects. It forces me to learn how to use screentone well.
I kind of wonder if I fear the effort I have to put into it.
It’s not like manga would be effortless for myself.
I would have to work to make it look good.
I think I also fear the amount of time it takes.
I have so many things I want to do and sometimes it’s so hard to pick and choose what to do. Do I sit down and read a book or do I go work on my website? Do I go play a video game or do I go work on Kelly’s Journey? Do I go hang out with a friend or do I go study Japanese? Even if I chose things that seem more productive to me (working on my website, writing Kelly’s Journey, or studying Japanese), I still have to chose between them!
Just the thought of adding another thing to list throws me into a black hole. I can’t tell you how many times I want to sew something, draw something, and write something, on top of the other things I do!
Heck, I’m crazy due to the fact I’m doing freaking YouTube videos right now.
Everything takes so much time.
I know manga would average the same amount of time as the rest of my artwork, per page.
Even knowing about how much time each page would take me, it’s also another matter of what story to do and how long I want it to go on for.
I want to make a nice, long story. Not something that goes on for 50 volumes, but maybe like 3 or 4. I want to tell a good story. At the same time though, I don’t want to put in the time or effort for that. I feel like I don’t even have the skill for that.
Since I don’t want to put the time or effort into a long story, then I would have to make a short story.
I have issues with making short stories though.
A lot of my ideas lately are really long…I’m sure I have shorter ones somewhere.
I’ll have to think about it…
Then what though? Do I draw them, even if I’m technically still on a drawing break (that I broke out of having a drawing bug one day)? Or do I let them simmer in the background until I’m ready to draw them?
Do I ignore my manga-drawing-desire until I finish all my other tasks to their most basic states (and by my “other tasks”, I mean my website because Kelly’s Journey and Japanese are such ongoing goals of mine; my website being in its most basic, finished state is arguably a lot faster).
You know, I kind of have to remind myself I have drawn comics before. Some of them are really fun too. If I did it before, I can do it again.
One of the earliest ones that I took note of was “Pokémon Catching”, which somehow managed to be 3 pages. I also began a playthrough comic of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, which actually shows that with effort, I can do backgrounds. (You can see a few pages here.)
I guess for now, I’ll let the ideas simmer while I figure out how to finish my goals for this year, what goals I have for next year, and just how much I want to get back to drawing, if at all…