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Mangaka (漫画家?) is the Japanese word for a comic artist or cartoonist. Outside of Japan, manga usually refers to a Japanese comic book and mangaka refers to the author of the manga, who is usually Japanese. As of 2006, about 3000 professional mangaka were working in Japan.[1]

Most mangaka study at an art college, manga school, or take on an apprenticeship with another artist before entering the industry as a primary creator. More rarely a mangaka breaks into the industry directly, without previously being an assistant. For example, Naoko Takeuchi, author of Sailor Moon, won a contest sponsored by Kodansha, and manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka was first published while studying an unrelated degree, without ever working as an assistant.

A mangaka will rise to prominence through recognition of their ability when they spark the interest of institutions, individuals or a demographic of manga consumers. For example, there are contests which prospective mangaka may enter, sponsored by manga editors and publishers. They are also recognized for the number of manga they run at one time.[2]

Etymology[edit]

The word can be broken down into two parts: manga (漫画?) and ka (?).

The manga corresponds to the medium of art the artist uses: comics, or Japanese comics, depending on how the term is used inside or outside of Japan.

The -ka (家) suffix implies a degree of expertise and traditional authorship. For example, this term would not be applied to a writer creating a story which is then handed over to a manga artist for drawing. The Japanese term for such a writer of comics is gensakusha (原作者?).

In a 2010 message from, at the time Japan Cartoonists Association (ja) chairman, Takashi Yanase it says: "[w]hile Japan is often said to be world’s cartoon kingdom, not a few people will surely be wondering what exactly the Japanese mean by the term "cartoon". Unfortunately, there is no hard- and- fast definition that I can offer, since the members of this association lay claim to an extensive variety of works."[3]

Relationship to other staff[edit]

While Japan does have a thriving independent comic market for amateur and semi-professional artists, creating manga professionally is rarely a solo effort. Mangaka must work with an assortment of others to get their work completed, published, and into the hands of readers.

Editor[edit]

Most professionally published mangaka work with an editor, who is considered the boss of the mangaka and supervises series production. The editor gives advice on the layout and art of the manga, vets the story direction and pace, ensures that deadlines are met, and generally makes sure that the manga stays up to company standards. An example of this is Akira Toriyama and his former editor Kazuhiko Torishima. The editor may also function as a brand manager and publicist for a series. When a manga is the basis for a media franchise, the editor may also supervise the designs for licensed merchandise, anime adaptations, and similar products, though this duty may also fall to the mangaka or an agent.

Writer[edit]

A mangaka may both write and illustrate a series of their own creation, or may work in collaboration with an author. The mangaka typically has a strong influence on dialog even when paired with a writer, as any conversation must fit within the physical constraints imposed by the art. Takeshi Obata of Death Note, Tetsuo Hara of Fist of the North Star, and Ryoichi Ikegami of Sanctuary are all successful mangaka who have worked with writers through the majority of their careers.

Assistants[edit]

Most mangaka have assistants who help them complete their work in a clean and timely manner. The duties of assistants vary widely, as the term incorporates all people working for a mangaka's art studio, but is most commonly used to refer to secondary artists. The number of assistant artists also varies widely between mangaka, but is typically at least three. Other mangaka instead form collaborative groups known as "circles" but do not use additional assistants, such as the creative team CLAMP. A few mangaka have no assistants at all, and prefer to do everything themselves, but this is considered exceptional.

Assistants are commonly used for inking, lettering, and shading, though the predominance of black and white art in manga means that unlike in the western comic industry, a studio rarely employs a colorist. Some mangaka only do the sketchwork for their art, and have their numerous assistants fill in all of the details, but it is more common for assistants to deal with background and cameo art, leaving the mangaka to focus on drawing and inking the characters. Assistants may also be employed to perform specialized artistic tasks. Go Nagai, for instance, at one time employed a specialist to draw helicopters and other military vehicles,[2] Kaoru Mori employed a historical consultant for Emma, and series that incorporate photorealistic architecture, animals, computer-rendered imagery, or other technically demanding effects may employ or contract separate artists trained in those techniques. Assistants almost never help the mangaka with the plot of their manga, beyond being a sounding board for ideas. A mangaka's assistants will be listed in the credits for a manga tankōbon, and short interviews with or illustrations by assistant artists are a common form of bonus material in these collections, but they do not receive individual credits in magazine publication.

Most mangaka started out as assistants, such as Miwa Ueda to Naoko Takeuchi, Leiji Matsumoto to Osamu Tezuka, and Kaoru Shintani to Leiji Matsumoto. It is also possible for an assistant to have an entire career as such without becoming an independent mangaka. Assistants, particularly specialists, may work with several different mangaka at the same time, and many assistants also self-publish works of their own in the dōjinshi scene.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McCarthy, Helen (2006). "Manga: A Brief History". 500 Manga Heroes & Villains. Hauppauge, New York, USA: Chrysalis Book Group. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7641-3201-8. 
  2. ^ a b Schodt, Frederik L.: Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics, Kodansha International, August 18, 1997, ISBN 0-87011-752-1
  3. ^ "Message from the chairman". Archived from the original on December 26, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangaka — Please support Wikipedia.
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25082 news items

Softpedia News (blog)

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Thu, 28 May 2015 19:37:30 -0700

Animesoft International, the developers of the Mangaka Project, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed primarily for fans of Japanese anime and manga, have announced a new Alpha release of the next major version of the distro. Mangaka Nyu Alpha ...

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Sun, 24 May 2015 16:03:45 -0700

Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics is a game funding on Kickstarter right now that makes drawing and sharing comics with your friends a real joy and a hilarious competition. Through equally fast rounds of drawing you create longer and ...

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Wed, 27 May 2015 07:26:15 -0700

A 52 ans, ce mangaka friand de formats courts « sinon l'horreur se dilue et perd de son efficacité » a déjà fait frissonner des millions de lecteurs et plusieurs de ses histoires ont été adaptées au cinéma. L'homme qui, à leur demande, a « diabolisé ...

io9

io9
Fri, 15 May 2015 15:21:17 -0700

If you're looking for cartooning inspiration, or just like making goofy comics, you'll want to gather your friends and try Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics. There's a crowdfunding campaign currently running for the game, and we got a ...

Kankakee Daily Journal

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Thu, 28 May 2015 21:30:00 -0700

Members of the American Mangaka group also will be on hand to draw caricatures of people in their unique Manga and Anime style. Festival-goers can enjoy entertainment at four venues – the Civic Auditorium's porch and stage, the museum and the porch of ...

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Mon, 18 May 2015 01:15:00 -0700

Éditeur : acteur majeur dans le monde du manga, il produit et diffuse le travail des mangaka, d'abord dans un magazine (cf prépublication) puis en relié en librairie. En France, les maisons d'édition achètent des droits de diffusion auprès des éditeurs ...
 
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Thu, 28 May 2015 07:01:12 -0700

... trod some unusual ground in terms of female-oriented fanservice and over the top kookiness, this set is much more grounded in the standards of otaku comedy, devoting half-episodes to a discussion of the panty fetish, breasts, and a mangaka's deadlines.
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