Monday, January 21, 2019

Monday, January 7, 2019

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year 2019

2017 was a busy year for me as I was selling my comic books, chasing back some payments and giving free public talks almost every month. Then came making of my 4th book in 2018 that I had high hopes for as it will be first time my book will be sold in the US and Japanese bookstores. I was stressed at finishing the book on time so I can take on other projects for income. Unfortunately, my friend who was doing my accounts billed me an exorbitant price without doing a good job and caused me much stress financially. Obviously, we are no longer friends.

So after I was done with the manuscript, I took in many projects and worked almost everyday. Everything seemed fine until my new editor came back in Sep with many changes to the book. My previous editor had ignored the rough sketches I sent in, so I thought everything was ok even though they weren’t. It became more time consuming to make changes to a finished manuscript than fixing it from the start. But there was no choice as I wanted the book to sell well so I did all the changes my new editor requested.

But after more than 3 months of constant editing and working on my commissioned work at the same time, I strained my upper back. It has affected my shoulders, arms, neck and head. I have vertigo when lying down and there is numbness in my fingers. I am undergoing traditional Chinese medicine treatment now, which may take some months, and I am cutting down on my drawing hours. My hope is that my new book which will be released in 2019 (don’t know when yet) will sell a lot so my injury is worth it. Hopefully 2019 will be a year when our hard work paid off. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Comics: Artist and non-Artist Life

A series of 4 comic strips comparing life of a non-artist and an artist!


 You might find this one familiar from my third book!

 This one is true story when I was moving house in US while I was studying at an art university.

This free nude drawing session never happened though...

Monday, December 10, 2018

Comics: Women's Mystery

There is always a shortage of clothes no matter how much we already bought...

Monday, December 3, 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Interview with editor of ONE PIECE, Mr. Kohei Onishi

I had a rare opportunity to interview Mr. Kohei Onishi 大西 恒平, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Shueisha Weekly Shonen Jump during the preview of the "Hello, ONE PIECE" exhibition. He is the 5th editor in charge of ONE PIECE since 2007 and has also worked as an editor before for various popular Shonen Jump titles like Gintama, Naruto, Death Note and Hikaru no Go.
(Photo from right: Mr. Onishi, my assistant, me)

The interview was originally conducted in Japanese with a translator.

Q1: Besides Malaysia and Singapore, will you be having the exhibition at other countries after this?
The exhibition will also be held in 6 cities in China, including Chengdu and Shenzhen.

Q2: What is the key to running a long series like One Piece?
Initially Oda-sensei was only planning to run the series for 10 years, but now it is already running for over 20 years. Shōnen Jump has a 20-page deadline every week so it is extremely tedious for the artist to keep up, especially for 20 years! Therefore to achieve such a long running series, Oda-sensei must work throughout the nights and that is only possible by having a strong passion of what he wants to draw.

(We are amazed! 😮💦)

Q3: Do the editors affect the storyline too? To what extent is the influence?
The major outline and the small details in the weekly stories are all written by Oda-sensei. The editor is more like an advisor, such as when Oda-sensei wants to introduce a new character, I will advise if that is a good time or not. There is a meeting with Oda-sensei every week to discuss about the story or new character and the longest conversation we ever had was 12 hours long! But usually it’s just 4 hours.

Q4: Do you also include discussion about the anime as well?
Yes, we will also discuss about the animation and movie contents. When Oda-sensei has opinions, he will let me know and I will relay them to the production companies.

Q5: For foreigners outside of Japan, what would it take to be able to get published in JUMP? Or become an assistant to your artists like Oda-sensei? 😬
JUMP has an award for the work submitted to the publisher and there is an increasing number of entries from foreigners. In fact, there is a Korean artist serialising with us now. As for becoming an assistant, of course he/she must come to Japan and reside in Japan first, as well as able to speak Japanese because he/she would have to work closely with the artist. Needless to say, the applicant must be very good at drawing pictures.

Q6: How do they apply as assistants, do they submit their work to the publisher first?
Yes, they have to apply to the publisher and Oda-sensei will check if the work is good enough. Then Oda-sensei will provide a sample and ask the applicant to draw this kind of picture as a test.

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And that is all for the interview!

I hope my readers learnt more about the making of a successful manga series such as ONE PIECE and the important role of comic editors. Be sure to check out the exhibition and my previous blog entry about it!

"Hello, ONE PIECE"exhibition
The Maritime Experiential Museum (RWS)
Now till 1 Jan 2019
Ticket price: $15 (includes entry to museum)
To purchase online: https://www.rwsentosa.com/en/shows-and-events/hello-one-piece-exhibition

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Hello, ONE PIECE exhibition at RWS till 1Jan 2019

I had the privilege to attend a preview of "Eiichiro Oda presents Hello, ONE PIECE Luffy is here!" exhibition at The Maritime Experiential Museum in Resorts World Sentosa. The exhibition runs from now till 1 Jan 2019 and costs $15, which also includes entry into the museum.

The exhibition is divided into 4 parts:

1. Hello, ONE PIECE!
The exhibition starts off with a greeting and overview of ONE PIECE to visitors. You can also spot an animated projection of Luffy, where the I is located (above my head), from time to time.

There is also a photo-taking spot to fulfil your temporary dream of becoming the King of Pirates!!! (Yes you are supposed to raise both hands like Luffy!😂)

2. Hello, Luffy!
Part 2 showcases the five keywords that defines Luffy through the manga pages.

Some original manuscripts can be seen too.

3. Hello, Colourful World!
Next is the coloured illustration section with high resolution reproductions of the originals, as well as a video showing how he coloured his artwork.

It also features a replica of his drawing desk. On the desk are his art materials, sketches, decorations, references, as well as his secret manuals that he uses to document all of his ONE PIECE characters and skills. It is like a guidebook for himself as the ONE PIECE world is very big.

4. Hello, Playful World!
This is a VR experience zone where you can get into the mind of Oda-sensei drawing using the SketchUp software. It costs an additional $8 and lasts for 3-5min.

And yes, fans can spot the hidden pandas at each booth too!

As fans of ONE PIECE, my assistant and I really enjoyed the exhibition and left the place in awe. We were not only impressed by the artwork, but also Oda-sensei's passion to create such a big universe and long-running series with new characters all the time.

Next, I will be featuring an exclusive interview with Mr. Kohei Onishi, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Shueisha Weekly Shonen Jump. He is the 5th editor in charge of ONE PIECE since 2007. If you are interested to know more about the making of this famous manga series, please come back to my blog again tomorrow! 😁

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday, November 5, 2018

Comics: The Challenge

I recently ate a couple of hotpot lunch with my yoga inc friends and wow I'm amazed how much food we could stuff. I think doing yoga helps stretch the stomach too...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018

Comics: The Great Scare

I think this is the scariest thing for the modern man.

Idea: Ali from my Patreon

Monday, October 22, 2018

Comics: Facing Work

When I suddenly have a lot of work in hand, this will happen... how about you? 😅

Monday, October 15, 2018

Comics: How Are You?

One thing that surprised me when I first went to US was everybody liked to ask "How are you?". Even when you are not fine, you have to say you're fine, because otherwise there would be an awkward silence and you would have to explain why you were not fine...

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Takashimaya Japan Food Matsuri in Singapore

Ok I'm back blogging again! Woho~ (Because I finished some projects and editing my new book) This time I visited the Japan Food Matsuri (matsuri means festival) at Takashimaya basement 2 hall to check out what they brought in from Japan 👊 The fair runs from 28 Sep to 14 Oct.

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