Chinese artist draws entry into Japan manga

Posted: 04 March 2011 by reanxyz in Uncategorized

Chinese artist draws entry into Japan manga

Asian visitors look at Japanese comic books, manga, at the Osamu Tezuka manga artist booth at the 17th Tokyo International Book Fair in Tokyo, Japan. Picture: EPA
SHANGHAI
Thursday, March 3, 2011 – Page B12
LIU Chong, a Shanghai resident, has overcome stylistic differences and parental disapproval to realise his dream: publishing in a mainstream manga magazine in Japan, the home of manga comics.

Brought up on Japanese manga, like many Chinese of his generation, the 26-year-old who goes by the pen name of “L-Dart” made a name for himself in China before managing to cross the sea with his fantasy history graphic novel “Killin-ji,” which started running late last month in “Monthly Big Comic Spirits.” Amid some media warnings that his debut marks the start of Japanese manga being outsourced to China, L-Dart joins a competitive market that is estimated by some at 406 billion yen (US$3.6 billion) annually. “Now that my manga is going to be published in Japan, it is like showing off my (school) results slip to my parents,” L-Dart told Reuters in his Shanghai office.

“I can now tell them that I have come a long way in my profession and I have gained some achievement. Also, there is a lot of potential for my career.”

“Killin-ji” is based on the Chinese historical novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” but the drawings are strongly styled after Japanese manga. While it is uncommon for Chinese artists to be published regularly in a Japanese comic magazine, it is not completely unheard of. “Monthly Big Comic Spirits” is a newcomer, a spin-off from the more well-known weekly version, both published by Shogakkan. It already sells 26,000 copies a month and targets mostly 20 to 25-year-old males.

“Chinese people have written for Japanese manga magazines in the past, but what surprised me about him is how close his manga was to the grammar of Japanese manga,” said Takashi Hayakawa, editor of the “Big Comic Spirits” magazines.

Big Comic Spirits spent over a year with L-Dart, training him in the in-house style — a process that was not easy at first since much of it took place via email and through translations. But manga overcame all the problems.Reuters

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