Since coming to Japan, the manga style that may have influenced me the most is 4Koma Manga (yon-koma: 4 panel). I was first introduced to this style by reading Azumanga Daiyo while living in the US. Back then it reminded me of newspaper comic strips but with a little more continuity.
When I moved to Japan I saw a lot more examples of 4Koma such as Sazae-san, OL, and even random bits scattered throughout Shonen Jump and Gangan magazines. After doing a little research on this style I soon came across the expression “Kishoutenketsu” (起承転結) which simply translated means “Setup (ki), Development (shou), Climax (ten)*, Conclusion (ketsu).” In that order, they represent the four panels of a 4koma manga.
*could also be thought of as “Turning Point”
It is said to originally derive from the four-line Chinese poetry composition. The same structure can be found in Chinese and Japanese short narratives and is used as a structure for arguments and essays. There is no documentation on this, but I believe it also to be a common structure in Japanese cinema as well (compared to the western world’s 3 act structure).
So I tried my hand at making a few and found it a really enjoyable exercise. For me, it was like a comic version of the Haiku. Of course, after discussing this structure with some comic buddies it was criticized as being archaic and, with the inovation of webcomics as well as the infinite canvas, silly to work within such limitations.
Well, I come from the school of learning to make a short before attempting the feature (yet another philosophy where I’ve ended up in arguments). It’s not easy to tell a joke in 4 panels. Working within such limitations is fun and challenging. I feel that without practicing structure, larger works would just fall flat.
Anyway, the linked PDF is a collection of my 4Koma Manga which are all based on random experiences in life. All of these happen to take place in Japan because that’s where I’ve been for the past five years and counting. Some of them are good, some are not. It’s something I’d like to keep working on.
Many of these were published in the Mie JET newsletter, GenkiFace, and in my school paper. Some I decided not to publish because of controversial themes or for personal reasons. I’m sure you might be able to identify them…
They are ment to be read from top to bottom, left to right (not the Japanese way of reading). For the comics that have (my poor) Japanese in them, I’ve written a quick translation at the bottom of the page.
It’s been a while since I’ve made a 4Koma Manga, but hopefully after moving to my new apartment (or some really motivating feedback) I’ll pick up the habit of doing them regularly again.
If you have any questions, complaints, remarks, or compliments please don’t hesitate to post a comment below 🙂
This comic is something I’ve been working on for a while. Not that it’s going to look amazing because I’ve been committing time to it, it’s more like I (mostly) finished the pencils and was scared away by the inking phase ヽ(￣д￣;)ノ=3=3=3
However, I did have the attention span to ink the cover (Yay)! It’s no way near complete yet, but I figure I’d post a WIP.
This bit might be colored, but I still have to decide how I want to produce this comic. Might just be web-based but wouldn’t mind printing out some mini-comics (for Rie in particular). Whichever, the inside contents will most likely just be b&w.
The whole comic is 10 pages + cover, so it should be a nice little comic eventually. When I get all moved and a new desk set up, this will be one of the comics I’ll try to (finally) finish.
So, to any comic creators out there, do you ever have difficulties finishing the production of your comic? Is there a certain part that gives you the most trouble? How do you ink your comics and how quickly can you finish them?
Hope to hear some responses! None the less, I’ll finish this one soon so stay tuned!!
See ya next time!
At the end of last year, a good friend commissioned me to make some banners for the 2011 Best Japanese Albums/Songs list on his website makebelievemelodies.com. Pretty fun job and I’m satisfied with the results. Haven’t posted them online until recently for some reason. Click on the banners if you’d like to check out his list!
Some fun trivia: Patrick (the owner of MakeBelieveMelodies.com) is in both of the pictures. See if you can find him 🙂
So if you didn’t know, I’ve been playing a lot of Dungeons & Dragons lately. I’ve also had my first real experience being a GM and it’s something I really enjoy and must get better at.
Before I went home for the winter holiday, I told my co-worker that I was kinda wanting to play D&D again. He said he’d be up for it. After the holiday vacation I came back with some core books and, with a group of colleagues, started playing every week or two. The campaign has had its ups and downs but everyone has been enjoying it for the most part.
Doing this has reminded me how much I really enjoyed playing RPGs as a kid and has gotten me a little hooked (obsessive) again. It started with D&D but I’ve been really curious to check out other systems and settings. As long as I’m careful not to buy too much, this has been a great exercise in creativity and has gotten me doodling more often.
Well that’s all for now. About to move new apartment in Osaka soon but I’ll keep the “Tangent Tuesday” posts one way or another. Need to get ready for another D&D game now~~
An oldie but still fun. Have yet to post this comic online.
Originally printed in GenkiFace 4 and A.C.Galaga’s Tangents Of Insanity 1, this is a short snippet from an un-produced script I wrote for the BLARG! Universe. I intend to soon re-work the rough draft and produce it one way or another. I’d love to do a motion picture version, but might just do a comic instead. Or both!
So this post represents two new trends for my site. First, the beginning steps in attempts to better the site I’m trying out uploading my comics as .pdf files. However, can’t seem to get the file size down, so if you have any suggestions, comment away!! Also, let me know if you think there’s a better way to view the comics (I think the pdf is good for tablets and smartphones).
The second thing is, please keep me to this routine by bugging me on my FB page or G+ page, but this is the first post of Tangent Tuesdays! I’d like to keep up the habit of weekly updates every Tuesday. Stay tuned!!
My friends Hiro and Kanna really enjoyed seeing my art when I came to visit around the beginning of the year and asked if I could draw them a “Welcome Board” for their wedding reception.
It was an incredibly beautiful wedding and I’m glad that I could be a part of it.
Haven’t posted in a while although I have been drawing. Really must get back into the knack of posting on my blog.
Here’s a commission piece for my friend Patrick’s music blog, Make Believe Melodies.
If you’re not familiar, this is a zombie rendition of the Japanese pop sensation, AKB48.
A short rant by a girl and boy who’ve yet to have any real experience eating ramen.
This is my second comic done entirely in ballpoint pen. It was a little difficult, but I really do like the look 🙂
This was my entry for “round 1” of an ongoing project my friend David Piper and I are doing tentatively titled “Mix Tape” or “Five Track Mind.” I’ll explain more about that challenge/project later.
So I listened to the five tracks David sent and it took me about a month to produce these 5 pages. Need to speed that up a bit 😉
If you can get your hands on the music, please listen to it while you read as if it’s a soundtrack to the comic.
Keep an eye out for a “making of” discussion next week!