I’ve decided to self-publish my own manga graphic novels.
It’s going to be a long, momentous effort and I will probably get to moments when I’ll be regretting those words (in the same way I did after saying, “I want to do an Honor’s Thesis!”) But I’ve given this some thought and it’s worth it for me to learn the ins-and-outs of publishing if I want to dive into comic business and stay in it for as long as I’d like.
Who am I exactly?
I’m an aspiring comic artist living in Los Angeles. I’ve been drawing comics since high school (Here’s that story in 24HR comic form!) Throughout college, it’s what I did on the side. I couldn’t afford to go to art school for reasons I could cover in another post but I was recently laid off from my first job post-graduation: a small internet start-up that buckled under the weight of this recession.
In the time since, I’ve assessed what I want out of my designated time on this planet and I think I want to keep telling stories through my art. While I had come to my love of the medium via animation, I’ve always felt like my ability and love for making comics is something special. It feels wrong not to keep working on it. So many artists, writers, stories have inspired me throughout the years, I want to do whatever it takes to “pay back” that debt. And perhaps, inspire future artists in my own little way.
Because this medium (not style) still holds so much promise.
Anime and manga were the gateway to my deeper appreciation of comics. Growing up as a shut-in kid Philippines, there was no other way to come across any other kinds of sequential art, save for my classmates. Even without understanding what I was reading (I had to look up translations online for the imported books I borrowed), I was hooked. I fell head over heels for the art styles, the hilarious expressions and relatable storylines.
Early this year, I had the strongest hopes to start my manga career, pinning the majority of this on getting picked by the editors at Yen Press, one of the few reputable manga publishers left soliciting original manga submissions. I was contacted as one of the finalists but they never followed through with providing feedback for the finalists. None of the finalists were guaranteed publication or contracts in the first place but so many like myself had strong hopes to start a career doing something they loved. I understand they are probably busy but the fact they did not give this undertaking some priority was disappointing.
I’ve decided if I want to see my work in print so badly, why not get it out there myself?
But Laur, you’ve been talking like this for years! What makes now any different?
Because now, I have a clearer idea of what I want. The first step to achieving any dream is always identifying clear and quantifiable goals. I’m hoping to share what I learn on this journey with, not just with aspiring manga and comic artists, but perhaps also for anyone interested in starting their own business.
I’m going to self-publish my own manga graphic novels.
I could use all the help and all the advice I can get!