What is Polterguys?
See About Polterguys.
Who are the creators?
Laurianne Uy (That’s me!) is a self-taught comic artist with a love for manga and the craft of storytelling. She is an art history major, enjoys well-written forms of entertainment that include TV drama, comics, movies and blogs about comics and creativity.
Nathan Go is a 2012 Emerging Voices fellow for PEN Center USA. He is a journalist and screenwriter by training and is currently writing a short story collection.
Together, their work on Final Track became a finalist for Yen Press Talent Search 2010. Polterguys Volume One is their first graphic novel.
Is Polterguys an OEL Manga?
I think I’m comfortable classifying Polterguys as one. It is a manga-inspired comic intended for an English-language reading audience and while some may argue furtively over the nuances, I understand people are drawn to neat categories.
I want to credit OEL Manga artists who inspired me to create my own stories – Svetlana Chmakova, Christy Lijewski, Nina Matsumoto and REM. Their work both online and in print have been instrumental in my growth as a sequential artist.
Why release Polterguys online?
I believe in webcomics. Faith Hicks’ Demonology 101, Dylan Meconis’ Bite Me, Jen Wang’s Strings of Fate back in the day were some of the first comics I read from female creators and they really opened my mind up to the possibilities of storytelling in visual art.
Strictly speaking though, I’m approaching Polterguys not as webcomic but as individual book releases. These are done with print in mind. I like working towards the goal of a printed body of work because it means I get to have breaks in between to hammer out the story arcs in each book. As much as I’d love to have uninterrupted updates like most webcomics, it just doesn’t fit with the way Nathan and I work on stories.
It is my hope that Polterguys finds an audience interested in purchasing the printed copy and/or tell ALL their comic-loving friends about it.
Why does Polterguys look so rough/rushed/unpolished?
Polterguys is a work-in-progress. I am open to feedback, criticism and corrections. I am learning my craft and appreciate any help you can provide to improve the way the pages end up. However, I make no guarantees about immediate execution or whether I’ll do them at all. It depends because I’m currently busy trying to get this book out in time.
This is my first time working on a major project on such a tight deadline. I’m making sacrifices when I can because to me getting it done is better than getting it perfect. For a one-woman operation (pencils, inking, toning, lettering), I’d say this is the sanest approach.
I fully acknowledge my skills as a draftsman are far from polished. Artists that have gone through sequential art programs probably have hours of technical work under their belt and webcomic artists have the leeway of working on fewer pages on a weekly basis. Because of the way I set this project up, I am working on all the pages all at once. I’m not making excuses for it but this is just the way things are.
Why self-publish Polterguys?
As you can already see, the art is a bit rough and the story is a bit tricky to peg down. I don’t consider Polterguys to be strictly in either shojo or shonen genres and I dislike the designation “slice-of-life” because it might imply nothing of significance is going on. The amount of manga publishers soliciting original material has dwindled in recent years and just try pitching “ghost reverse harem manga” to any of the creator-owned publishers out there – it’s just not as sexy a concept as superhero zombie robots.
So, I made a decision to market, produce and sell Polterguys with the full intention of learning about how the comic and publishing industry work. So far, I’ve learned a lot and feel I’m in a good position to tackle challenges that face me.
When will Polterguys be available in print?
I’m hoping I will have Volume One in my hands by June 29, 2012 which is the first day of Anime Expo. I’m still not sure if I should have a Kickstarter/IndiegoGo campaign for it yet because I would need a lot of preparation to stand a chance at a successful campaign. I know there are a lot of great creator-owned content getting funded recently but manga-inpired work is an entirely different proposal and I will need to bring my best game to the table. I will probably give an update how things are looking by the end of March.
What are your inspirations for Polterguys?
I loved good ghost stories when I was growing up in the 90s. For me, the best ones go beyond the scary stuff and leave us a lasting impression by making us reflect on the way we live our lives. Movies that inspired me include Ghost (1990), Heart & Souls (1993), and The Frighteners (1996).
Ouran High School Host Club and Fruits Basket are particularly heart-warming reverse harem anime that really appealed to my sensibilities. They both feature female protagonists that I sympathized with and a bunch of hilarious guys that come with their own quirks, personality flaws and stories.
Finally, I wanted to craft a female protagonist inspired from my two favorite young female heroes on TV – Veronica Mars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I can’t get enough of their epic struggles and triumphs. My goal in life is to come up with characters that honor these heroines and their stories.
What are the tools, programs you used to create the comic?
I use Photoshop CS3, Wacom Intuos3, Sakura Micron Pens, Paris Bleedproof Marker Paper #234 and Artograph LightTracer 2 Lightbox. I held off using Manga Studio this time around but for all purposes, the process remains the same. To check out step-by-step breakdowns of my process, please visit this set of posts from how I made Final Track.
I love this! How can I share the Polterguys love?
Please tell your friends! Tweets, likes, and sharing really helps with projects like this and feel free to use these links.
Why do your ghosts have shadows?
It would be terribly boring of me to omit shadows and lighting which I think give characters dimension on the page. So I put them in.
That’s not how ghosts are supposed to be like!
Creative license. Please look it up.
If you have any more questions, feel free to comment below and I will do my best to get to them.