How to be a Mangaka, part 3: International
May 15, 2014 by Jamie Lynn Lano
☆彡 Click here for a list of all of the posts in this series. *^_^*
In the first part of this series, I talked about the paths that an aspiring mangaka in Japan can take to get published and finally work as a real, full-fledged manga artist. There are a few ways to go about it, but the most common path is to enter a manga contest.
But what about people outside of Japan? What can they do if they want to be published in the land of the rising sun?
It might surprise you, but of course they can enter!
People from outside of Japan can and do enter Japanese manga contests. In Japan, when someone enters a manga contest, most of the parent magazines will list the name of every applicant and where they are from. And, even though it wasn’t all that common, I did see entries from artists who lives in other countries.
Well, now, what if you don’t speak Japanese?
Well, the biggest barrier to foreigners who want to enter these contests is that they can’t speak or write Japanese. Even I, who worked in a Japanese studio for years, don’t yet feel confident writing a story all in Japanese and getting all of the nuances right.
That’s all solved by getting a translator, right? You can write your story in your native language and have a professional translator or a friend (if you have one) translate it for you.
That’s definitely one way of going about it.
In part 4, I’m going to talk more about those contests and outline how you can enter some of them, but today I want to talk about the other side of things. I want to talk about contests and places to submit work that are specifically aimed at people who live outside of Japan.
There are quite a few contests just for foreigners, so read on!
First-off, I should clarify something. I’m talking about manga, but isn’t a manga just a comic published in Japan? If you’re published only in another country (America, for example), does that mean that you’re a mangaka? I don’t know. I can’t really answer that because everyone seems to have a different opinion.
What I do know is that these contests and companies are either geared toward publishing foreigners within Japan, or giving those with a manga influence a place to be heard overseas.