mercredi 17 décembre 2014

Developer Diary #5: Manga Artist= DEAD

With my English degree in hand, I couldn't much expect but becoming a teacher. It didn't motivated me much: my experiences in schools in the UK was pretty bad and the few I had in France were not even better. I tried the exam once, failed and called it a day.

I thought instead of studying hard to become someone I don't want to be, I might as well work hard to become who I want to be. So I draw. I draw 24 hours a day. I've always been drawing, and everybody told me that I had to make it my job. The reality was not that easy. My first works were bad. REALLY bad. And I had the guts to send them to publishers. Who, of course, rejected them.

I was bad, yes, but there was another problem. My art style is closer to manga than French or American comics. And, honestly, why would a french publisher publish a French mangaka who's not doing even better than japanese? And in my case, I was doing far worse. But I kept making manga.

There were other problems: the market in France was (and still is) in real crisis because people are now buying mostly JP mangas or US comics. Only collectors are buying French comics. And the whole profession is suffering, regularly protesting against the low salary and royalties. Basically, in France, being a comic or manga artist is DEAD. For example, I had a deal with a young publisher. At first, I thought he was trying to rip me off. Then, after checking on forums and blogs, I discovered that it was actually a very normal deal:

- He would publish my comic, make the advertisements, take me to conventions
- I would draw the comic and pay for all the printings

And the share is 50/50. And I think it was a good deal as big name publishers can do much worse. Many artists are bound to these kind of contracts. It became the norm.

And even today, it's not getting any better. You DON'T make a living with comics in France. So I had to find a new direction.

During all this time as a manga artist, I've worked as a part-time receptionnist in a hotel. It's a nice job, I kinda like it. Two years ago, I thought that it was time to go on and take a real job. But, before that, I have to do MY "Final Fantasy", my last and best work. So I thought a lot about what I should do. I love video games, manga and music... That's it! I will do something that embraces all my passions: a video game!!!


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