MANGA INSIDER MAYU #7 – "COOKING" THE PAGES
Around this time of the month, our editors are very busy working on the process, which we call “Nyu-ko” in Japanese.
In the previous episodes, Mr. Watanabe explained this as the process where the editors have to send the inked drawings along with additional text, instructions, and print orders, to the printing partners.
It actually sounds quite confusing, doesn’t it…? What did he mean by “complete the inked drawings”? Or the “additional texts, instructions, and print orders”?
Today I will follow this process, which is the busiest time for an editor!
Introducing Mr. Kasahara to teach us how the process is done! He is the editor who is currently in charge of Tetsuo Hara sensei’s production.
Preparation for MANGA
As soon as the drawings by the manga artists arrives, the first job to be done is the “Men-tsuke”, or the layout process. This is the process where the drawings are resized for the magazine, and placed into the right position on the page. In this way we can avoid the trouble caused by misplacement, such as weird blanks and strange cut-offs. Just for your information, here at Comic ZENON we resize the B4 drawings approximately 83%, which makes B5 size pages.
The following process is to decide where to put all the textual information. There are so many types of them… the title logo, the catch phrase, the outline of the story so far, the introduction of the characters, etc!
Every single part of this process is done along with discussion, with the designers. If the image is vague, the editor will sometimes even look for an example from other media (including other magazines, other comic books, etc), and hand that to the designer, so that the designer can get an idea of how the editor wants the words to look.
Now that the layout is done, the editor will then write out the dialogue of the manga, based on the “names”… the story boards!
Then, the next step is to make the instructions and print orders. The editor would give each dialogue a number, and then write down the corresponding number on a separate copy of the dialogues, along with the instructions. The instructions could be about the font size, the font style, the layout… It is written very specifically, so that the manga appears better.
If the editor is done with the instructions, the end is just around the corner! The editor would put the drawing, the dialogue data, and the copy with the instructions on it, all into one bag, and hand it to the printing company. Now all the editor has to do is to wait for the proof sheet to come up!
The pages besides manga
How much of you read the pages besides the manga, whenever you read a manga magazine? At first glance it may look dull with all those letters… but if you actually read it, you will see that it is definitely worth reading!
In this section I will be talking about the color pages at the front of the magazine, all the advertisements made by the editors, the preview for the next volume, and the entertainment page at the back of the book.
At Comic ZENON, editors usually make new designs for most of those pages besides the manga, every time they publish a magazine! It does take a lot of time… especially if you’re in charge of the opening color pages. Mr. Kasahara even says that it isn’t too early to start the creation more than 2 months before the publication!
This is the list that shows the page orders. Each editor has his name written with the title he is in charge of!
As soon as you know which article the editor is in charge of, the first thing to do is to do the pre-preparation for the article. If the article needs a writer, or a camera man, the editor is the one who makes contact with them. Or if it is an interview, the editor would make appointments with the interviewee. All the progress administration is done by the editor.
After the basics are ready, then the editor needs to draw a rough draft, which shows the layout of the article. This is why the editors in the previous episodes said “it sure is better to have drawing skills”! An editor’s work has so much to do with drawing drafts. But for those who can’t draw well… don’t worry! All this draft needs is the information about the layout. It can be as simple as this!
The layout is then shown to the chief editor, and the chief editor would brush up the layout so that it looks better on the page.
Now that the layout has been decided, time to fill in the contents! Editors have to add the text part of the article. If it is an advertisement of a comic book, things are simple. But in most of the written articles, like in the opening color pages, there are professional writers who write the article instead.
Of course, articles cannot be completed without any graphics! Collecting eye-catching pictures is also an important task for the editors. When we make the advertisement pages, the materials are mostly the drawings which were in the previous manga episodes. As for the preview of the next volume, it requires a lot of cooperation between the editors, since the page will need drawings from several mangas.
Just like the manga process, editors will have to make instructions and orders for the articles too. Not to mention that it is done along with some discussion with the designers.
And if the design looks OK, it is again shown to the chief editor. If the chief editor gives them the green light, the completed data is sent to the printing company, just like manga.
I just briefly ran through all the process.
This “Nyu-ko” is very simple in process, but it is also the toughest part of the creation of manga, and editors are always exhausted during this period. They have to spare lots of time and mental power, since it is a process which cannot be done by the editor alone. Cooperation with the manga artists, the designer, and the printing partners, are all very important, which makes things harder. It was after I joined this company that I got to know that there is so much to prepare for a manga magazine before you even begin the proof printing! Now I see this “editing”, which is possibly why an editor is called an editor in the first place, is a very simple process, but is much tougher than it sounds like! I totally admire all our editors who have to think of brand new ideas every month!
Next time on MANGA INSIDER… the creation of manga arrives to the climax – the proof reading, which is the last yet big part! All the editors are so tense during this process…
Please do give me courage to complete the article, by writing comments!!
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