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We interviewed Liam Gray and Mangaka Ody. Their passion for manga is inspirational!

2021/01/29

西洋コミックと日本の少年漫画のいいとこ取りをしたような作品を投稿してくれたこのペア!メディバンアンバサダーでもあるLiam Grayさんは編集と原作担当。Mangaka Odyさんは作画担当。クオリティの高い漫画を作る秘訣を聞いてみました!海外の漫画制作事情が気になる方必見!

How did Ody learn to draw?

- How long have you been drawing?

Mangaka Ody: I've been drawing manga for 4 years, but I've been drawing since I was a child.

- I know you get this a lot in the comments, but your art skills and creature designs are amazing! Did you take art courses, or are you self-taught?

Mangaka Ody: I'm self-taught. Most of what I know is by learning on my own and through practice, just practice. I went to college to learn comics, but I dropped out in the second month because they wouldn't let me draw my manga (Xenotype). Since leaving college, I've been learning on my own and that is the fastest way to improve, in my opinion.

- Did you study the art fundamentals through books or videos? Or did you not focus on that?

Mangaka Ody: I learned a lot from videos, but watching videos alone was not good enough. They definitely guided me but I had to observe my surroundings and learn from them.
I was always wondering why things look the way they do (so realistic), and why my drawings, well, looked so crap. I had to learn the fundamentals and I mostly did so through careful observation.
That often makes you look like a weirdo who's staring into space. But it's worth it.

- Your artwork is surreal, nightmarish, and highly detailed.. How did you get into this style?

Mangaka Ody:I chose a more realistic art style because it provides me with an infinite room for improvement. You can never make something look as good as it would in real life. No matter how skilled you are, nature will always beat you. In trying to beat nature, you can keep improving infinitely, and that includes adding a lot of detail.
As for the darkness and nightmarish style, it just gives an edge to everything. I like sensation-seeking. I'm simply drawn to horror. It is an essential ingredient for me, like salt is for chefs. I'm hungry now.

- Is there a horror film that inspires or influences you the most? Or maybe a film that you watch when you have art block to get the motivation back.

Mangaka Ody: My favorite film genre is space horror and cosmic horror.
Cosmic horror is really hard to make. The monster or the entity in the film, almost never has a defined form and that makes your imagination go wild. My favorite cosmic horror film is The Thing. Space horror does the exact opposite by showing you all the cool monsters and aliens. The Ridley Scott’s Alien films are the coolest movies I have ever seen, especially Alien Covenant. They inspire me a lot. The concept of murderous aliens running around is fun. Heh.

- Are there artists that inspire you? I'm guessing H.R Giger is one of them!

Mangaka Ody: Well, I'm definitely inspired by H.R. Giger. Also, Sui Ishida’s work on Tokyo Ghoul was a huge influence. Apart from that, I am a really big fan of Takehiko Inoue and studied his work extensively.
I’ve also studied the techniques used by Kōhei Horikoshi, Yusuke Murata, Takeshi Obata, and a few others.

- What is your work environment when drawing manga? (Example: programs or pen tablets you use)

Mangaka Ody: I sit at a desk. Open my laptop. And I just draw. I use a Surface Book 2 and my program is Clip Studio Paint EX. I have a huge terrarium filled with my ant colony in front of me. I take occasional glances when I draw.

- What do you like to do in your free time?

Mangaka Ody: I play with my Beyblades. I watch my ants. I work out. So, nothing out of the ordinary.

- According to your ART street profile, you want to become the best manga artist in the world! Why manga, and not comics?

Mangaka Ody: One day, I decided to watch Death Note, and that was the first full series I ever saw. Since then, I knew my purpose in life was to draw manga. I feel that this is the purpose of my existence. I am not going to do anything else. I will die drawing manga.

Thanks to Liam, I've learned a lot from western comics, I've studied human anatomy from them, but I rarely read them. I’ve learned many inking techniques that have proven to be useful.

- Any advice to new artists on ways to practice, or what to focus on to improve?

Mangaka Ody: Well, the fastest way to improve is to draw whatever is difficult for you to draw - and to do it for 14 hours a day, every day. Stop only to eat, drink, maintain personal hygiene and maybe sleep.

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