To see a list of all of the posts in this series, click here. (*^-^*)
Right about now, things started flying at me in rapid succession, and I loved it! I loved being busy, I loved feeling accomplished, and I loooooooooved walking through Animate and seeing girls (it was always girls) giggling over Tenipuri merchandise and thinking, I’m involved in that and you don’t even know!! It might seem like I was full of myself, and maybe I was, but I just felt extremely proud. And wouldn’t it have been way more full of myself to go up to the girls and announce to them, “hey! I work on that!”? (Plus, they’d also think that I’m crazy)
So far, the first 6 months in Konomi-sensei’s studio had been full of ups and downs, as you’ve read, but holding something finished in my hands THAT I MADE AND PEOPLE WERE ACTUALLY BUYING was beyond amazing!!
There is nothing, NOTHING to compare to that feeling! I’ve never had children, but I imagine that it’s sort of similar to being a first-time parent. You work really hard on something that you’re not entirely sure that you’re doing right, but when you’re finally able to hold the fruits of your labor (pun intended) in your hands, you know that you did something right. You’re full of pride! And then of course the next year is full of sleepless nights and stress (deadlines!), but also immense pride at every new accomplishment (each issue). Parental people, correct me if I’m wrong on this, of course.
Tenipuri, despite not being technically mine, was my baby, and I was sooo proud. Seriously, although I had worked hard and been through a lot to get where I was, how many foreigners, and even how many Japanese people, were able to work on this? Not very many. I don’t know many people that are even living their dream. Despite the bad points, this was indeed like living in a crazy, emotional dream.
But let’s backtrack a few days. So, we had to go into the studio one more time, which made the third time this month (second time was that 10-day stint). Why so many? Because chapter 2’s deadline was looming. Not just looming, but staring right in our faces and breathing down our necks. Chapter 1 had been turned in way ahead of the due date, so this was the first time that I experienced the deadline crunch that I would later come to know oh so well.
Luckily, there was one thing to save me this time. When I came into the studio a few days before deadline, there was something bright and shiny sitting on my desk.
That’s right– a copy of JUMP SQ with Shin Tenipuri chapter 1 in it! CUE THE EXCITEMENT!! SQUEEE!!!!!
I swear that Konomi-sensei was looking at me just to see my reaction, but I don’t even remember what I did. Just that I was in shock. Disbelief. Amazement. Complete and utter denial that there, right there, in a Japanese manga magazine, were my drawngs. My freaking drawings. For real.
MY WORK IN A JAPANESE MAGAZINE.
I’m using a lot of caps here, but wouldn’t you?
I also learned something new right along this time (besides how little detail actually shows up in the magazine. The print quality is just too low). What I learned was that even though we were done with this chapter and it had been turned into the printers and printed, our work on it wasn’t done!
Nope. Our next task was to go through the chapter and find things that we’d missed or made mistakes on. And there were a lot of mistakes! Places where we’d forgotten to put tone on (or it might have fallen off), and places where something could be easily improved. We each went through the chapter with a fine-toothed comb, and marked every little thing in the copies that were sitting on our desk.
But that racket? Yeah, that’s my work. Booyeah!
The manga wasn’t even out yet, and we were already looking for errors.
A few days passed from this, and we really got into the work, me somehow finding a way to pull my own weight even though my Japanese was still so-so. We had our own copies of the first chapter, but the magazine had a few days yet to go before it was released in stores, and we hunkered down for the real work, working 16 hours, taking a shower, and then winding down and sleeping for 5 or 6 hours. This went on for a few days, and then I got an email with an attachment:
It was from my dear friend Adrian Lozano.
“Look what I saw in the store!!!!!!”
Adrian also passed on my information to Anime News Network, who ran this story on me.
Egan, a reporter/workaholic for ANN also contacted me, wanting to run a profile. I say “workaholic” very lovingly (believe it or not, I didn’t meet him until the spring of 2013! And he was glued to a laptop, even at our hilarious Hanami party, haha). Since I didn’t have a smartphone or a computer yet, I had to wait until my next break to answer his questions. But suddenly, everybody knew what was going on, and I started getting email after email from people who wanted to know how I’d gotten here. And then.. there was also the tv show that wanted to start filming very soon!
I still don’t know how I survived chapter 2. I don’t know what kind of superhuman stamina I was given. Maybe, as Sailor Moon would say, it was the Power of Love.
The adventure gets crazier next time, but actually, I have a special post coming up for you! Look out for it!!
[The cute little animated gif is from this page. ^-^]