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Oh, JUMP. Jumpy Jump Jump Jump.
The publisher of some of my favorite manga of all time– Hunter x Hunter, Prince of Tennis, Death Note…
How in the world did I get a chance to tour the JUMP offices, way back in 2005? It was all thanks to my student. 🙂
In NOVA, I had a student named Yuko. She was a higher-level student, with fairly good English, and she caught me drawing.
“Wow, you’re really good!” she told me, even though it really wasn’t. It was just a stupid little doodle, some guys from Tenimyu. Yuko next told me that she works for a manga artist, as an assistant, and I should try to be a mangaka, too. She was sure, she assured me, that the people of Japan would love to see a story written by a foreigner!
To be honest, I had never thought about it.
Me? Draw manga? I’d thought about possibly doing comics, maybe, when I got back to the US after my year in Japan, but not manga. After all, I wasn’t Japanese, and I couldn’t speak Japanese. At least not enough to be able to write a story.
Basically, the idea that a foreigner could be a mangaka had never even occurred to me.
I wasn’t sure. Not at all. No way, not even. But she insisted that I should come meet her editor at Young JUMP (alas not THE Shonen JUMP, but another JUMP magazine, but in the same building), and that he could give us a tour of their offices. Well now, THAT was not something that I could say no to.
So, we set up the appointment for April 27th, and two days before the appointment, she told me that I needed to bring my drawings and comics to show them, so the editor could give his opinion.
I started to panic inside. I had doodled, but I’d not drawn a single serious thing since coming to Japan. What was I going to do?
It wasn’t enough time. It really wasn’t! Especially since on Tuesday, I had to meet with Yoko Ono, the boss of my new job, after working at NOVA all day to sign my new contract. I had to get ready to move into my new apartment, too. There was seriously no time to draw.
What did I do? You’ll be finding out soon enough! 😉 What would YOU have done? ^.^