To see a list of all of the posts in this series, click here. (*^-^*)
We only had a little bit of time off, and then we had to go back into the studio and work.
Enter Maru-chan (the nickname that I gave her). There was suddenly a new assistant!! And no desk for her. The Tenipuri studio had never had so many assistants, and so the new girl, Maru-chan, had to sit at a folding card table. ToT
Maru-chan was different than the other assistants… she was a Tenipuri fan before signing up for the job! Until then, I’d been the only one!!! She was also a HUGE seiyuu fan, especially of Suwabe Junichi, who plays Atobe Keigo in the anime. We got along really, really well.
Plus, I wasn’t the newest assistant anymore! I was finally a senpai (again – I’d been Su-chan’s senpai too, until she was fired)!!
It turned out that Maru-chan was a lifesaver. Things were changing FAST. At least Sensei was better than before about showing up. We even had a short conversation about changes one night, and I told him that I thought that it was really cool that he was releasing a CD. Not a lot of mangaka also become singers, too… how cool is that?
He responded with, “Now, I want you to go out there and be on tv and movies and then I’ll say “Hey! That’s MY Jamie!!”
That helped offset the fact that I had found and ordered a fridge over the weekend, and arranged for it to be delivered on a day that I’d been assured that we would have off. I should have known. -_-; I had to rearrange for another day, which set me back a few hundred dollars in storage fees (Sensei apologized, and actually looked sincere, so I forgave him). It seemed like we were coming to a truce, and in a way, I felt like we had grown even closer. It might have had to do with the fact that I’d been through so much, and he still wanted me to work for him, which made me feel really secure. It also gave me confidence. I was finally really, really good at something.
It’s kind of an amazing feeling. No, it is an amazing feeling. Sitting here writing this, I’m faced with new challenges, and sometimes I forget that I can feel like I’m awesome. The moments usually pass, but I bet that you know what I mean.
So, anyways, when we came in this time, there was the second of a few curveballs thrown our way (the first being the CD manga). The first tankoubon (graphic novel/collected edition) for Shin Tenipuri was going to come out soon, so we got a huge package delivered to our door: it was all of the pages that we’d worked on so far in the manga! Woooooow, was it nostalgic (except for Maru-chan)! It had been over half a year since we had seen the original pages of the first chapter. Our first duty was to go back through and fix all of the little mistakes that had made it to print so far.
So, anyways, when we came back in this month, there was another curve balls thrown our way.. By that, I mean Pairpuri.
If you’re a tenipuri fan, you might know about these character books that are released at the same time as the graphic novels/tankoubons. They’re thin little books that collect all sorts of character data about the featured two characters (hence the pair in Pairpuri)
There are 5-page mini comics for each character in the Pairpuri books (so, 10 pages in all), in color. This time, we colored them ourselves with copic markers. THANK GOD the books were actually written by someone else because we had no time for that. Maru-chan, however, spent a lot of time helping out with Atobe’s timeline, and spent time looking up details in the old volumes because nobody remembered those obscure details.
An interesting tidbit.. the Lhasa Apso that’s on Atobe’s phone? That’s supposed to be his family dog.
Also, that green phone? I drew that panel and Sensei told me to pick a new model that was a bit outlandish. I showed him my cell phone (it was brand-new and around $800!) and said, “like this?”) and so my phone became Atobe’s. 😉
Oh, and one more thing…
The hallway in Atobe’s foyer was just a color photocopy of the photo that Koko-san used for reference. We were super-analogue in the studio, so we didn’t use any computers making the manga, and Koko-san color-photocopied the scene onto a blank piece of sticky transparent paper. This paper is specifically used to copy machines, and we sometimes use it when copying scenes or rackets (most of the time we do it on normal paper and paste it on, because this special paper is expensive), and this was the first time anyone had used it with colored paper. It was way easier than drawing out intricate checker patterns on the floor, and until now, nobody was the wiser! 😉
Marie also did the little animated flip book-style chibis that run along the tops and bottoms of the pages, based on the style that she’d done the cover for Sensei’s CD single in. Ohhhh we we busy! (Animations courtesy of Prince of Tennis wiki project)
Then, there’s also the regular chapter pages. Remember how I said yesterday that drawing the manga on doujinshi A4-size paper gave Sensei an idea that only a best-selling mangaka could get away with? He decided that it would go much faster (and be less work) to do the regular manga on douhinshi paper, too!
Editor Watanabe-san was a bit off-put by the request, but he checked with the printer and we found out that if we drew on the back of the pages (therefore ignoring the blue lines on the front) it would be just large enough to fit in JUMP SQ without needing to be enlarged.
And from then on, Tenipuri was drawn on doujinshi manga paper instead of the real stuff that pros use.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get away with that? 😉
OH, and guess what was happening pretty soon? Tenipuri Festa.
What’s that? What did it mean for us? You will find out tomorrow as I breeze through August and September! It was now the end of July, and at the end of this crazy work month (which I got a $1000 bonus for… not bad!), I flew to Okinawa for a few days with my friends to release all of the tension that had built up.
See you all tomorrow! There are a few more adventures left in this story yet! You’d be amazed at the crazy new task that Tenipuri Festa brought to our job (in other words, sometimes drawing manga is not all about drawing manga)!