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How to become a mangaka?

Comics and manga have become a staple of popular culture all over the world, and with that, comes the dream of many aspiring artists to create their own works and become a mangaka. But becoming a mangaka is not an easy feat. It requires years of hard work, dedication, and a lot of perseverance. We will go over the steps that you need to take to become a mangaka and turn your passion for comics into a career.

What is a manga artist called?

A mangaka is a comic artist who specializes in creating manga, a style of comics that originated in Japan. Mangaka are responsible for writing, drawing, and publishing their own manga series, often working with editors and publishers to bring their stories to life.

Understanding the Mangaka Industry

The manga industry is a highly competitive one, with thousands of mangaka vying for attention from publishers and readers. In Japan, the largest market for manga, the industry is worth billions of dollars and is constantly growing. However, despite the high demand for manga, it is still a challenging industry to break into, and becoming a successful mangaka requires more than just artistic talent.

Developing Your Skills as an Artist

The first step to becoming a mangaka is to develop your skills as an artist. This includes improving your drawing skills, learning how to create dynamic compositions, and mastering the unique style and storytelling techniques of manga. To develop your skills, it is important to practice regularly, study the work of other mangaka, and attend workshops and classes.

Creating a Portfolio

Once you have developed your skills as an artist, you need to create a portfolio that showcases your best work. A portfolio should include a range of your drawings, including character designs, backgrounds, and storytelling samples. It is also important to include a personal statement that explains your goals and aspirations as a mangaka, as well as any relevant experience you have had.

Building a Network

Networking is an important part of becoming a mangaka, as it can help you connect with other artists, editors, and publishers in the industry. You can attend manga events and conventions, join online forums and communities, and attend workshops and classes to meet other mangaka and build your network.

Finding a Publisher

Once you have a portfolio and a network, the next step is to find a publisher who is interested in your work. This can be a challenging process, as publishers receive thousands of submissions each year and only choose a small percentage of them. To increase your chances of being accepted, it is important to research publishers and their preferences, tailor your portfolio to their needs, and follow their submission guidelines closely.

Creating a Series

Once you have found a publisher, the next step is to create a series. This is the stage where you will need to bring all of your skills together, including your artistic abilities, storytelling skills, and knowledge of the manga industry. It is important to create a unique and captivating story that will engage your audience and stand out from other manga series.

Promoting Your Series

Once your series is published, the next step is to promote it. This includes attending manga events and conventions, building a strong online presence, and reaching out to your network for support. It is also important to be responsive to your audience, responding to feedback and interacting with fans on social media and other online platforms.

Tools that mangakas use

Japan's Top Manga Schools: A Comprehensive Guide

Japan has long been known as the birthplace of manga, a beloved form of comic storytelling that has captivated audiences around the world for decades. It’s no surprise then that the country is home to some of the world’s best manga schools, providing aspiring artists and writers with the tools and training they need to bring their own stories to life.

But with so many schools to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of Japan’s top manga schools and what makes them stand out from the rest.

Tokyo Polytechnic University

Tokyo Polytechnic University is one of the leading manga schools in Japan, offering a variety of programs designed to help students develop their skills and techniques in the field. One of the key features of this school is its strong focus on the history and cultural significance of manga, allowing students to understand the art form in a deeper and more meaningful way. In addition to traditional manga classes, students can also take courses in anime, video game design, and illustration, providing them with a well-rounded education in the world of Japanese pop culture. The university also boasts a thriving community of artists and writers, providing students with ample opportunities to network and collaborate with their peers.

Tokyo Polytechnic University
Kyoto Seika University

Kyoto Seika University

Kyoto Seika University is another top manga school in Japan, offering a range of programs designed to help students hone their skills and techniques. The school is particularly known for its strong focus on traditional manga techniques, such as watercolor and ink drawings, helping students to understand the roots of the art form and develop their own unique style. In addition to classes in manga, the university also offers courses in anime, game design, and illustration, providing students with a comprehensive education in the world of Japanese pop culture. With its rich history and cultural heritage, Kyoto is the perfect place for students to immerse themselves in the world of manga and gain a deeper appreciation for the art form.

The Osaka School of Animation

The Osaka School of Animation is a top choice for students looking to pursue a career in the anime industry. This school provides a comprehensive education in animation, teaching students everything from traditional hand-drawn techniques to the latest computer-generated techniques. In addition to animation classes, the school also offers courses in game design, illustration, and manga, helping students to develop a well-rounded set of skills and techniques. With its strong focus on hands-on training and real-world experience, the Osaka School of Animation is an ideal choice for students who are eager to start working in the anime industry as soon as possible.

Osaka University of Arts
Aoba-Japan International School

Aoba-Japan International School

Aoba-Japan International School is one of the few manga schools in Japan that caters specifically to international students. With its focus on helping students from around the world develop their skills and techniques in the field, this school is an ideal choice for anyone looking to study manga in Japan but who may not be familiar with the local language or culture. In addition to manga classes, the school also offers courses in anime, game design, and illustration, helping students to develop a well-rounded set of skills and techniques. With its welcoming atmosphere and supportive community, Aoba-Japan International School is a great choice for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the world of Japanese pop culture.

How To Become a Mangaka in America?

The term "Mangaka" refers to the Japanese word for manga artist. In recent years, the term has been adopted to describe artists and writers of manga-style comics and graphic novels in other countries, including the United States. American Mangaka, as they have come to be known, are a growing group of talented and innovative storytellers who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the world of comics and graphic novels.

Boku No Hero

The Rise of American Mangaka

The rise of American Mangaka can be traced back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the first wave of manga and anime began to gain popularity in the United States. As fans of these Japanese comics and animation began to search for more content, they began to discover the works of independent American artists who were inspired by the unique style and storytelling of manga and anime. These early American Mangaka were trailblazers, paving the way for a new generation of artists and writers who would go on to create some of the most groundbreaking and critically acclaimed comics and graphic novels of the last few decades.

The Diversity of American Mangaka

One of the defining features of American Mangaka is the incredible diversity of their backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. This diversity has helped to create a rich and vibrant comic book culture that is unlike anything else in the world. From women and people of color to LGBTQ+ individuals and those with disabilities, American Mangaka are creating stories that are representative of a wide range of experiences and identities. This has helped to bring a new level of nuance and complexity to the world of comics, as well as making them more accessible and relatable to a wider audience.

The Future of American Mangaka

As the popularity of manga and anime continues to grow in the United States, it is likely that the number of American Mangaka will continue to rise. This is a positive development for the world of comics and graphic novels, as it will bring new and innovative perspectives to the medium, as well as helping to make it more accessible and diverse. One thing is certain: the future of American Mangaka is bright, and the stories they have to tell are more important than ever.

Most well known manga editorials

There are many well-known manga editorial companies in Japan, such as:



One of the largest and most respected manga editorial companies in Japan.



A leading manga editorial company that is home to much popular manga series, such as One Piece, Naruto, and Dragon Ball.



Another major manga editorial company that has published much popular manga series, such as InuYasha, Detective Conan, and Yotsuba&!.

Viz Media

Viz Media

A leading publisher of manga and anime in the United States, with a wide range of titles in its catalog.

Yen Press

Yen Press

An imprint of Hachette Book Group, which publishes manga, light novels, and graphic novels in English.

Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse Comics

A publisher of manga, graphic novels, and comics, known for its wide range of genres and titles.

How many hours does a mangaka draw?

The number of hours a mangaka (manga artist) draws can vary greatly depending on the individual and their work schedule. Some mangaka may work for long hours and put in a lot of overtime, while others may have a more regular schedule. However, it is not uncommon for mangaka to work long and intense hours, as they are often under tight deadlines to meet the publication schedule of the manga magazines they are working for.

Mangaka often has to handle the creative process of writing the story, researching, designing the characters and settings, drawing the storyboard, and finalizing the pages. It could be said that their schedule is very demanding and it could require a lot of time to complete all the tasks.

It’s also worth noting that many mangakas are self-employed, so they may not have a set schedule and may work when they feel most productive.

In general, it can be said that mangaka often put in a significant amount of hours to meet their deadlines and create the best possible work. It’s not uncommon for them to work for 8-12 hours a day, and sometimes even longer, to complete a chapter or volume of a manga series on time.

Is it worth being a mangaka? The mangaka salary

Being a mangaka, or a manga artist can be a challenging and rewarding career choice. It requires a significant amount of time, effort, and dedication to become successful in the industry.

On one hand, being a mangaka allows you to express your creativity and tell your own stories through the medium of manga. It is a way of reaching a wide audience and potentially leaving a lasting impact on the world of comics and animation. Many mangakas have gained international fame and success, and it can be incredibly satisfying to see your work enjoyed by people all over the world. Some of the most successful mangakas have a net worth in the millions, with the top-earning mangaka in Japan earning an average of $4 million per year.

On the other hand, it is a highly competitive field and becoming a successful mangaka can be difficult. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to get published and gain a following. The industry is known for its tight deadlines, and many mangaka work long hours and put in a lot of overtime to meet them. It can be a stressful and demanding job. Additionally, the monetary compensation may not be as high as in other industries, especially in the beginning, and it may take years to be able to make a living solely as a mangaka.

In general, if you are passionate about storytelling and illustration, and are willing to put in the time and effort, then being a mangaka may be worth it for you. It can be a challenging and demanding career, but it can also be incredibly rewarding to see your stories and characters come to life on the page and connect with readers all over the world.

It's important to understand that it's not an easy path, and there's a lot of effort, time, and dedication needed to become a successful mangaka. It's essential to have a good understanding of the manga industry, the market, and the audience. You also need to be prepared to face rejection and criticism and to keep working hard even when things don't go as planned.

Ultimately, whether or not being a mangaka is worth it will depend on your personal goals and aspirations. If you have a strong passion for storytelling and illustration and are willing to put in the time and effort, then it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career. However, if you're not prepared to face the challenges and demands of the job, it may not be the right path for you.

Average Mangaka Salary

According to recent studies, the average salary of a mangaka ranges from $30,000 to $100,000 per year. This can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including their level of experience, the popularity of their series, and the publisher they work with.

Factors that Affect Mangaka Salaries

Types of Mangaka Earnings