One of the more fortunate things about the COVID-19 pandemic is how it has (accidentally) made Japanese culture more accessible than ever. From streaming events to selling exclusive goods, overseas fans have never had a better opportunity to engage with their favorite artists and creators. The same goes for legendary Ashita no Joe artist Tetsuya Chiba, who is teaching manga over Zoom.
Tetsuya Chiba’s Zoom seminar is taking place as part of a talk event with Haruko Michikusa on November 16, who is promoting her new essay manga Yorimichi Nikki (Detour Diary). Chiba is featured on the book’s obi alongside author Amy Yamada, saying “When I read this manga, I get a strange, comforting happy feeling.”
Overseas fans can take part in the seminar as it is taking place over Zoom, although purchasing a ticket for 1650 yen is required via the Book and Beer website. In it, Chiba and Michikusa will discuss what they would do if they had the chance to start their careers as mangaka over again, their worries for the future, as well as practical advice for any inspiring artists. Some of the questions specified on the website include:
- What should I do if I can’t draw?
- What’s most important when writing an essay manga?
- How much attention should you pay to reader feedback?
And so on.
Given that Michikusa only started her career as a mangaka back in 2014 with Michikusa Nikki (Michikusa Diary), she plans to ask the “seasoned veteran” Tetsuya Chiba for his advice on these questions during the Zoom event. Attendees will also no doubt enjoy hearing the wisdom of a man who has been drawing since the 1960s, making his debut in 1961 with Chikai no Makyu.