At the event Comico Access: Let’s Go Global that was held in Malang, one of KAORI’s staff also had the opportunity to interview the guest contributor, Tessa Y.P. She is the founder of Kisai Entertainment, Indonesian comic writer, and one of Indonesian representative in Silent Manga Audition Competition. What is Kisai Entertainment? What is the difference between comic artist and comic writer? How about her experiences on Silent Manga Audition? Follow our interview here.
Kaori (K): Hello, my name is Dany from KAORI Nusantara.
Tessa (T): My name is Tessa. I currently work for Kisai Entertainment
K: Kisai Entertainment? What is it?
T: Kisai Entertainment can be described as talent agency for comic artists who want their comics to be published. They can send their works to us and we can evaluate their comics, give advice, and teach them how to make a good comic. After the comic is good enough to be published, we will help them to find the place to publish their comic, introduce them to comic publisher. We have already collaborated with some online comic publishers, including Comico.
K: So, your job is help them before their comic published?
T: We also help them after the comic has been published. We will act as their editor.
K: Cool, so the relationship doesn’t end after publication?
T: Yeah. We will be happy to help find new comic artists. If you want your work to be published do not hesitate to contact us.
K: What is your role in Kisai?
Y: It’s more like a head editor. My job is evaluating the comics that have been submitted to us. I also help them communicate with comic publishers so the comic can be published.
K: With that amount of work, do you still actively create your own comic?
T: Yes, as a writer.
K: How does a writer actually a work in a comic?
T: To put it simply, we made the story for the comic. To be honest, I cannot draw (laughs), but I want to create comic. That is why I am focusing on the story and then ask my friend who can draw better to be the artist. Right now, I still write some webtoons with other four comic artists.
K: Do comic writers also create the name (storyboard)? or is it job for the artist?
T: It depends. Every creator have their own way to work. In my case, however, I also create my own name. Sometimes I asked for help from storyboard assistant whose job is, obviously, help me compose my name.
K: Oh, really?
T: but I still checked their work after it is done, because I want to make sure my story idea is presented clearly.
K: You had participated in Silent Manga Audition (SMA). Can you tell us more about that?
T: Wait, how do you know (laughs)?
K: We actually had published some news about the event before.
T: Is that so (smiling)? So me and my friend had participated several times. Our pen name is Chess. The first one is in the third SMA. We received a prize for fourth category. In the next competition we didn’t win, but in the competition after that, we received Grand Prix Runner Up. Thanks to that, we were awarded to join master class, a workshop for SMA winner that is held in Japan.
K: Not all SMA winner has priviledge to join Master Class, how did you get that? What is the requirement to join SMA Master Class?
T: You need to collect points to join Master Class. To get points, you have to win one of the five categories. The Grand Prix Winner will automatically get Master Class because the point requirement is instantly met. When we get Grand Prix Runner Up, we had meet our point requirement. However, we tried to participate again one more time because we wanted to get the Grand Prix Winner. Unfortunately, there are no Grand Prix Winner that time.
K: Really? How unfortunate.
T: Yeah, the curators felt that there are no manga that can be considered as real winner. We only got third category that time.
K: So you got the Master Class. How did you feel?
Awesome! It’s indescribable. First of all, it was a free trip, and then, we also met other comic artists from all around the world. In the workshop we were taught by Hojo-sensei, the comic artist of City Hunter and Angel Heart.
K: Do you met any other japanese comic artist?
T: Yeah. At the award ceremony, we met many professional mangaka. One of them is ONE, the creator of One Punch Man. Unfortunately we can’t take selfie with him but it felt really great to meet a great mangaka like him.
K: Last question, is there anything that you want to say to our reader who aspire to become manga artist?
T: Right now, comic is a rising industry in Indonesia. It is easier for Indonesian comic to be published nowadays and the salary is not that bad, probably about the same income as a civil servant (laughs). Indonesian comic artists already overcome the assumption that becoming a comic artist is not a profitable job. So please, do not give up to become a comic artist, because this is the best time to do that.
The Indonesia Anime Times | Photo, text and translation by Dany Muhammad