Genzoman: Growing up with Manga

Genzoman manga

We catch up with the mighty Genzoman to find out how the Chilean artist has become one of manga's brightest stars.

How did you first discover Japanese manga or anime?

it was rather peculiar for me, because in Chile there was a time that most cartoons on TV were Japanese, with American series starting to appear towards the end of the 70s. Maybe it was because it was cheaper coming from another country.    

A few of the classics included Versailles no Bara (Lady Oscar), Remi, Candy, and a few Leiji Matsmoto series. We also had the classic Studio Ghibli films too. 

I think that in some way, there was a time that I didn't know that other kind of animation styles existed apart from Japanese anime. I guess I was lucky!

Genzoman manga interview

Can you remember what made you fall in love with the style?

I think it was at some point when I was taken to see my first non- Disney movie (I love Disney too by the way).

This movie was so different visually – characters were so differently styled, and so it was quite a different experience for me. It was Dobutsu Takarajima, which was an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.

Were you interested in art beforehand, or did manga encourage you to start drawing?

I always liked to draw, but I never saw it as something more than a hobby. With manga, something different happened for me that didn't happen with European or American comics; I was more interested to emulate the style, especially the likes of Masakasu Katsura and Masamume Shirow.

There has been a real boom in western artists getting involved with drawing manga over the past decade; why do you think it has grown in popularity?

I personally think that it is because we have grown closer to television, Manga has a different way into households compared to other media, especially with popular series like Naruto, Pokemon, Dragon Ball and Yugi-oh etc. 

We have a generation of future artists that have literally grown up watching anime, therefore it is logical to read Manga and feel the desire to produce your own art with aesthetic codes and narrative style which feels familiar and comfortable. 

In my opinion, I think it is very positive as the market produces diversity and at the same time, becomes a way for young people to become interested in the graphic arts.

Genzoman manga interview

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