So a few of these past days I have observed a lot of students at the Ark Community Charter School in Troy New York. Besides note taking about the students, classrooms, and teaching I get to doodle with students. Amazingly my spark for illustration has been boosted by this. I think I maybe going into a new style of illustration. I have been re-studying comic book stylings of Eiichiro Oda and Hirohiko Araki authors of Shonen Jump comics One Piece and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures. Oda’s style in probably one of the most unorthodox illustration I’ve seen in Shonen. It is extremely surreal in humor, concept, and imagery. Mostly however I’ve started looking towards Oda’s technique of drawing female characters. Oda renders most female characters as having exaggerated abdomens and necks that are beyond slender and border on anorexia. But in One Piece its only stylization to me. This method of granting women super thin bodies with big eyes creates a patent of cuteness in every female. Nami in my opinion maybe the most cute manga character I’ve ever seen. Nico Robin is often hailed as the most popular woman visually in the series. Using Oda’s mechanisms has made drawing females more interesting and a better quality for me.
As for Araki I have looked back on his work more a long the lines of how he renders masculine faces in different ways. Joj comics are obviously geared toward male body designs more than women. It’s a great example of punk core male imagery. I Also found a good article on a lecture given by Araki.
Often I am sort of pessimistic for diving too much into manga. I still do think that most styles of manga are over simplified in contrast to western comic illustration. Also I am not pleased by anime fans who obsess over the culture that they reach a point of cosplaying and wanting to migrate to Japan that’s too far. I love japanese pop fiction movies and comics because everything is on the brink of destruction in these stories. It probably stems from the destructive past of Japan due the heritage of samurai in the Sengoku period to the Hiroshima.
But I have never been able to be fully comfortable with illustration popular with marvel comics and am turning to manga again.