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My Love For Manga

My love for manga begins when I was 7. I remembered the very first series I watched was Spaceship Yamato if I can remember correctly in 1979. What followed was Battle Of The Planets and Marzinger in early 80s as well as Macross and Transformers in mid and late 80s. My name is Amuro Reyes is also what I name myself due to inspiration from Gundam main character Amuro Rey.

Other than just watching them on TV, I enjoyed collecting their robot toys - which were mostly assembly model kits - and comics.

But it was in 90s that I finally began drawing my first piece of manga. Though I have done that during primary school days when I should be paying attention in class, it was the first time I put my heart and soul into making my drawings the best.

The first character I drawn was Lynn Minmei - the young 16 year old girl who brought about the downfall of Zentraedi alien race in Macross with her enchanted singing.

Then Rick Hunter - her love interest and main character of Macross and subsequently his sworn big brother Roy Fokker and battleship commander Lisa Hayes who was drawn into love triangle with Rick and Minmei. The sketches were not bad but the coloring was awful.

After school, I would hang out at comic stores in both Orchard and Bras Basah Roads in downtown Singapore. I usually went there alone as it helps me to be more focused on getting what I want.

My budget - which is just the pocket money given by my parents - could only afford me a couple of comics. But buying the Robotech novels - which are much cheaper -is more than enough for me to know the whole story.

In case you might not know, Robotech is a result of American and Japanese collaboration which comprises of Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada as three generational trilogy series. They later came up with Sentinel series and 2 movies namely Robotech The Movie and Robotech Shadow Chronicles.

I also went to Kinokuniya which was the only bookstore with the largest import of Japanese comics, graphics and video tapes. Unfortunately books and TV series were the closest I can get to manga as the videos are quite expensive and you have to be a member to rent them. Moreover, those videos were entirely in Japanese with no subtitles. Moreover during that time, manga was not so popular in Singapore as it is now.

It was also unfortunate that my passion for manga developed during the time when I should be studying hard for O levels. It got the better of me to set my mind and priority on drawing and coloring everyday even during weekends and holidays. It became my obsession and affected my results badly.

Nevertheless, I had no regrets for what I did. While drawing, I am also learning at the same time. Besides comics, I bought a ton of graphic books and Japanese New Type magazines to study the finer art of both drawing and coloring. Those were the only tools and resources I could rely upon besides watching animated series and movies as internet did not exist that time.

My interest waned when I went to serve army. After which, I went straight to work as admin and data entry clerk.

It was only when I faced job crisis in early 2001, I renewed my interest in manga. Besides the Gundam and Macross, I also had a keen interest in Silent Mobius - an animated series combining both fantasy and science-fiction.

I am very impressed by Kia Asamiya's works which looked even better than Gundam and Macross characters by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Haruhiko Mikimoto. I also invested in books that teaches how to draw manga.

For the first 6 months and towards the end of that year, I focused on manga. I came up with 3 stories called Dragon's Blade, Techno Heros and House No. 64. A fantasyFeature Articles, science-fiction and horror stories. But sadly the last 2 were turned down.

The artwork was fine but the story did not meet up to their expectations. The first one was accepted but I could not afford the publishing fee of $10K. Still I pulled myself and continued working on those stories. I watched Youtube videos online and do Google search for anything related to manga.

I wish I could say my book was finally accepted and ready for publication but I could not. What I could say is I am still working on those and hope that Dragon Blade - my  first manga story would be better than what it was about 11 years ago.

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If you have been a manga fan like me but has been struggling to come up with that perfect manga character, feel free to check out my site on How To Draw Manga Faces.

But should you find drawing by hand to be too tedious and time-consuming, you might automation via Manga Studio as the next alternative.

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