Monday, January 16, 2017

Jump Ryuu - 25, Hirohiko Araki

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Jump Ryu vol. 25 - Hirohiko Araki (1,295 yen)
Well, another year has come and gone, bringing about the end of yet another serialized magazine, this one being, of course, the Jump Ryuu series on Jump manga artists, and how to draw manga the Jump way. Vol. 25 focuses on Hirohiko Araki, creator of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Again, there's little that varies from the regular magazine format this time. We get Araki's timeline (debuting in 1980 with Poker Under Arms), the Road to Jump section detailing his manga leading up to Jojo, with a few example panels (he loves using stiff, full-panel poses), and a 2-page spread on the theme of the volume (this time, realistic artwork).

(The 2 art sheets and the bluesheet)

There are two pages showing many of the Jojo main characters, and roman-greco statues that apparently were the basis of some of Araki's poses. The bluesheet section concentrates on inking speed lines. One page shows Araki's studio, two pages of comments from the Jump editors, and finally a full page illustration of Jojo with the Jump staff credits in the spot where they'd usually advertise the next volume.

(Ad at the back of the box for mini-action figures)

In past volumes, there was only one art page plus the blue sheet, and the art page was an original drawing in full color (usually watercolor). This time, we have 2 black and white art sheets from the manga, minus the dialogue in the word balloons. Not really sure why they made the change, except that maybe Araki had a tight deadline and wanted to work on the manga instead of making all new art just for this magazine. There's no alternate DVD cover wrapper, either.

(DVD cover)

The first chapter of the DVD has Araki showing his storyboards for the current chapter of his manga, which are mainly just circles and locations for word balloons. He likes to begin by shaving a blue pencil to have at least a quarter inch of lead showing, so he doesn't have to stop in mid-sketch. His blue roughs are mainly intended for placing head and body positioning. Once the initial roughs are done, he switches to a mechanical pencil to do the secondary roughs. He likes putting the heads a bit off-center or at slight angles to give more personality to the characters. He's also very talkative as he works, which is great if you want to learn from the interview. Then he inks in the panel lines and word balloons, and finally inks in the character art, using ink pens or fine-tip markers as needed. Total time for the two pages - about 1 hour (the total DVD play time is 98 minutes).

(Hirohiko's work schedule, and examples of his very early work.)

The studio interview is good in that we get to see Araki as he talks. The studio is in an upscale apartment, so it has a regular bathroom and kitchen, which aren't used that much. The pantry is stocked with inks and a few photo albums with film photos of reference material for Steel Ball Run. There are a couple PCs for doing CG work, but that's mostly reserved for highly detailed scenes; otherwise, everything is hand-drawn. One room has a small easel for air brush work. There were three assistants at work during the tour, but they never looked up or addressed the camera. And of course, there were bookcases filled with art reference books.

(Example of his more recent work, and his photo.)

The final chapter is part three of building drawings, which consists of putting in the details on things like window frames and sashes, and highlights on the windows and tiles on house roofs. This is followed by inking the pencil drawing and adding irregular shading lines and slight flaws to imitate dust and wood knots.

And so the series ends. Not quite as much fun as I would have liked, and not as many insert extras, but not a complete loss.

I've got no plans to buy anything new at this stage, so I'll just have to wait until a different series starts up that catches my eye.

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