Saturday, July 5, 2014
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Joseph P. Gauthier
1. When did you decide to become a manga writer?
Until GORYO DOG, I didn't have a story specifically meant for manga. I borrowed elements from manga and anime because I've loved them since I was a teenager. GD, though, is the first story I’ve written that had to be done as manga.
2. Can you tell the readers a little about what 10 Worlds Studio is?
10 Worlds Studio is my dream to create comics with my friends, and get paid to do it. That's where it started for me, and that's still what I work towards most. I love comics. I love my friends. I love talking and creating comics with my friends. Finding a way to get paid for it would be a dream comes true.
3. What was the inspiration behind your manga serial Goryo Dog?
A friend and I were hanging out, talking about how you could do an anime with an African American lead. We came up with this story about a black exchange student going to Japan and getting mixed up with fight clubs. I couldn’t let the idea go, but because I’m a big believer in writing what you know, and I never traveled to Japan, I was uncomfortable writing about a place I’ve never been. That’s when I decided to base the story in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district, and everything flowed out of that. That setting allows me to change things up and depict Japanese mythology in ways not seen before. Because these mythological creatures and characters are in Los Angeles, they are not bound by the same rules as they would be in Japan.
I also use it as an excuse for getting things wrong. (Laugh) If someone says, "That would never happen in Japan."
I can say, "Yeah. But this ain't Japan. It's LA, and shit gets twisted here."
4. Will it end with issue 5 or do you have more planned?
Oh, there's more. We're currently in the beginning of the first story in the first volume. I have plans for a second and third.
5. What are some of your favorite manga titles?
My favorite manga is BLEACH. Ichigo Kurosaki is my favorite manga hero, and what Tite Kubo has accomplished is amazing. I'm sad it's ending, and I will read the whole thing from beginning to end when it's done. I’m also a fan of anything Ito "Oh! Great" Ōgure has done, or is doing. I like Naruto, but I prefer the earlier chapters. I like that Masashi Kishimoto aged the characters, but I miss the dark and heavy drama with a younger cast.
6. Will you ever write another form of art aside from manga?
Yes. The first comic I published was "standard." It was LAZARUS about the biblical character. I'm focusing iron GD now, but I want to get back to that character soon; as soon as Greg Rucka is done with his book. (Laugh)
7. Why decide to make it online only? Will you ever publish it in print as a collection?
It’s all about the money, and not having enough. It's too expensive for us to print right now, but we want to. When the first volume is done, if we haven’t raised enough by then, you can expect to see a crowd funding page for GOYRO DOG tankōbon.
8. What other titles are you now publishing?
Just GD right now, but my studio partner, Alex Lugo, is working on an exciting horror project I'm looking forward to.
9. Can you please tell the readers what you're working on for the future?
I have a henshin story I’m slowly developing.
10. Would you like to see Goryo Dog made into an anime?
Yes! That’s the dream right there! When I was just starting to develop GD, I tried to produce flash animated episodes we’d upload to YouTube and sell at conventions. Do it real underground. Like Birdman, I wanted to sell episodes of GORYO DOG from the trunk of my car. I couldn’t get the money together, unfortunately. This was before crowd funding was even a thing. Now, I'm hopeful we can partner with an animator or studio that is into what we're doing.
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
I’ll be more than happy to just be alive in ten years. (Laugh) Creative black men are dropping like flies. I’m chanting to be alive and happy. (Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo!)
12. Are you a big reader? What authors do you enjoy?
I try to read a lot, but my schedule makes it difficult, so I listen to audiobooks now. I choose books, not just by author or genre, but who is narrating. A good book read by a good narrator is an amazing experience. The Harry Potter series read by Jim Dale is still my favorite. I like Stephen King, Jim Butcher, Thomas Harris, Steven Barnes, Jim Grant, and I loved Phoenix Island by John Dixon. That’s just a few. I really bounce around.
13. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
Drawing or animating. I envy illustrators who are also talented writers.
14. What inspired the characters in Goryo Dog?
Anything and everyone. Really. One day, I was working out to an exercise video, and my wife comes in during some insane static movement exercise, and screams, “What is that? That’s not real! He’s making that shit up!” An hour later, I’m writing a scene for GD #12 – Willie Jackson’s first day at school – and he’s taking gym with a crazy coach doing insane exercises, and saying, “What is that? That’s not real! He’s making that shit up!”
That’s what I love about GORYO DOG, it’s the most natural writing I’ve ever done.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
That's a good one. According to my wife, three things that surprise her about me are I'm disciplined, childlike, and overly sensitive.
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