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My works are introduced on this page.

If you would like to order comics, please use the contact form and state the comics you would like to order as well as your country. Thank you!

New Section!! How to have your comic doujinshi printed in Japan

Newer section!! Applying for and selling at the Japanese Comic Market


"Living Legend",  69 pgs. The text is in English. Reading direction is from left to right.
Story: A junior high schoolboy suddenly starts to see the ghost of a dead rugby player. The ghost asks him to score a try in a rugby match in order to dispel his curse. Who is this mysterious rugby player?



"Living Legend Japanese version",  69 pgs. The text is in Japanese. Reading direction is from left to right.
Story: Same as "Living Legend".



"Route 101", 40 pgs. It's a comic without any text, but it has another colour in some pages.
Story: A girl, who is sitting in a car with her friend, is involved in an accident and is thrown off the highway because of it. When she regains consciousness, she winds up in a strange desert-looking place. How is she ever going to find her way home..?



"Dream Theme", ?pgs. Iain has fulfilled all his wishes, he has a pretty girlfriend, a house, friends and a band. But then, one night in a dream he realizes he has missed out on the last step: eternal beauty. How far will Iain go to capture the perfect beauty of a song?



Printing comics (doujinshi) at a Japanese printing company


Having your comic printed at a Japanese doujinshi company is relatively cheap and very professional. The handling of tachikiri pages is excellent, service is excellent, and you will find myriad options for your publication, such as special types of paper for the cover and inside, hologram PP layers with patterns, various types of full colour quality printing (i.e. special printing for images with a lot of skin colour), printing of metallic letters on the cover and so on. If you own Japan-printed doujinshis you have probably seen the possibilities. What you need, however, is an adress in Japan. It is possible to do this sort of thing through a friend if you are not in Japan yourself. There are many different printing companies. I use Eikou myself, and I recommend them. Japanese doujinshis will have the name of the printing company on one of the last pages (this appears to be mandatory) so you can look a printing place up in this way.

Payment
There are several payment options that may be offered by the company.
1)
Creditcard Payment. The company may accept credit cards directly or through a credit card protection service called "Kuroneko Payment"(クロネコ@ペイメント). Beware that even if a world-wide credit card company (i.e. Visa) is accepted, this often goes only for credit cards issued in Japan.
2)
Bank transfer. This means transferring the money from your (friend's) Japanese bank account to their bank account. In Japan, money cannot be readily transferred between banks. The company should have different bank accounts at various banks such as UFJ Mitsubishi or the post bank (Yuucho Paruru). Therefore, it depends on which bank you are transferring from.
3)
Post Office transfer. (郵便振替払い込み; yuubin furikae haraikomi) This is the transfer of an amount through the post bank service, but you do not need a post bank account for this. You (or your friend) needs to go to the post office, fill out the post office transfer form, hand it in at the counter, and pay the amount in cash. This service usually takes a few hundred yen for processing fees, and is therefore cheaper than a creditcard even for orders of small amounts of doujinshi.

Submission of digital comic art (デジタル入稿 ; digital nyuukou)

Digital data could either be scanned paper pages or comics made entirely 'on the computer'.
Lately, doujinshi printing companies are starting to charge extra fees for processing analogous pages, and some do not even accept analogous data at all. I personally think it's a good development, because more control can be exerted on the art and the level of detail can be increased. Also, corrections are much easier and faster than messing around with that whitener (although I must admit I still use that stuff ^^;). If you would like to express your opinion on this matter, why not do it on the messageboard. ;)

I gathered some information in Japan about how to prepare and submit files and combined it with my own experience to write this short section. Some information is derived from Japanese interviews with printing companies. It is just a general explanation that I tried to make as complete as possible.
If there is a problem with your files on any of the points mentioned below, the printing company will try to contact you. If you have contributions, please use the email contact form.

General features
1)
The files should all contain tombo (trim marks). Without trim marks the printing company doesn't know where to cut the paper, so it's really basic nr.1. Files containing the tombo should be available from the printing company by correspondence or their website. Be careful that the tombo files differ depending on the planned format of your final book. If you have any doujinshi yourself, you probably know that B5 is the most common size, although A4 and A5 (pro manga comic format) are also possible. If you designed a front cover (I'm sure you did ;)) then also get the front cover tombo for the appropriate doujinshi size. Do not expand or contract the tombo file, as you would lose the correct dimensions.
An important thing to remember is, that the drawings of tachikiri squares should reach all the way to the border of the tombo lines. An easy way to check is to simply make a 'frame' around the tombo lines, leaving only that which is printed inside.
That said, not everything that is inside the tombo will be present in your book. To avoid sparing or unfinished lines at the edges, the printing company cuts off the paper that is between the two adjacent tombo lines. Take care not to put important drawings or text bubbles in this edge sparing.

2)
The files should all have the same image size (except for the front cover file, which is over double the width of a normal page). My trick is to simply open the tombo file, and drag the scanned page inside it. That way all the files will have the same size because they all derived from the same tombo file.

3)
Each page should have a page number on it. this number should correspond to the file name. In Japan this is called ノンブル ('nombre'). Make sure to leave the page number inside the tombo area that will be visible in the final book. If the page number becomes invisible at some stage of the production, there is a chance that the page order will become messed up. Printing companies may claim not to be responsible for the faulty production in this case.

4)
Make sure that at least one of the pages in your comic contains some information about you and about the printing company. In Japan this is called an 'Okutsuke page'(奥付けページ), and its location in the comic (page number) needs to be specified in the order form. In general, the name and location of the printing company, your name/pen name, your address/email/website, and the date of publication should be on there. Demands may differ per company.

5)
The printing company will ask you to fill out a form pertaining to the data you are submitting to them. You need to write the name of the files, number of files and the format, the program you used to make the files, and how you will submit them (Upload or sending CDs/DVDs). The printing people do not like it if you decide to send files in the batch that you submit OTHER than the files that you specified beforehand in that form. They also do not like it if you wrote you would send a file in the form and it isn't there. It all sounds super obvious, but it's important to check this carefully, because printing comapnies actually do get a lot of problems like this.

6)
Printing companies seem to get a lot of data CDs that are not readable due to a burning error. It's best to check that the files on the CD can be opened before sending it off. I know, Captain Obvious to the rescue...

File properties
1)
The file mode requested differs depending on the file content. Pages containing colour should be submitted in CMYK because obviously, printing uses subtractive colours, unlike the computer screen that uses additive colours. Black only (B&W) files may be in CMYK, but Grayscale or K-1 will save space and time.

2)
The file resolution also depends on the file content. In general, full colour files should be submitted in 350 dpi. Monochrome files (B&W) or files having separate colour printing (i.e., a file with a black layer and a green layer) should be at least 600 dpi and 1200 dpi max. 600 dpi is the commonly used resolution. Although 1200 dpi is accepted, its benefits are not observable with the naked eye. Submitting even higher resolution is useless because the limit of the printing machines appears to be around 1200 dpi.

3)
For photoshop files, all layers should be merged before submitting. In the case of dealing with separate colour printing pages, do not forget to put each colour layer into one of the CMYK channels each, before merging the layers. Black, if any, should be in the K channel.

4)
Illustrator users are requested to 'outline' all their fonts.

5)
When expanding or contracting images with screentones (gradings), Moire patterns may appear. The printing company will contact you if they discover a lot of Moire in your pictures. It is best to avoid it as much as possible.

6)
Accepted file extensions: this may vary per printing company, so it is best to inquire beforehand. Likely to be accepted are EPS (when using Illustrator/Photoshop), TIFF(Photoshop), and other formats from different software programs. "Comic Studio" is used a lot for editing alongside Illustrator and Photoshop.


Selling at the Japanese Comic Market
Want to sell at the Japanese Comiket? The official website of comiket offers appallingly little information about this in English. So, here is some information to get you started.

***applying***

Every time, there are many more participants that wish to sell than there are places for circles. Indeed, a lottery system is used to determine who gets a booth/table. If you do not pass the lottery, the chance to win will become higher for the next comiket. So it's important to be persistent. Although famous circles do get priority, even they get out of the selection once every few participations. One of the limiting features is the 'genre capacity': if a genre is popular, it may be harder to get a booth. The more succesfull your circle is, the more chance you will have to get a 'wall booth' instead of a booth in the middle.

Due to the massive administration of all the applications, you need to apply for the next comiket quite quickly after the previous comiket. The application for the winter comiket begins even before the summer comiket takes place (there is less time between August-December). The deadline is only a few days after the summer comicket finishes. However when applying for the summer comicket, the deadline is usually in February, a couple of weeks after the winter comiket. The miss rate for the winter comiket used to be higher than the summer one because there were only two days, but it looks like they changed it to three days lately. The comiket website mentions a 35% missing rate for applicants of the summer comiket.

If you want to apply, you need a ' Circle sanka moushikomi setto', which is basically a booklet with application forms and an envelope. It costs about a 1000 yen, and it can either be bought at the comiket itself, or can be ordered by correspondence. You can apply per post or online, but in both cases the 'setto' is a necessity. The 'setto' contains your personal application number.
The application requires your real name, pen name, what genre your doujinshi are, and also an address in Japan, as well as a Japanese phone number (mobile or otherwise). They also need to know the titles of the doujinshi that you will sell, how many you will bring, how much they will cost and what their genre is. It is very important to not make mistakes in filling out this form. A mistake will automatically lead to your application to be turned down (this happens every time to a few percent of the applicants, apparently).
You also need to pay 7500 yen. This fee is refunded later if you do not pass the lottery (through a refund check). No Japanese bank account is required for this, because it is a post office transfer (basically you go to the post office with this transfer form, pay in cash, and send the receipt with the application forms).

It is possible to apply together with another circle and to get a booth next to them. In this case, you both fill out your respective forms, and send them in a special envelope for group applications.

Whether your forms make the deadline is determined by the date of the post office stamp and the stamp on the transfer receipt. The comiket site warns against posting on the very last day: depending on the hour of day/size of the post office, the envelope might be stamped for the next day, exempting you from participating in the lottery.

A few months later, an 'Uketsuke' card will arrive at the Japanese address, as proof that your application is processed. If the card does not arrive before the date specified in the booklet of the 'setto', it is possible to make an appeal and have your application reprocessed. About a month later, a letter should arrive at the same address, telling you whether you have passed the lottery or not. It is also possible to check whether you have been chosen or not on the circle.ms website, which is associated with many comic events in Japan. It requires you fill out your phone number and the 'processed' number on the 'Uketsuke' card. The website also allows you to apply for an automated email telling you the lottery result when it is known.

If you get through the selection, you recieve an envelope with the 'comiket appeal'. It is a mystery to me why they decided to call it that way, because it is basically just a booklet with instructions and rules. This booklet must be taken with you if you enter the venue. The information in it is very important, it explains everything you need to know. Comiket staff may refuse vendors entry if they have not read the booklet or do not have it with them. I have not actually been checked for this, but it is just a security measure to ensure that people do not unknowlingly cause trouble. If you do not speak Japanese, you are still required to know what is in the booklet. On the day itself, you must be in a circle where at least one person speaks Japanese. Other than the booklet, you also recieve circle entry tickets, and a card called 'sanka touroku card'. This last card must be completed with some personal information and a Japanese name stamp (inkan). I do not know whether a signature suffices for someone who does not own such a stamp. The 'sanka touroku card' and circle entry cards must also be taken to the venue on the day of selling.

***selling***

Japanese doujinshi printing companies offer services to have your doujinshi sent directly to the event (like the comiket), saving a lot of time and effort. If you are having your doujinshi printed in Japan, ask for the printing company's Comiket Deadline. If you submit your art after this date it will not be in time for the next comiket. The venue only accepts parcels sent by Pelican Bin. At the end of the day, it is also possible to send the boxes back to your house/friend's house, if they are too heavy to carry back. Even if you don't send your books by post, make sure the boxes are labeled with your name, circle name, space number and day of selling.

Prepare change such as 100 yen coins and 1000 yen bills.

When going to the venue, make sure to get there as early as possible. The entrances for circles (vendors) are separate from the public entrance, where you will see a massive queue. However, these quick circle entrances close after 9 am, and if you want to enter after that you have to stand in that massive queue and wait for ages. When you get to the circle entrance, hand in a circle entry ticket for each member.

The areas for selling doujinshi are pretty cramped, and you only get half a table with two chairs, I do not recommend bringing a lot of stuff. If you want to leave the premises (get fresh air, etc), you need to ask staff for an entry card, however the comiket committee does not encourage circles going in and out of the building. The winter comiket is quite cold! Wrap up warm, bring scarves and gloves.

Every doujinshi that you sell is recorded in the Comiket library (which is not accessible to the public...yet). Because of this, the event requires you to hand in one 'sample' of every new doujinshi title you sell. Before the official opening time, Comiket staff inspect and collect sample books, and collect the 'sanka touroku card'. If the staff deem everything in order, you are allowed to sell your books when the market officially opens to the public. If not, you get a notification on your desk saying that the books are under inspection judgment. You make a sample by filling out the 'sample' stickers that come with the application booklet ('setto'), and stick it on the inside of the back cover of the doujinshi. A doujinshi that you have been selling previously at the Comiket is not required to be sampled.

There are special rules for selling someone else's books at your stand. These rules are explained in the instruction booklet.

When the market opens, you may start selling your books. At this moment, everyone starts clapping and visitors start to enter the building. The market officially closes at 5 pm or 4 pm (depending on the day), and at this moment the selling is finished. You may leave earlier if you wish. When leaving your space, do not leave rubbish and so on. Put the chairs folded up on top of the desk, and you're done!

I hope this information is useful for you, and that you can participate in the comiket, too!

Keep checking for more updates!