January 22, 2010

The Fifth Columnist 1 half-time assessment :)

FINALLY, IT'S OUT! *tears of joy*

After several months of waiting (which felt like forever!), the release of Fifth 1 in the Indonesian manga market on Jan 13, 2010 came like a huge relief for yours truly. This has been my first manga release and to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

Admittedly, one of the best things about having your work out in the open (ie. displayed in the bookstores right next to Masashi Asaki/Yuma Ando's Kunimitsu and Jun Mochizuki's Pandora Hearts! >,<) is the feedback you can expect from readers -- both the negative and the positive. These precious opinions are exactly what a manga artist needs in the quest for producing better and greater things.

So, without further ado, here's a very brief summary of the real-time and real-life feedbacks on Fifth 1 hitherto (as per Jan 22):

Plus points:

* Attractive cover
* Interesting, enticing storyline
* 'Fresh' espionage theme
* Distinct drawing style, not necessarily manga-esque but not typically Indonesian

Minus points:

* Finishing: inking is often sketchy, distracting and confusing
* Story is built up to take a clich├ęd romantic direction
* Puzzling backstory due to large number of non-present characters
* Content does not closely resemble cover

Then, on to some interesting points:

* A majority of readers consider Helix their favourite character because he's "cool" and "gentlemanly"
* One reader expressed fascination to Bishop's bust size X3
* One reader questioned artist's motive for using a Japanese-sounding last name (how observant! ^^)
* A couple of readers thought the cover drawing is reminiscent of Manhwa-style art

Response to feedbacks:

I will definitely try my best to consider all the above points when editing Fifth 2 -- which was originally scheduled for release in February but could now come out as late as March or April! One emphasis would be on making sure that all loose ends are tied and another could be on patching up/redoing some pages to improve drawing quality (oh nooooo...)

That's it for now, my humblest gratitude to everyone who has read/bought/borrowed the book and given their comments! ^^ Feel free to add your personal opinions below; constructive criticism is always welcome :)