Summer of Manga kicked off this past summer with Atlas Article, where a man named Marciano Pavel can travel to worlds in his library’s collection of books and artifacts.
The first #summerofmanga2019 oneshot we’ll be looking at is Atlas Article by Ricky Duron, which appeared in Saturday AM issue #105. Atlas Article follows Gwen and Bevin, a pair of siblings in search of a cure for their ailing grandmother. While doing research at the library, they meet Marciano Pavel, the caretaker of the library–or rather, the spirit of the library, named Adelaide.
Marciano is able to travel to the worlds contained in the library’s collection of books, so he and the siblings venture into the world of Cerrobelan to find a cure. Things get complicated when they arrive only to find that Cerrobelan is dealing with troubles of its own.
The ability to travel to other worlds by using books as portals is always a fun concept, and Gwen and Bevin’s childlike irreverance to Marciano’s explanation of where they go and how they get there is hilarious–they’re kids on a mission, after all! Gwen is more serious-minded and Bevin is more excitable, but both are determined to find the cure in spite of the fantastical setbacks they face.
The characters and worldbuilding are charming, and while the oneshot wraps up neatly, the setting leaves plenty of room to imagine what other adventures Marciano might embark on next–and fortunately, you won’t have to imagine for long. Atlas Article has a continuation in issue #113!
Q: Who are you? Introduce yourself!
A: My name is Ricky Duron, but most people call me Ricky. I’m from Mexico but I live in Arizona and outside of art I work at a grocery store though I hope to make art my full-time job, of course.
Q: What’s something you learned while working on #summerofmanga2019?
A: Well, aside from all the writing and drawing advice, Andrea (SaigamiProject) taught me fancy tricks in Clip Studio. The most important thing I learned was how intense the work actually is. For someone who wants to pursue art/comics as a career, it’s easy to get lost in the idea that it will all be fun and games because you’re just drawing (assuming you love to draw). The reality, however, is that there is just as much, if not more, struggle and hard work than there is fun. Having gone through that hard work and wanting to do it again…tells you if it’s something that you truly WANT to do.
Q: What are the challenges of making a one shot story compared to a continuous manga comic series with multiple chapters?
A: For me, the challenge of making a one shot really has to do with understanding the limitations of how much you can tell. The story has to convey so much in a short amount of pages and ensure that the reader is entertained and engaged the whole way through. Every single page and panel count, while in a larger continuous manga, you have more control over the speed or length of a moment in the story. Allowing scenes to play out (between characters) while already having an established connection with the reader, means that the story doesn’t lose momentum even when the action cools down.
Author: C. Smith
C. Smith is a lifelong fan of comics and manga whose primary interest is in webcomics.
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