Since 2010, New York-based manga publisher Yen Press has put out an open call to aspiring comics creators with their "New Talent Search." New comics creators who are "prepared to work at a professional level" were asked to create a 32-page original short story, and submit it to the Yen Press editorial team for consideration.
However, after receiving and reviewing many entries, Yen Press Senior Editor JuYoun Lee posted a letter in the May 2012 issue of Yen Plus, explaining why they would not be announcing any "winners" from this year's New Talent Search. The bottom line? They didn't find artists who were ready for primetime this time.
However, in her letter, Lee offered some advice for aspiring comics creators that I thought was very interesting. So rather than just leave it at that (and also to make her words available to more readers, since Yen Plus is only available online to subscribers, and the May issue would only be available for 2 months), I sent her a few questions via email, asking her to explain some of the points she made in her letter.
In her replies, Lee went into greater detail about the kinds of entries they received for this year's New Talent Search, and offered more helpful tips for up-and-coming comics creators.
She also delved into the differences between the training aspiring comics creators receive in Korea compared to the U.S., and how this may have affected the quality of the entries Yen Press received this year.
Also covered in our interview: Lee explains how Yen Press discovered two new talents for some of their new original graphic novels: Cassandra Jean, the artist for the graphic novel adaptation of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and Ashley Marie Witter, the artist for Interview With The Vampire: Claudia's Story, which is based on the bestselling novel by Anne Rice.
Check out my interview with JuYoun Lee from Yen Press, and get a few hints of what Yen Press has planned for some of the entries they received in this year's Talent Search, and a few tips that just might give your entry for the 2013 New Talent Search a winning edge.
Also, JuYoun Lee will be one of the panelists of publishing pros and comics creators (including Adam Warren - artist, Empowered, Becky Cloonan - artist, Demo), Fred Gallagher- artist, Megatokyo, Audra Furuichi - artist, Nemu-Nemu, Erik Ko - publisher, Udon Entertainment) and Christopher Butcher - retailer, The Beguiling and director, Toronto Comic Arts Festival) who will be on the Making a Living in Manga panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2012.
The panel will be held on Friday, July 13, 2012, from 7:30 - 8:30 pm in Room 8 at the San Diego Convention Center. Be there for what promises to be a lively discussion!
Image credits: Courtesy of Yen Press, © Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl