Q: One thing I enjoy about Bleach is that there are many moments of humor as well as drama. Is that intentional to break up some of the heavier moments in the story?
Tite Kubo: I don't really plan on it, but when I get bored drawing battle scenes, then I throw in a joke or two to make it more fun for me.
Q: How do you draw your action scenes? Do you have models?
Tite Kubo: Nobody poses for me -- I just have rock music going in my head and just imagine the action scenes. I pause the action and rotate the characters and find the best angle, and then I draw it.
Q: What part of the creative process do you enjoy most?
Tite Kubo: When I think about the story, if it's something I've wanted to draw for a long time, it's fun.
I usually have this rundown of scenes I want to draw in my head. My job is to try to make it interesting. When it comes to drawing a scene I really want to do it's fun. When I draw the connecting scenes, I try to make it lively. And when it comes to inking, I really enjoy doing that work too.
Q: You're already up to 33 volumes of Bleach -- how much longer do you think this story will go?
Tite Kubo: I can't really say how long this story will be by the time it ends, but I have a few more stories that I want to tell, so this series will go on for a while. (laughs)
MEETING HIS FANS AND A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE FOR ASPIRING MANGA-KA
Q: Let's talk a bit about your encounters with your fans this weekend. Are there any memorable experiences, or anything that stands out in your mind as your favorite memory so far?
Tite Kubo: One of my favorite experiences so far was seeing the artwork from the winners of the fan art contest. The color illustration (by Christy Lijewski) was especially impressive. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to meet the artists, but it was really great to see their work.
Q: So as you can see, there are a lot of American fans who love manga and who would love to be a professional manga artist like you are. Do you have any advice or secrets to your success that you could share with them?
Tite Kubo: Just believe in your talent. Maybe others will tell you otherwise -- but just believe in it. It's very important for readers to enjoy what you create, so you must do something that you find enjoyable too. Otherwise, it's dishonest to charge people for something that you don't enjoy.
Q: Do you have any message that you'd like to pass on to your fans who weren't able to meet you here today?
Tite Kubo: I really get it now that American fans are really enthusiastic (about my work). I would love to come back to America again to meet more of my fans and maybe see them where they live next time.