Say hi to Morrey Gibbs! A fisher-boy in a flooded world overrun with mutated animals known as "anomals", he's got more problems than just giant fish to deal with. Namely, how everything he touches turns to gold! Sure it sounds great, but gold underpants aren't exactly stylish... or comfortable.
Together with his otter buddy Otta and new inventor friend Shelly, Morrey's on a quest to rid himself of his blessing-turned-curse, and try to find a solution for the tragedy he unwittingly caused...
Born in 1991, Nana Yaa won first place in the manga competition MangaMagie at the early age of 17 and even appeared on late-night talk show TV Total. Now 26, Nana Yaa is one of the most prolific creators of the German manga scene, having self-published numerous volumes and short stories.
Creator: Nana Yaa
Trim size: 5"W x 7.5"H
Interior: B&W (some color)
Print volumes: 2 (ongoing)
Digital volumes: 2 (ongoing)
Q&A WITH NANA YAA
You began creating manga at a very young age. Was there a particular series or manga creator who inspired you?
As a kid, my very first exposure to manga was Ranma 1/2 and BANZAI. BANZAI is an early, monthly, German shonen magazine that presented some of the running Shonen Jump series like HunterxHunter and Shaman King. Those manga kind of formed my taste and I always was more interested in dynamic styles and action stories than in shojo manga. I think that every series you ever read inspires you a little but right now I'm a big fan of the art of Kohei Horikoshi, Yuko Osada, Ahn Dongshik and Tsulala (Rem). But my big idol for interesting characters, funny ideas and touching real life issues is still the great Rumiko Takahashi.
Goldfisch takes the "Midas touch" and adds a fresh new take that is both humorous and unexpected. What was the inspiration for Morrey and his world of "anomals"?
The answer to this is kinda given in the question itself, because adding "a new touch" to the Midas story my grandmother read to me when I was young was exactly what I hoped to do. I thought, "What if the power to turn everything into gold is not just a punishment but actually the key to achieve something. Wouldn't it be heroic to turn this bad thing into your strength?" Then I noticed that this concept is totally the case with a lot of the main characters in shonen manga. So the rough idea of sending Morrey on a journey was born pretty fast. Then, to develop the nature and adventure around him I really sat down, read world-building tips and drafted a story structure with a lot of trial and error.
Do you know where Morrey's story is going, or do you map out his adventures as you go along?
Morrey's whole adventure is already pretty mapped out. Before I started to draw this series, my editor and I had already put a lot of work in a rough script that covered all the volumes. With a short series meant to have some surprises in the end, you have to calculate the given space very strictly. So right know I'm following a script, but of course there are still a lot of spontaneous ideas and changes when things don't really fit like they were planned.
You have accomplished so much in your career in such a short time, from publishing your own work to two volumes of the TOKYOPOP series, Goldfisch. What advice do you have for aspiring manga creators?
When you make the step from amateur to professional artist and suddenly a lot of people will see your work, this job can be kind of scary. Self-doubt as to whether people will like your stuff, or if anyone even cares, can occur. No matter how big or the small the audience may be, you should always draw a story that you would like to read yourself. Don't try to plan a hit like: "what genre/theme could be the next big hype?" Draw the subjects you know, and for which you truly care about, to keep it fun. Drawing manga is a very hard and draining job and the one thing that will keep you motivated the most is the thing you decided to deliver! Another saying that always motivates me is, that when you notice flaws in your art (and artists will know this), it's a sign that you're getting (and seeing) better!