BAN ZARBO · Kamo

I sincerely hope that the German manga scene continues to grow, remains as productive as now and artists continue to do everything they can to further develop. It’ll be nice when readers no longer distinguish between German and Japanese manga. In any case, I thrive on your support and I would be very happy if you would accompany me on this path. Over and out!
— Ban Zarbo

Ban’s mother first introduced her and her twin, Gin, to anime and manga as young girls. Even then, the twins aspired to one day become manga creators. Kamo is based on Ka-Mo which Ban had previously self-published in 2014 and is largely inspired by Caribbean myth.

Fun fact: the character Shokola is influenced by Ban's mother, and even a little by a fellow TOKYOPOP manga creator! "I also have [Goldfisch creator] Nana Yaa's afro-hair splendor in mind, which also influenced her design; I tied them together and put them to paper."

 

GIN ZARBO · Undead Messiah

I largely have my fans to thank that I have come this far. I have been able to acquire many tricks myself, but there are still so many things I have to learn. I hope ‘Undead Messiah’ provides readers with a different kind of zombie story, and I welcome your feedback!
— Gin Zarbo

At just 24 years of age, Gin and her twin Ban, the Swiss natives with Dominican and Italian roots have already reached their goal of becoming manga creators, building a following of devoted fans through social media, and the eventual German publication of their work by TOKYOPOP.

Gin Zarbo self-published the fan favorite Cope Soul manga before creating Undead Messiah, which has everything she loves about the horror genre, but with a twist. As she puts it, "There are different reasons why the undead are so interesting. In my family I grew up with horror stories. I've always liked eerie myths and monsters like vampires, werewolves, ghosts and zombies. Due to the fact that a zombie outbreak could trigger catastrophes all over the world, I find them most fascinating because they can spread rapidly compared to other monsters, thereby giving them the power to wipe out all mankind."

 

NANA YAA · Goldfisch

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.
— Nana Yaa

Born in 1991, Nana Yaa won first place in the manga competition Manga Magie at the early age of 17 and caught the attention of late-night talk show host Stefan Raab, who even had her on his show TV Total. She is now among the most productive artists in the German manga scene and has already published numerous amateur manga and short stories, including the Boys Love webcomic, CRUSHED!! In addition to her contributions to anthologies by the independent publisher Schwarzer Turm, her first full-length work, Patina was published by Droemer Knaur in 2016. Her slice-of-life drama MCS was awarded Doujinshi of the Year in 2016.

Nana Yaa lives and works in Neuss and graduated with a Bachelor in Communication Design in 2015. When she’s not at her work desk or thinking about a new story, she plays RPGs, drinks cocktails with friends or passes the time with her dog.

 

NATALIA BATISTA · Sword Princess Amaltea

I am so stoked, because as I live in a small country (Sweden) with very little printed manga, I know how much the English translated and globally distributed manga mean to readers that won’t get it otherwise. So happy!!!
— Natalia Batista

Natalia Batista is a Swedish manga artist, illustrator and comic art teacher at Serieskolan in Malmö, the most prominent comic art school in Sweden. Her works include the kids manga Mjau!, published in Sweden, Portugal and the US. Natalia was a founding member of the Swedish manga artist collective and publisher Nosebleed Studio.

Natalia loves listening to podcasts, cooking vegan food and farming her own vegetables. She's got two cats who likes hanging out near her when she draws, and occasionally spill her water cups.

 

SOPHIE-CHAN · Ocean of Secrets

Initially, I was drawn to the ocean, to the level that, I could have been a sailor in my past life. I was also a big fan of fantasy and mystery. If you combine these genres together, along with a spice of drama, the ‘Ocean of Secrets’ is born. My advice to upcoming artists is to not compare yourself to anyone and keep doing what you like.
— Sophie-chan

Born in Iraq, Sophie-chan became infatuated with shojo manga at the tender age of seven. With dreams of becoming a manga artist herself, she began teaching herself to draw using her favorite shows as inspiration. Even as she studied to become an engineer, she kept drawing, refusing to give up her dream of becoming a world-class manga artist.

Things took a dramatic turn in 2008 when she started a YouTube channel, which serves as a platform to not only show off her own artwork to fans of her legions of fans, but also provides tutorials to aspiring manga creators all around the world.

Now living in Canada with her family, Sophie-chan proves that with hard work, patience and sheer determination you can realize your dreams.

 

CALY · Hana No Breath

Don’t strive for perfection! A comic book is appreciated as a whole, not as a series of parts, and small errors on a page will not detract from its style.
— Caly

Caly started drawing in kindergarten, and started creating her own manga at the age of 12! With qualifications in Applied Arts and Visual Communication, this young French artist completed the final version of her series MaHo-Megumi in 2007, and began self-publishing the following year.

Dubbed a "Fanzine Star" by Animeland magazine, Hana No Breath is her first fully published work.

 

SOPHIE SCHÖNHAMMER · Star Collector

If you really want to succeed, persevere and never give up. Always believe in yourself!
— Sophie Schönhammer

Sophie Schönhammer was born in 1991 and lives in Bavaria, Germany. She has always had a love for narrative media and consumed as much as she could. In the indie comic scene, she has already published numerous works and organized several anthologies. Due to her large number of projects, she has gained valuable experience in the print sector.

Since 2013, she has worked with Anna on many projects, including the original publication of Star Collector by TOKYOPOP Germany.

 

ANNA BACKHAUSEN · Star Collector

In general, you don’t need special equipment to start, you can create great stories with a pencil and simple paper. Also, you have lots of time to be creative, drawing isn’t a race.
— Anna Backhausen

Anna was born in 1995 in Germany. She started drawing regularly at the age of 11 with a focus on visual storytelling. From 2009 she won awards twice from Manga Talente and once from Manga Magie, two popular manga contests in Germany.

Together with Sophie Schönhammer she worked as an artist on several indie comics from 2013 until 2015. From 2014 until 2017 she worked with Sophie and TOKYOPOP Germany on the German version of Star Collector.

 

KIRA YUKISHIRO · Scarlet Soul

I feel totally tranquil, relaxed and filled by the love of my family from which I get most of my energy to focus on my work. Without them I wouldn’t be here.
— Kira Yukishiro

Kira Yukishiro is a young manga creator from northern Italy.

Self-taught, her passion for manga is born from her love for Japanese culture, video game sagas like The Legend of Zelda and her desire to create stories.

She is mainly influenced by authors such as Yuu Watase (Fushigi Yugi, Alice 19th), Hideaki Sorachi (Gintama) and Kusanagi Mizuho (Yona of the Dawn).

 

ROSSELLA SERGI · Deep Scar

If it’s something you believe madly and want to do, nothing and nobody can stop the flame, not even you! Never give up the fight, bring your stories and characters to life and get excited about them! If you can dream it you can do it.
— Rossella Sergi

Hailing from Turin in Italy, Rossella Sergi had already published Impossible Amarsi in Italy and Deep Scar in France before joining TOKYOPOP’s International Women of Manga lineup.

Fascinated by anime from childhood, she has a degree in Educational Science and works with children part time, drawing tirelessly in her free time. She takes inspiration from her favorite Japanese creators, like Io Sakisaka (Ao Haru Ride), Ai Minase (Sensei to Watashi) and Minami Kanan (Kyō, Koi wo Hajimemasu).

 

LORINELL YU · Servant & Lord

Lorinell Yu
Aim to be better and improve your skills every day. Don’t stop achieving, because you can always do so much more.
— Lorinell Yu

Born in Russia, Lorinell has loved to draw since her childhood. She currently works as a programmer and graphic designer.

Some time ago, she participated in a manga art contest and won a prize — one volume of Chobits from TOKYOPOP. That was the first manga she ever held in her hands, and she never thought she would create her own finished manga someday.

Manga reading is still Lorinell’s first hobby, and the second is playing RPG games. She likes cats, sweets and music.

 

 

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