He’s recently Tweeted a unique perspective on what it’s like to be a mangaka — and it’s not pretty. Most fans know that mangaka work on crazy schedules and tight deadlines, especially if they are working on a weekly series. However, Kobayashi paints an even more depressing picture.
After attending a concert, Kobayashi was reminded of how many manga artists have lonely and reclusive lifestyles. Many musicians interact with other people on a constant basis, such as with producers, collaborators, and onstage with fans. But manga artists? Your monthly meeting with an editor might be your only human contact for long periods of time.
Kobayashi said it’s hard for artists to understand that they’re part of a team that includes editors and assistants since there isn’t much face-to-face interaction. He notes that many manga creators live alone, barely eat, and have trouble sleeping due to anxiety. The industry is volatile, and someone’s work can be canceled in an instant due to a variety of reasons outside of their control.
It’s not all terrible. Kobayashi said that artists are always excited to hear from fans through fan letters or positive interaction on social media. He reminded fans that the best way to support an artist is to buy their work, but if you can’t, simply recommending them to others is fine. Maybe your recommendation will lead to an extra sale.