Meeting with Shinichi Ishizuka, creator of Blue Giant, a manga selected at the last Angoulême Festival.
The Cross: How was born Blue Giant, whose hero is a saxophone player?
Shinichi Ishizuka: I am a jazz fan and I play tenor saxophone as an amateur. This music is not much heard in Japan and I wanted to make readers want to discover it. My manga is a reflection of my passions. This allows me to feel the same emotions as my main characters. Before Blue Giant (1), I created Vertical (2), a series on the mountain and climbing. I am in love with the summits and I wanted to share this pleasure.
Your work is therefore quite autobiographical …
Shinichi Ishizuka: Yes, when I drew VerticalI was asked if I lived in a tent in the mountains … There is a bit of me in the way each hero goes after his passion, music or climbing. But in reality, it's more of a dream. I would have liked to be like them. Have this pugnacity. This desire to go beyond my strength.
Angoulême Festival, our favorite bubbles
How do you draw your characters?
Shinichi Ishizuka: I always start with the most difficult: to grasp the expression of the face, with the idea of character character. After, the rest comes naturally. Like the pianist, in Blue Giant. Once the head was drawn, it was obvious that he would be tall and thin.
For secondary characters, I discuss a lot with my editor. He gives me advice always wisely. Throughout the work, I take into account the ease of reading. My mangas do not contain much text and flip through quickly. They are thus accessible to the greatest number.
In Japan, like many mangakas, I am not considered an artist, because of the rhythm of pre-publications in magazines, twice a month. I draw every day but I have little time to realize my boards. Besides, I should not devote more time because I would then risk to take me for an artist!
What were the mangakas that inspired you?
Shinichi Ishizuka: Younger, I was very appreciative of Bataashi Kingyo from Minetarō Mochizuki. Since the day I decided to become mangaka, at 30, this work has been my main source of inspiration. I also like the characters drawn by Tetsuya Chiba.
What are your projects ?
Shinichi Ishizuka: Following Blue Giant is in progress: Blue Giant Supreme. Dai's story will continue outside of Japan. This new series involves five years of work. Today, I can not imagine other subjects that I could explore as I did for jazz and the mountains. But I am sure that my pleasure in describing the tumult of human relations and the happiness of everyone will bring forth new ideas.
Collected by Frédérique Schneider