Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Web Artist Wednesday: nemu*nemu interview

It must cost a fortune to feed these stuffed animals! Creator Audra Furuichi's Stuffed pups come to life and star in her webcomic nemu*nemu!

1. For the poor souls not already reading, please give a brief synopsis of your comic.

nemu*nemu is an all-ages online comic that I've been growing for about 7 years now. The two stuffed pups, Anpan (red scarf) and Nemu (yellow kerchief), are the stars of the show. With a little magic, they come to life and curiously explore our world -- one adventure at a time. Sometimes the adventures are real, other times they are "imagined". The nemu*nemu universe expanded over the past couple years to include Enchilada, a space-time traveling pup from another dimension, and Blue, a pup who lives in a Lost & Found box -- drawn specifically for our local newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

2. What materials and/or software do you use?

I currently use Manga Studio EX4 for layout and inks and Photoshop CS5 for colors. Earlier on, many of the strips were done on bristol board with ink, scanned in and toned/colored in Photoshop.

3. Are there any books, movies, toys, artists, or authors that have inspired or continue to inspire your comic?

I'm a big manga fan -- artists like Kiyohiko Azuma (Azumanga Daioh, Yotsuba&!) and Kaoru Mori (Emma, Bride's Story) are my current biggest influences. Also, I love just about anything done by GURIHIRU (Avatar comics, Power Pack for Marvel), Hayao Miyazaki (just about anything Studio Ghibli), Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Wolf Children Yuki & Ame). Funny you mention toys though -- I've been following the Good Smile company's english blog that highlights their latest releases. I check out their designs for cute inspiration from time to time! (http://mikatan.goodsmile.info/en/)

4. Are any of your characters based on real people in your life?

The pups are based on real stuffed pups that Scott gave me when we first started dating. The "Anpan" character came first, then we looked for a second pups and that turned out to be "Nemu". The third was "Enchilada" and the fourth, who was incidentally from a lost & found where Scott works, is "Blue". (Yes, they are all the same model of stuffed pup and we can tell them apart -- just like how you can tell our four pups apart!) The girls are extreme ends of my personality, but look like a couple of my friends from my late high school/college years.

5. Are there any actors you know you would want to play or voice certain characters in a movie of your comic?

Just Scott. He does all the voices anyway. XD

6. What songs would you like in a soundtrack of your comic?

Can't think of anything off the top of my head?

7. What is your overall goal for your comic?

For my pups to become household names. No, really! :3

8. How has managing a comic impacted your life?

In some ways, it's been very satisfying. I like being creative and I enjoy drawing the comic. However, handling the business side of things has not been easy and in many ways I'm still learning things as I go.

9. What do you do to advertise your work?

Locally (here in Hawaii), we do events like Christmas craft fairs/shows and Kawaii Kon in the spring. Every so often, I do library or school talks. I've also done a number of west coast events over the years (Fanime, SDCC) and a couple east coast shows (TCAF, NEWW2). Occasionally we advertise on fellow webcomic sites and I post to various social networks like Tumblr, Facebook, etc.

10. Web comics can be very time consuming and sometimes expensive to keep up. Often there is little reward in regards to money and sometimes public attention. Why do you do it?

I enjoy the process more than anything else. I like to think that with each and every strip I complete, I learn something new or challenge myself to improve artistically and creatively. It's hard work, but satisfying.

11. Got any other projects we should know about?

Aside from Blue Hawaii that runs in the Star-Advertiser, just planning out future stories, my new year's illustration, and some new merchandise for the spring season. :D

12. What advice would you give to aspiring creators?

Be true to yourself and believe the work you do is good -- then put it out there! 

Thanks Audra! The plushy pups in your nemu*shop are awesome! And thanks for sharing the Good Smile link. There's some sweet stuff there! :)

If you dig nemu*nemu you can show your love by up-voting the submission for this interview at Reddit Webcomics. Up-voting keeps nemu*nemu on the front page of the webcomic category longer which means more people get to see it!

Thanks again for reading. Let us know what you think with a comment below. Then bring some snacks and an appetite for adventure to nemu*nemu!


If you would like to be interviewed about your web-comic send an email to evanyeti@yahoo.com titled "interview" with a link to your comic.

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