Takehiko Inoue, creator of Slam Dunk, Vagabond and REAL, visited the newly opened Kinokuniya bookstore in New York City on November 19, 2007 to draw a special wall art.
An interview with Takehiko Inoue was recently published in Shueisha's Jump Square magazine.
Below is a brief translation of the interview:
Q: Were there some new things you could find when you drew this wall art?
A: I used to draw manga on a desk; this time I enjoyed this experience when I made the mural in front of the crowd. I remembered how enjoyable it was to draw pictures.
Q: What was the hardest thing?
A: I had to step back to watch the balance of my art.
Q: How did it feel to draw a mural in front of the American people?
A: I forgot everything when I started concentrating, but when I turned back and found so many people were watching me, I thought, "Geez."
Q: When did you decide the design of your mural?
A: I had checked the spot I had to draw in the previous month. I decided to drew Musashi And Otuu. Details were decided on the spot.
Q: Wasn't feeling important to the creation of the art?
A: I decided my ideas when I checked the walls I had to paint. I had an idea to draw a sea behind Musashi, but I changed my plan and draw a grass field.
Q: How important was improvisation to making the mural?
A: Planning was 90 percent, improvisation was 10 percent.
Q: Your title, Real, will be published in the U.S. Why did you pick up this theme, such as basketball by players in wheelchairs?
A: I saw a basketball game by handicapped players on TV. It was impressive.
Q: How do you suppose readers of Real in the U.S. will feel about it?
A: I hope they feel "Real" is a story that could happen to any real person; that it's not a fantasy.
Q: How about for the readers of Slam Dunk?
A: Beside the interest on the story such as "What will come next?" I want readers to feel achieving something, or love of the sport.
Q: You say people in all countries can feel such things.
A: Yes, We have the same reason to play sports.
Q: Were there some changes to your feelings for manga between your younger days and nowadays?
A: I feel a change in myself – when I was a younger, I was just moving and running ahead on my way. Now we understand that a loser can get his second chance, or you can stand again even after a bad set-back. I can see various things.
Q: How will you describe this trip to people around you?
A: "I washed up all things that bothered me; I got fleshed up."
Q: Do you want to draw a mural again?
A: Sure, if there is another chance I'd do it.
Various other English websites have also published interviews with Inoue during his visit to NYC:
Photos of the event can be found here and here.
Interview translated by T. Ohara
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