Dan with a Plan is 31 years old, lives in Oregon and has been playing games and reading manga for a good 26 of those. While he made webcomics over a decade ago, MBGLM is his first honest attempt at wanting to make a living out of his hobby. He is the creator of Magical Bad Girl Lovely Miracle.
Synopsis: Hikari Sakura never wanted her reputation as the toughest girl in school, but her street-brawling prowess certainly comes in handy when the existence of magic is revealed to her and sinister otherworldly forces begin to set their plans in motion! When Hikari’s own powers awaken, she does what any high school tough would do; realize her lifelong dream to become a magical defender of justice, saving the innocent from the likes of Demons and Mages alike!
What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
I’d have to say it’s good old Shonen action, ’cause who doesn’t like seeing people fire lasers at each other?
Are there any other genres that apply to your comic?
Maho Shojo, Romance
What was your inspiration for the story?
First I’d like to credit the webcomic “MegaTokyo” by Fred Gallagher. MegaTokyo’s blend of satire and deconstruction really appealed to me. I hadn’t seen Eva yet, so such genre subversion was new and refreshing to see at the time.
I don’t know if this’ll make sense, but the second inspiration is a song actually, “I’m ALIVE by BECCA”, which after hearing it just once the wheels in my head began turning on their own. I’d been wanting to make a Maho Shojo series around then, but had no idea what direction I wanted to take the series. Hearing that song made me want to make a lead whose journey over the series could be represented by it from start to finish, and to keep with the tone of the song, I went with a more positive, yet still harsh and trying to all the characters in the story.
Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
For story, I’d have to say Hiromu Arakawa and Tite Kubo are the biggest in that regard, while art is a little harder for me to say… I don’t think I referenced any single artist, but I definitely leaned into the moe style.
How long does it take you to complete one page?
Depends on how well I draw it the first time, but 7-14 days (Very slow, unfortunately.)
What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
First hand drawn with a mechanical pencil on 8.5in x 11in on copier paper, then scanned onto my laptop and finished in GIMP using a mouse.
Is your comic a finished work? If no, how long do you think you think it’s going to be when it’s complete? Is there a definitive ending or will you just keep going for as long as possible?
I have a definitive ending in mind, but it’s a LONG Shonen series so I don’t know how long it’d take.
How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
Not that long actually. I started thinking about MBGLM in late 2016-early 2017 and was drawing around summer 2017. The thing to remember is that I didn’t actually start releasing anything until November 2019…
What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the course of making of your comic? If you could go back in time to the point where you just started making it and give yourself a pep talk, what would you say?
The fact that I still have a job to do really cuts into the time I can devote to making my comic single-handedly. If I could go back, I wouldn’t have much too say besides “people like your work, so don’t get down and keep at it.”
What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
Getting to put the finishing touch on each page gives me a rush, but the best thing I’ve felt while making it is that I get to see people actually enjoy my work and that I can make someone’s day a little bit better.
What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
I can’t seem draw dynamic poses or cloth in motion correctly, so when I have to waste time redrawing things I really ought to be able to naturally by now…
For me, “overcoming” and “relentless iteration” are synonymous with one another, as finishing on laptop lets me erase and redraw as much as I need, though that method is what leads to my lethargic production time.
Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
It’s still the first chapter, but I’d have to say Hikari is the best so far. It’s fun coming up with lines for a character who can go from silly to angry to serious in quick succession. Her personality is much more than the stereotypical Yanki girl, so look forward to how she turns out!
Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
Really they’re all pretty easy to write for right now (1st chapter and all.) Hikari’s just my favorite to write for.
Do you have a favorite character to draw?
Hikari again (LOL.) I made the regular character designs simple on purpose.
Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
Right now, the demon-possessed thug clad in metal. I still curse myself for making that elaborate design…
Where can we find you?
Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
In the end, I hope people will support (or at the very least be kind with their words to) me as I go forward with the biggest project I’ve undertaken!
Have you read Magical Bad Girl Lovely Miracle yet? Let us know what you think in the comments! Or, hey, go to the creator’s site and show some love 😀
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