We get a chance to have a pressure free conversation about comics with women in the comics creators community. Their creativity is inspiring to people throughout the fandom who enjoy their work.
They are our HERoes.
A Japanese manga artist world renown for her Gothic kawaii (kawaii noir) style, Junko Mizuno mixes a cute, childlike sweetness with dark and terrible imagery in a way that makes us stand up and notice! We got the tremendous opportunity to ask Mizuno about her work style and the happiness behind drawing her elegant, dark comics.
Junko Mizuno: I love that it feels like making a movie all by myself. I only need to have paper and pen and I can create my own actors, sets, props and whatever I want to put in the story with no budget and no stress dealing with other people. It’s amazing!
JB: Are there any artists or styles that have had the biggest influence on your work?
JM: The list would be too long if I name all the artists but if I had to name one, it would be Aubrey Beardsley. Discovering his art when I was about thirteen inspired me to learn and experiment in different art styles other than Japanese manga & anime that I’d enjoyed as a kid.
JB: Do you have a particular audience in mind when you’re drawing, different for every book, or is it all about what gives you joy in creating?
JM: I basically don’t think about particular audience unless the client tells me to. I’m basically making art for my own pleasure so I would say I’m the audience I always have in mind.
JB: What is a typical creative working day for you?
JM: As I get older, it’s getting hard for me to focus on work for too long so I do something else in between. I usually wake up around 9 to 11 am, eat, work, do my dishes, work, email, work, take a walk outside, work, eat again, work, take a shower etc. then go to bed around 2 to 4 am.
JB: Musical inspirations? Or do you need quiet to create?
JM: Music helps me come up with ideas. There’s no specific music genre that I stick to. I love to explore different kinds of music so my art can be diverse, too. When I have to stay at home and work on drawing or painting for a long time, I listen to the radio so I don’t feel too lonely.
JB: What is one of your favorite stories you have ever been part of creating?
JM: Difficult question… I enjoyed creating all the stories I’ve made. But Pure Trance, my first graphic novel is especially unforgettable. I was young, I put all my energy and ideas into the story as I thought it might be the last time having my work published.
JB: What is some advice you wish someone had given you before you began working in the comic medium?
JM: Don’t think too much, just have fun creating whatever you want.
JB: What message do you hope people get when experiencing your work?
JM: I’m not the kind of artist who is trying to send certain messages. I’d like people to enjoy my art however they want because that’s what I do when I see other artists’ work. I’d just be happy if my work could give people the chance to think or look at things differently than they usually do.
JB: When it comes to comics, “all I want or dream is …”
JM: Life, death, food, and powerful women in it.
If you’d like to read Ravina the Witch? or any of Junko’s other work, check her out at ComiXology, Amazon or your local comic shop.
You can check out Junko’s website by clicking here.
Junko’s Instagram is @junko_mizuno_art
Junko’s Twitter is @Junko_Mizuno