SB Teen club engages, creates through manga art form

| October 23, 2015 | 0 Comments
Nataliya Yordanova, 17, displays one of her original manga characters, Athena, during a recent meeting of the Teen Manga Club at Sgt. Yano Library. Yordanova said she uses both paper and markers, as well as digital drawing tools, to create her comics.

Nataliya Yordanova, 17, displays one of her original manga characters, Athena, during a recent meeting of the Teen Manga Club at Sgt. Yano Library. Yordanova said she uses both paper and markers, as well as digital drawing tools, to create her comics.

Story & photos by
Christine Cabalo
Contributing Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Fans of manga, or Japanese comics, have a whole group of friends waiting to meet them, here.

Sgt. Yano Library regularly hosts the Teen Manga Club, a group that meets every second and fourth Wednesday in the library at 3 p.m.

Jessica Molina, 19, and her 12-year-old nephew Nathan Ferguson, color in manga drawings and create stories about the featured characters during a session of the Teen Managa Club. The club meets every second and fourth Wednesday at the Sgt. Yano Library located in building 560 at 1565 Kolekole Avenue aboard Schofield Barracks.

Jessica Molina, 19, and her 12-year-old nephew Nathan Ferguson, color in manga drawings and create stories about the featured characters during a session of the Teen Managa Club. The club meets every second and fourth Wednesday at the Sgt. Yano Library located in building 560 at 1565 Kolekole Avenue aboard Schofield Barracks.

All teens are welcome to join the club for free. Some teens have been members for more than two years and are drawn to a variety of comics.

“There are many different types of manga for audiences,” said Jessica Molina, a 19-year-old member of the club. “You and your friend may both like manga, but may not have any comics you like in common.”

Sharing interests
During each session, members discuss their favorite manga comics, what series they may be enjoying at the moment and complete a club activity together. Several in the group also make their own manga comics, creating unique characters and stories.

Molina said, although she enjoys making her own comics, she sometimes prefers getting lost in the worlds that other artists have created.

“I like watching manga, but sometimes it’s better to read the light novel,” she said. “(For some series,) it can be better than the TV show or movie.”

Recently, the group met to talk about their reviews on new manga series that have been published and personal costume projects.

Halloween is around the corner, but club members enjoy dressing up as their favorite characters, known as cosplaying, all year-round. The club hosted a cosplay party and poster contest in March.

“I think it’s great we have a club,” said Lori Martin, a library technician with Sgt. Yano Library, who guided the Oct. 14 session. “I used to work at the Teen Center, and I’d have teens asking for (a Manga Club) and looking for an outlet to hang out with other people who like it. This club is a good way to make friends and share stuff you’re all interested in.”

Yordanova adds color to a premade manga drawing during a club meeting, Oct. 14. During each club meeting members are able to share what movies or books they're currently enjoying and complete a manga-related activity.

Yordanova adds color to a premade manga drawing during a club meeting, Oct. 14. During each club meeting members are able to share what movies or books they’re currently enjoying and complete a manga-related activity.

Nataliya Yordanova, a 17-year-old member of the teen club, shared how her love of manga connected her to friends and with relatives she hasn’t seen in years now living in Europe. Yordanova is currently applying to a college in Tokyo and said her love of manga has given her a better insight into Japanese culture.

“For Valentine’s Day, girls give chocolates to the guys,” she said. “Then on White Day, guys give girls presents. Usually they give chocolates or something white, like diamonds.”

Both she and Molina said those interested in manga have a wealth of resources, including the Sgt. Yano Library, to find an entertaining series. Club members said they look for intriguing plots and cool artwork when trying out new manga series.

Manga recruitment
Molina said for already established manga enthusiasts trying to encourage new fans, starting with mainstream and popular recommendations is a safe route. She said series like “Hello Kitty” and “Pokemon” are manga that many in the U.S. may be familiar with and that potential fans may find similar series for their interests.

151014-D-RT812-025Yordanova said the comics she prefers often have surprising twists, including major character deaths that add to her love of the genre.

“Creators kill off characters fans may have an emotional connection with to add to the drama,” Yordanova said. “(Character deaths) make it more personal reading, and you’re more invested into what happens at the end.”

Whether it’s to discuss the adventures of an adult detective turned into a child or to unlock the mysteries of a mysterious notebook of the dead, the club’s members are drawn to meet twice a month.

Teen Manga Club
Meets every second and fourth Wednesday at the Sgt. Yano Library aboard Schofield Barracks. Features discussion of manga, personal projects and a club craft created with the group. Free to join. For more information, call 655-4227.

Members of the Teen Manga Club discuss books and movies they've recently enjoyed and art projects they've completed during a club meeting. Meeting attendees are, from left to right, Nataliya Yordanova, Loki Hagar, Nathan Ferguson, Jessica Molina and Lori Martin.

Members of the Teen Manga Club discuss books and movies they’ve recently enjoyed and art projects they’ve completed during a club meeting. Meeting attendees are, from left to right, Nataliya Yordanova, Loki Hagar, Nathan Ferguson, Jessica Molina and Lori Martin.

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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