Home Comics Process Editing notes: Shonen Jump, Brevoort

Editing notes: Shonen Jump, Brevoort

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Shonen Jump editor in chief Masahiko Ibaraki recalls his career, including the early years:

Each editor is assigned a mangaka to work with. The first mangaka assigned to me was Akira Miyashita. I feel as if my training as an editor came from working with the mangaka, not my superiors. When I was assigned to Mr. Miyashita, the editor who came before me worked with me for just one day and said, “You should do it from now on.” I still remember how Miyashita looked when we first met. He was a tall guy with black glasses who said to me, “We should go out and get something to drink.” To this day, the Shonen Jump editorial department has a tradition: each editor is given a large discretion. Even though I was pretty busy back then I still enjoyed those days.


Ibaraki also shows that even the mightiest mangazine of them all has its ups and downs:

In 1982, when I joined Shonen Jump the circulation number was 25.5 million copies. Then the circulation grew as high as 65.3 million copies in 1995 because of hit titles such as Dragon Ball, Slam Dunk and others. However, after 1995 the circulation decreased constantly until last year. The circulation number last year was 27 million copies. We’ve seen good days and bad days, but I believe in a bright future for manga. Manga can be created with pen and papers, so it has unlimited possibilities. I hope Shonen Jump will keep producing cool manga with unknown talents like it has in the past.


§ MEANWHILE… Tom Brevoort begins his dip into the mailbag:

What makes a bad editor?

This could be many, many columns in and of itself, and has been if you dig through the archives of this blog. If I had to narrow it down, though, I think the worst editors in general have been those who really wanted to be writing the comics themselves, and who used their position and authority to attempt to do just that, from the back seat. The editor isn’t there to tell his story, the editor is there to help the creators tell their stories. And while the editor will always have a certain amount of say in what goes into a given story, they’re not the star of the show. To be an effective editor, you need to be ready and willing to stand in the wings while other people take the bows. Hiring whomever happens to walk in the door that day regardless of appropriateness for the assignment is bad editing. Not having a viewpoint of some kind leads to bad editing.


Well said, Tom!

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