NISSAN ⫻ MONOCLE
MAKING A MANGA HERO Our manga series follows the adventures of businessman Alessandro, who sets out on a quest to reconnect with his heritage and live a simpler lifestyle. Manga artist Kishi built up the character using every detail, from the clothes he wears to the car he drives, to convey his values for life and business – integrity, craftsmanship and sustainability. For the setting, we chose Hayama, a town near Tokyo with a relaxed pace and laidback feel, and we decided our hero would drive a Nissan Leaf, Nissan’s new 100 per cent electric zero emission vehicle, because it complements his understated style. THE PROCESS BEGINS: 01 The vehicle Manga artist Kishi tries out the new Nissan Leaf in order to get a feel for the car his character drives. His verdict? “Much cuter in real life than in photographs.”
02 The tools Neatly organised pens used to create the illustrations. Kishi has a favourite, which he always uses, and which is as thin as possible. 03 Work in progress Illustrations are hand-drawn to give the manga a crafted feel. As a starting point, he imagines the final scene and works backwards from there. 04 Getting there The story starts to come together. 05 The studio Kishi scans the hand-drawn artwork into a computer. He prefers to work alone (apart from his non-human companions) so that he can keep control of the creative process.
NISSAN ⫻ MONOCLE
GETTING INTO CHARACTER Manga artist Kishi lives and works in Yokohama, which is not far from the town of Hayama where the manga itself is set. From his tiny studio he works alone, carefully hand-drawing everything in several drafts before scanning into a computer and adding colour. Before getting down to work on this episode of our new manga series, he took a test drive of the Nissan Leaf to understand the car in “every detail”. He explains, “To make my manga character happy to drive the car, I need to enjoy it myself.” Through his drawings he aims to deliver a real feeling that people don’t get from photographs. “This is the way of manga,” he says.
ARTIST AT WORK: 01
01 Careful research Manga artist Kishi takes photos of the Nissan Leaf to use as reference back at the studio. 02 Finishing touches Everything is hand drawn but colour is added later with computer software. Kishi says his style is a ‘harmony between analogue and digital’. 03 The workspace The artist works surrounded by objects that he uses for inspiration and reference. He also refers to books and photographs that he’s taken. 04 Manga man Kishi in his studio.
05 Early drafts After several initial sketches, the final drawings take about a week to perfect.