It’s not the long hours, it’s not the rejections, it’s something more personal.

The life of a manga artist is one of nonstop work, painful failures, and cutthroat competition. Both newcomers to the industry and veterans alike have the same struggles, but it’s their passion for the craft and the support from their fans that helps them get through it.

However, looking at a comic that Japanese manga artist and Twitter user @kohara_motoshi recently posted, even that support sometimes can come back to bite them.

“‘The Greatest Shock I’ve Gotten as a Manga Artist’
Also includes my request to readers.” (Translation below)

Page One

The other day when I was looking around a used-book store… I found a manga that I’d written that someone had sold to them.
Author: “Ah!”

Author: “It’s kind of sad to see this, but I suppose it happens sometimes.”
While trying to reassure myself that people selling their old manga was just a normal thing, I opened the cover…

Author: “!!”

Page Two

This is… a manga that I signed!
Sign: Thank you so much for your support!

And what’s more… it was two volumes signed together!

Author: “W… w… what is this?”
A light panic came over me.

Page Three

Even though they asked me to sign this for them… even though they’d only get a few hundred yen for selling both volumes…. Maybe they just ran out of space and had to get rid of them?

I remember almost everyone whose volumes I’ve signed. I can probably even guess who sold it to this store.
My mind kept digging itself deeper, and I had to stop before the shock got even worse.

After that…

Since other customers probably wouldn’t want to buy the signed copies, and it felt too sad to leave them there… I bought them for myself.

Page Four

Every time I see those signed volumes, I remember the sadness, so I hide them away in the back of my shelf.

Signing a volume is something that I put a lot of thought into for the person who requested it. So when I learned that they sometimes just sell them, as an artist, my heart broke.

I don’t want other authors to have to go through this, so I ask you to please not sell your signed books.

Yikes, that is pretty unfortunate. Even though seeing your own manga available for purchase in a store is pretty awesome, all it takes is one negative experience to drag down a hundred good ones, shattering your confidence along with it.

The author followed up their tweet by saying that it’s not their goal to track down who did it or to single them out, but just to ponder why they did it, while imploring others not to sell their own signed volumes. And, if they absolutely must get rid of them, to at least do it in a place where the author likely won’t find them.

Most replies were supportive of the author, with other Twitter users saying:

“Wow, that is unfortunate. There must have been some sort of sad reason. Maybe it belonged to their ex boyfriend or girlfriend. Or maybe someone who wasn’t the owner sold it. Or maybe the manga gave them the strength they needed at one point, but then they didn’t need it anymore, so they wanted to pass it on to someone else. It’s still sad, but maybe there’s a positive in it.”

“Maybe the manga belonged to their ex-spouse, or a deceased family member or child, and they had to get rid of it to move on. I think there’s a lot of possible reasons, but at least putting it out there for others to enjoy is better than burning it, throwing it out, or hiding it away.”

“My family got rid of things that were important to me all the time, so I can see how that might’ve happened here too.”

Many other chimed in to say that their families also got rid of their manga without asking all the time, so that’s a distinct possibility for what happened here. But one person posted something that lifted the artist’s spirits:

“Your signature is a treasure inside my home, Kohara-sensei.”

And that’s what makes it all worth it.

Plus, at the end of the day, the artist can at least be thankful that their signed volumes didn’t end up as toilet paper, like other manga.

Source: Twitter/@kohara_motoshi via My Game News Flash
Top image: Pakutaso
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