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Mind Snapper Dragon - Interview with the authors

NakarmaZ is glad to transcribe the interview held on the 29th of November 2012 with the authors of Mind Snapper Dragon, Mr. Aruntiwa and Mr. Montri, as well as with the respective editors in chief of NakarmaZ and Cartoon Thai Studio !

Montri and Aruntiwa

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photo with the authors

1 ) Could you introduce yourself and tell us how did you get to work together?

Mr. Aruntiwa : I'm a scenarist, I work with Mr. Montri for a few years already. We first met for an educative comic book project about Thai history, "Malesuan Chronicle", where we worked together and also won a prize.
since then we've been working as a duo on other comic books projects, and we're currently working on a series called "Ogre King", which is partly made out of the experience of our first encounter, with the will to tell about Thai tales and its history in our way. 

Mr. Montri : I've been drawing for 8 years now. I started when I was 18 years old and I graduated in fine Arts after that. We've been working together on the "Ogre King" series for 3 years and we have an effective production rythm allowing us to publish a Tome of 200 pages every 3 months. 
The MSD project came at the time we had decided along with our editor to make a break after the special Tome "Episode zero" which followed the tome 8 of "Ogre King". This allowed us to put in place a special project meant to be published in the C-Kids magazine, which gave birth to"Mind Snapper Dragon".

Mr. Aruntiwa : The aim was to propose something different, with a contemporary story, focusing on psychology and with stories in some kind of detective mode. The all thing to be made as a One Shot, so that we can keep focused on "Ogre King".

From left to right: Montri K. (illustrator), Lionel Dos Santos (editor in chief of NakarmaZ ), Aruntiwa (scenarist), Mr.Tanetr (editor in chief of Cartoon Thai Studio)

2 ) When have you realized that you wanted to be comic book authors?

Mr. Aruntiwa : I already drew when I was very young, at the age of 10 I had some fun copying and drawing my favorite japanese series, like "Doraemon" or "Dragon Ball Z". I really decided to become an author when I was 15, and because my drawing skills were not really like I wished them to be, I started to concentrate on writing and making layouts.Nonetheless, my experience as an illustrator (laughs) allows us, with Montri, to have a nice synergy about roughs and layouts, which gives us the ability to be quite fast.

Mr. Montri : I've really started at the age of 18 when I was studying at university. I was as well influenced by japanese manga, but from the beginning, with the will to propose a really original style, which is mine today and I think quite recognizable by its features.

3 ) A lot of readers and Thai authors see you as idols, and show huge respect towards your exceptional duo. We can also notice the influence you have on young authors. How do you feel about that?

Mr. Aruntiwa : We clearly want to show an exemplary professionalism for the new generation of authors, as well as for the readers; by delivering a Tome every 3 months, we care a lot about deadlines and quality.

Mr. Montri : The notions Aruntiwa has about drawing helps us to take decisions fast concerning certain pre-production steps, which allows me to draw pages without the need of any assistant. The girl illustrating and writing the story of "Get Some" (another comic book published by Cartoon Thai Studio), has a very specific and realistic style so she can deliver a Tome every 9 months, with the help of some assistants; and the result is very nice. 

Mr. Aruntiwa : there's a Thai author we appreciate a lot for many years, Mr. Chayan Suyavech (pseudo : Tapone-ตาโปน). We would like to resemble him and represent this new generation of Thai professional authors. 

Mr. Montri : By the way, the name Mungkorn, hero of "MSD", was insipired by this author. It's our way to make a wink to one of the most fabulous representative of comic books made in Thailand for years with his series like "Lady in the monster's arm" and "Crocodile crisis"".

4 ) What are the comic books you're currently reading, and which are your 5 favorite ones? 

Mr. Aruntiwa : Unfortunately, our rythm of work doesn't give us time to read many books regularly!(laughs) I appreciate a lot the work of  Takehiko Inoue (author of "Slam Dunk", "Vagabond",...), and of course Akira Toriyama ("Dragon Ball",...), Takeshi Obata ("Ikaru No Go", "Death Note"), and Mr. Oda ("One Piece").

Mr. Montri : Same for me (laughs), and it's true that like many others I appreciate a lot the work done byTakehiko Inoue, always original and sensational from the story to the draws.

5) You are actually working on the Ogre King series, which Tome 13 was released a few weeks ago and that has become a famous reference in Thailand. Would you like to see one of your works becoming an anime or some video game?

Mr. Aruntiwa : Yes, both.

Mr. Montri : It's one of our dreams, that's for sure. (laughs)

Mr. Aruntiwa : We give the readers the confidence that they will be able to follow the adventures of "Ogre King" with 4 Tomes per year, and of quality.

Mr. Montri : It's for us one of the main key of "Ogre King" 's success.

6) How do you feel about the opportunity to work together with NakarmaZ and show your work to French people?

Mr. Aruntiwa : We are happy for sure.

Mr. Montri : We are also even ready to remake its cover if you want! (laughs)

7) Lots of feed backs from readers concerning MSD are about the question which is to know if whether or not there will be a second Tome proposed one day?

Mr. Aruntiwa : Even if "MSD" open the gate to a possible continuation, that's true! (laughs) This is totally part of the will to propose a story in a single volume, exciting from the start to the end. 

Mr. Aruntiwa : Yes, and that way we can keep focus on working out our series "Ogre King" which is still running.

8) What is your opinion concerning digital comic books publishing?

Mr. Aruntiwa : I'm OK for it, but personally I don't even have the time to read! (laughs)

Mr. Aruntiwa : Idem! I think the reading habits are evolving, but it must be done along with protection for the authors. (laughs)

Behind the scenes of the interview:

This special interview has allowed us to lay the groundwork for an agreement about the edition of Thai comics in France. "Ogre King" being the second series that will be published by NakarmaZ, after Lost Monkey Dorobô Ryôneru. We take this opportunity to look at some of the roughs realized for the Tome 14 of "Ogre King". Impressively realistic even if they are only roughs, drawn on an A4 sheet in landscape mode, which gives small but yet sophisticated drawings. By the way, you will be able to find out numerous examples of sketches inside the Tomes of the series, as well as in "MSD".
sketch illustration of Mungkorn, hero of MSD!