It has been a while since I posted anything related to Moroccan Otakus or fans in a while… I can blame the lack of inspiration and also the life that took the lead over the blog, generally speaking.
But I am back! This time, I am interviewing a team of Moroccan Mangakas. They are young, creative, full of ideas and determined to publish even more mangas in the future. Their ultimate goal is to launch a magazine that will be the reference for Otakus in Morocco. They founded the page “MAMICS” in order to reach a bigger audience and collaborate for better productions.
While surfing the never-lasting pages of Facebook, I stumbled across the first chapter of a manga by “accident” (if you ever believe in that), I read it and I knew I had to ask for more details. That lead me to Badr, a member of MAMICS and I harassed him gently asked him for some information.
And so he was kind enough to answer …
I am Badr, 21 years old and I am an art student in Casablanca. I love drawing, actually I draw almost every day and I love league of legends.
I started drawing at 2013. It was basically me trying to draw the characters of my favorite animes, like Bleach or Naruto. I would hit “pause” and try to replicate what my eyes were seeing. Over time, my techniques evolved slowly and I didn’t need to copy anymore, the traits came spontaneously. I think it was 2014, I saw that my drawing started to be different and that I got a style of my own. The idea of creating something haunted me, until I gave it a try. It was a short story, that I converted into drawings, just like a short Manga, but I couldn’t finish it. Some friends read it and encouraged me to continue. That was the first draft of “Survivors“. I think I had up to 3 chapters at the time.
Fast forward to 2016, when I joined the institute of fine arts and gave my drawings more practice and more professionalism. At that time, I stopped working on any project and only focused on improving my techniques. My goal was to be good enough and to start my “Survivors” manga all over again, for better results.
So, tell us more about “Survivors“!
I have always liked zombies, monsters and humanoids. The story is inspired by this universe. It revolves around a man who invents a vaccine to get rid of racism and all kinds of separation, in order for people to be the same, to be equal. However, the hero of the story doesn’t agree with that logic so he doesn’t want this vaccine to be used. The zombies are the form of new humans that this vaccine is creating. So they are also the enemies of the protagonist.
All in all, the story will need 25 to 30 chapters. I don’t want it to be long and boring. I’ll try to publish a new chapter each month, but it will depend on my level of energy and how busy that month is.
I am the only one working on it so it takes lots of time and personal effort to wrap a chapter up. Hopefully, I have a wonderful friend helping me. Ilyas Koundi provided me with priceless advice when I drew the first version of Survivors. That is how our friendship started and remained through all this time. Right now, he helps me with the storyboards. He is even attending the same institute as me, so it helps us even more for working together.
Why join Mamics?
It was back in 2015, i was still working on “Survivors” and already publishing some chapters. Imad was doing the same, with his own manga. He contacted me with the idea of joining efforts with other Moroccan Mangakas and helping each other out. I liked it, it would give more visibility to all of us and, like they say, unity is strength. So I joined the MAMICs and we are doing steady work ever since. We are aiming to publish an online magazine, featuring all our work, but this should wait until we have enough chapters.
You can read “Survivors” here !
Badr gave me the contact of the other MAMICS members. It turned out that Imad is the founder of that group.
Hi, I am Imad and I am 26 years old. Since my youth, I loved to write stories. I wrote a lot actually and I recall one of them in particular. It was called “Doubler” and it revolved around a man who had a double personality; a personality that took over in stressful moments. When I grew older, I fell more and more into Animes & Mangas and I developed my drawings. That is when I decided to combine both these passions and turn that “Doubler” story into a manga.
So, what is the manga you are working on now?
I dropped “Doubler” after 10 chapters, because I faced some troubles. But then I decided to start over, on a new manga, called “Mercenary Chess“. That is the one I’m working on currently and the want I want to publish as soon as I can.
This story contains many action scenes, fights but also strategies. Alexandre’s family is well known across East Europe. It is a “mafia” family, which built its reputation on crime and mercenary. Their tradition is that each male born is sent to a new territory where he should build his own reputation and empire. Only after that is he deemed worthy of the family name and can claim his inheritance. The story follows Alexandre, sent to North Africa to build his mercenary career. He meets powerful strong men and the battle for power begins.
When I recall how the idea popped into my head, it’s quite funny. I was just hanging around the street, with a bunch of friends; we were all unemployed at the time. The discussion shifted towards crimes and someone noted that the murder crimes are high in our neighborhood, one of the most dangerous neighbors in Tangier. Another friend suggested that we may become mercenaries. This way, instead of staying jobless, we will be fighting crime and everyone will be a winner.
So I was inspired by that idea and I incorporated some context and action scenes into it. along with Drama!
I published the first chapter of “Mercenary Chess” early July and slowly working on the rest.
You can read “Mercenary Chess“ here !
What gave you the idea of creating MAMICS?
It was the idea of the whole group; I just don’t know why they refer to me as the “creator”. We were all talking about our projects and the idea emerged of combining our efforts, whether in drawing, storytelling, adapting stories to mangas, publishing or in general. I took the initiative of actually creating the page; I called it MAMICS as a word fusion between “Maroc Comics”.
The idea is basically simple: each one of us was working on his own, publishing on his own, out of personal efforts. Now, we just direct the efforts towards a common page. Consequently, we enlarge our audiences and we benefit from each other’s knowledge.
Currently, MAMAICS consists of 5 male members, and very recently, we welcomed our female Mangaka.
This is part 1 of our discovery of that talented & motivated group…
Visit MAMICS’ Facebook page here!
2nd part will be published soon 😉