“Manga” means comic in Japanese. One of our newest vendors brings us ThunderKid Manga, a Japanese-styled comic book written to be fun for kids of all ages. Read with us as we chat with the author and illustrator of these magnas, Reuel Smith!
My name is Reuel Smith from Gaithersburg Maryland! I’m a graduate student doing his PhD in reliability engineering at the UMD and a local comic author who writes and draws an all-ages comic book called ThunderKid! My main property is the first printed volume of my comic, but I also sell button pins, posters, and apparel like bags and later this month t-shirts. So far my father and I are relatively new to the FSM so we’re only now starting to get a name here. ThunderKid itself is also pretty new and only now people are learning of it. But as we meet new people and they meet us I’m sure that will change!
I’ve been drawing nearly my whole life and I love comics and cartoons! In 1999 I had first come up with the idea for a character called ThunderKid and eventually in 2006 I began work establishing him as an online webcomic for all ages which went online in late 2007. By 2010 I had done enough chapters to print my first volume and my business officially began. Originally I tried selling at anime conventions exclusively because it’s done in the manga style (Japanese for comic). But I wanted to do more to reach more kids as they are my primary target audience, so recently I started attending more local fairs and markets since late 2011. I ultimately want to introduce ThunderKid to many, many kids across the nation so they may grow up with a comic done like manga that they can pick up and read without too many worries from the parents.
First of all I love to draw! God’s given me a love for drawing and creativity. It’s something that I’ve loved doing since I was a little kid. Most of all I want to put that love to good use. I believe that very few webcomics and manga are targeting kids these days, and this is why I chose the manga format for my series. The audience that manga caters to is predominantly skewed towards older teens and young adults with very little that is either targeting or savory for younger teens and children. This is what I like to think makes us special as a business because ThunderKid was made with kids of all ages in mind. I love to see a child take interest in ThunderKid and most of all get into it. It lets me feel like I’m putting my talent to good use and giving back to the community.
I’ve only been to a few, but right now dad and I are loving the community, not only between the local visitors but also among the vendors. It’s very tight knit group all together!
Find out more about ThunderKid Manga on his website: http://www.thunderkidmanga.com/