Saturday AM: So, tell me, what sparked your imagination when creating the captivating manga series, Apple Black? I’m curious about the wild inspiration behind it all.
Whyt Manga: My ideas were born during the peak of all the shonen heavy hitters in the early to mid 2010s with Naruto, Death Note, Bakuman, One Piece, Bleach, Gintama, and more. Over time, my ideas evolved to have a voice, style and moral of its own. I explored popular adventure shonen themes while exploring newer themes not so common to the genre, themes or forgiveness explored in evangelical but subtle ways I haven’t seen prior and getting influence from Western media. I’m a big fan of well written plot twists found in films like Harry Potter 3, Fight Club, The Usual Suspects, 6th Sense, WestWorld, and more, so I try to implement fresh ways of storytelling into my work. The idea for Apple Black has always evolved over time and I’m very happy with its current trend.
Saturday AM: Your background in fine arts and visual communication design must have played a role in shaping the manga. How did your artistic skills influence your approach to creating Apple Black?
Whyt Manga: I learned a lot from my major graduate professor about sequential visuals that I‘ve used to this day to be as engaging as possible. He was very instrumental in my panel work. That said, most of what I’ve learned has actually come from personal research, using online resources like Youtube and more.
Saturday AM: Speaking of the story, Apple Black is filled with mystery and adventure. Can you give us a taste of what readers can expect in Volume 3, without giving too much away?
Whyt Manga: Despair and then maybe some hope. Apple Black volumes 1-4 are in some ways like a season 1 to the series and so you can think of Volume 3 as the part where we build to the finale and I hope you all enjoy. I like that in my opinion, it still manages to push the story, develop characters, and shock the audience in interesting ways.
Saturday AM: In this volume, we see that Ruby and Symon dawn this stunning cover. was this a purposeful nod to their significance in this volume or another reason?
Whyt Manga: Yes, Symon and Ruby have one of the most memorable moments in all of the series according to readers. I knew this and as a result, gracing the cover made the most sense. Good thing they’re popular with readers.
Saturday AM: How does Sano’s character evolve throughout the series, especially in Volume 3? Are there any particular themes or messages you aim to explore through his journey?
Whyt Manga: Sano’s development in volume 3 is one with a touch of failure where maybe he gets to question his beliefs and philosophies as they are challenged by Ceazar. Sano is truly challenged while he watches the world around him crumble.
Saturday AM: Now, let’s talk about the world of Apple Black. Black Bottom Island seems like quite a chaotic place. How does the ongoing war and conflict affect our beloved protagonist and his allies?
Whyt Manga: Our ensemble cast are all on their respective journeys and character arcs if you will. The Invasion has been a great catalyst for growth for some while fatal for others. My goal is for it all to be entertaining for readers.
Saturday AM: I’m curious about your creative influences. With your love for professional wrestling, soccer, hip-hop, and more, how do these passions weave into the fabric of Apple Black?
Whyt Manga: Some of these are reflected heavily in some characters, character traits, goals, designs, and more and I can’t wait to share with fans. In certain ways all the aforementioned have people or groups striving for something and learning a lot along the way, I believe those are things that are common in almost all we consume, so it makes sense it collides every now and then.
Saturday AM: How do you approach world-building in your stories, and what elements do you focus on to make the setting immersive and believable?
Whyt Manga: I want it all to feel natural and unique. This world of sorcery and science should blend effortlessly, sometimes that requires a lot of research and thought but I gotta do what I gotta do. One way to keep that natural vibe is through drawing from real experiences, history, politics and different cultures, keeping this rich, interesting and inclusive for all those who pick up the book.
Saturday AM: Can you share any personal experiences or lessons learned throughout your writing journey that have significantly influenced your approach to storytelling?
Whyt Manga: I’ve learned to hook readers as early as possible, Don’t save all the ideas you think are great for later, find interesting and creative ways to use them early, and keep readers in the now. Be interesting while having things that set you apart in strong ways. Make sure you craft something that forces readers to keep reading and love your story.
Saturday AM: Lastly, can you give us a little sneak peek into any upcoming projects or future plans for “Apple Black” or your other manga/comic series?
Whyt Manga: If you’ve enjoyed the series so far, I strongly believe Apple Black Volume 4 will knock you out. It is easily the best stuff I’ve done and I want each volume that follows to feel that way. Also, Apple Black light novel and short story in Saturday Annual 2024 might be on the way, who knows. (I heard it’ll make you cry.)