MH Interviews: DFCG
We've someone from a relatively new group being interviewed today - Dink of DFCG which stands for Delicious Flat Chest Guild. This was meant to be an interview with a scanlator (i.e someone who cleans or typesets) but it turns out that dink is actually a translator *shrug*. Oh well, it's all good.
1. Please give a short introduction of yourself and your manga scanlation group. What kinds of manga does your group scanlate, how did it get started etc.
Hi! Well, my name is dink and I'm the leader of a fairly new established group called the DFCG. I'm pretty much the guy responsible for getting this group to really take off... but, that's because I got lucky and I'm surrounded by my great, and dedicated staff members. (Quick shout-out to be0wulf, Yoo-jin, Smegma, Oren, Gotty, Suzu, and everyone else!)
This group was "officially" established with my partner, friend and co-founder be0wulf, but he's been out of commission lately due to school and such. The beginnings of the group actually has a pretty rugged past, and to make a long story short... we basically kicked out the original "founder" of the group due to conflicting beliefs about where the direction of the group should be headed.
As for the manga we scanlate, we're open to almost all types of genres, and demography but I think that as of now, we're leaning more towards Seinen / Shonen. After nearly an year of inactivity we've picked up a mecha series called Kurogane no Linebarrel, while cycling through a few of Kizuki Akira's work with the folks over at Arienai! We're also doing a manwha called Trump!, and another manwha series called Monk the latter of which we're jointing with OMFGG.
2. How did you get into scanlating, and how hard did you find it at first? Has it gotten any easier with more practice? Why did you get into it in the first place?
Well, before we begin... I think the main thing you should know about me is that I HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF PHOTOSHOP AT ALL. So I'm actually a Korean translator. I'm also eighteen (turning nineteen this October) as of now, but I actually started reading and watching manga/anime when I was eleven. I picked up mIRC two years later, (then known as smearedink) and mingled with the guys over at Yanime for a few years before taking a short break. I came back around the scene in sometime around mid to late 2006, and produced my first translation script for KMTS. (or more widely known as K-Manga)
The first time I actually produced a script - it wasn't as hard as much as it was tedious to do. At that time I had an extremely dedicated, and talented editor who were using my scripts. Kuthrow, who was in charge of 'Kekkaishi' at that time, was the guy that I worked with and he basically made sure that I didn't skimp out on any of the sound effects or the random side comments that the characters might make despite it being irrelevant to the main plot at hand. This trait has been passed down to me, so I try to make sure that all my scripts include every last detail.
Well, I can't speak for everyone but I'm a native Korean speaker and it's definitely gotten easier to translate with practice. Because no matter how good you are at the language, translating is really just one of those things that you need to take the time to focus and practice on. For example, if you misinterperate a crucial line in a dialogue... that may carry on over to future chapters, and volumes. The ramifications of a single mistake is enormous, but practice makes sure that you stay alert, and if you're alert... then you're less prone to making errors.
I got into translating for two reasons. The first, and biggest reason is because I LOVE this community. To be honest with you, my interest in manga diminished a while back but I realized that I love the people in this community... and I just wanted to find a way to give back to the community that I endear so much. The other reason is because I approached translating as an art, and because of that I have fun (not all the time >_>) translating. Honestly, though. If it wasn't for communities and people like you guys, I would have lost interest a LONG time ago.
3. What types of manga are your personal favourite? Which manga titles do you like in particular? Any genres you don't like?
I don't read much manga now-a-days but when I do... I personally enjoy Josei manga the most (which I find to be ironic since our group currently does not do any) oh, and Seinen is a close second.
The manga titles I enjoy... Anything done by Umino Chika. No, seriously. She could defecate on a platter, and I would call it a masterpiece.
As far as genres I don't like, I tend to stay away from the yaoi / shounen-ai stuff.
4. How do you feel the amount of fan feedback and thanks is for the work that you have done? How do you feel overall seeing people read and discussing the manga that you have scanlated?
As a scanlator, you'll quickly realize that you don't get as much feedback and thanks as you were hoping for but at the end of the day... the folks reading your stuff are all humans, and really... they're not just some mindless robots there to worship you, and lick your boots. So, I really try and go out of my way to befriend these people and make sure they stick around.
When people read and discuss the manga that we scanlate, it's a bit of an ego-boost for me, and I love it when they do. It gives me the incentive to work harder (as well as make my staff work harder) and also make sure that our releases get out there faster with as much quality as possible.
5. Are there any other hobbies or things that you like to work on in your spare time?
I used to play a lot of 'Magic: The Gathering' and Mafia on mIRC back in the day. I also enjoy writing poetry, listening to music and cooking but that aside... translating, and maintaining a group seems to take away most of my "spare time". ^__^;;
6. What do you feel about multiple groups scanlating the same manga? e.g 5 seperate releases of Bleach and Naruto each week while other series go unscanlated.
See, I've been around this community before I even graduated Middle School and I will tell you that I've seen a lot happening in this community. Like Toriyama World introducing us to Naruto and Hikaru no Go. Staple groups like Mangascreener, AnimeWaves and MangaProject. The rise and fall of SnoopyCool. Distro-sites like CkMoney that never really got a chance to shine. Narutofan kicking off into the mainstream. VicariousLurker and his crew breaking out of #syndicate and starting the now notoriously-known #lurk.
Now out of all the examples I listed above, this is probably one of the most talked about subject in our community and all in all I feel pretty impartial about it.
This is because on one hand, you essentially have five different groups of capable people putting their important time, effort and resource on the same material when it could be used for more productive and adequate means.
But on the other, this is something that these people do out of their free will, and in hopes to contribute to the community. So who am I to judge or have any say over what these folks should be doing?
7. DFCG is a relatively new scanlation group. How hard is it to get a scanlation group set up, get people to join, etc?
Overwhelmingly hard. You don't just say "oh I want to start a scanlation group" and POOF! it just happens. I had to find that out the hard way when my partner went out of commission for a few weeks. All of this is really a learning experience for me but within the first week I joined; I had to find us a host for an official website, find a graphic designer for said website, focus on advertising our new group, find dedicated staff members to joining the group, proofread other people's scripts while maintaining the leechers around the mIRC channel, solve any communication issues and dish out money out of my own pockets to secure RAWs for one of our own project because no one else could. All this going on while I was translating my own scripts, of course.
One of the most straining part of the job is doing all of this while making sure everyone is happy/satisfied because if someone's not pleased with something... it's basically YOUR fault.
8. Where do you see your scanlation group going in the future? Trying to expand or just keep steady doing a couple of series?
Honestly, we're a pretty ambitious group so we'd love to expand when we get a chance to. The main problem of course, is finding the right people up to the task and whatnot. Overall though, I prioritize stability before trying to branch out and starting new projects we don't even have staff for. But with any luck, I have a feeling you'll be seeing more of us soon.
9. Would you like to use this chance for publicity to beg people to join your group?
I thought you'd never ask.
People may be getting the wrong idea that just because groups release at a steady pace means that they're not in a state of urgency/trouble. Don't be fooled. We really need your help, because our staff is doing all we can to get you guys these releases out as soon as possible! We're currently looking for any editors with some experience, as well as some Chinese / Japanese / Korean translators. I'm sure most of you guys have read hundreds of these, but we really need some of you folks to step up to the plate! Don't be a stranger! Give us a shout by sending us a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or message an admin-OP on our mIRC channel. (#dfcg @ irc.irchighway.net) Hope to meet some of you guys soon!
If you would like to check out DFCG's releases you can find them here:
Kurogane no Linebarrel
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