International Women of Manga: The Creators


Ban Zarbo
Kamo
Gin Zarbo
Undead Messiah
Nana Yaa
Goldfisch
Natalia Batista
Sword Princess Amaltea
Sophie-chan
Ocean of Secrets
Caly
Breath of Flowers
Sophie Schönhammer
Star Collector
Anna B
Star Collector 
Kira Yukishiro
Scarlet Soul
Rossella Sergi
Deep Scar
Julia Lo
Servant & Lord
Lorinell Yu
Servant & Lord
Esa Parr
The Anatomist
Ana C. Sánchez
Alter Ego & Sirius
International
Women of Manga

Established by TOKYOPOP in 2017, International Women of Manga has been shining the spotlight on manga titles created by diverse female creators from around the world. Influenced by the manga they grew up with, each of these talented artists and writers set out to realize their dreams of creating their very own stories. Spanning multiple genres and art styles, ranging from action-packed shounen adventures, to soft and sweet LGBTQ+ romances, find your next favorite series from International Women of Manga!

BAN ZARBO · Kamo


I sincerely hope that the German manga scene continues to grow, remains as productive as now and artists continue to do everything they can to further develop. It’ll be nice when readers no longer distinguish between German and Japanese manga. In any case, I thrive on your support and I would be very happy if you would accompany me on this path. Over and out!”

— Ban Zarbo

Ban’s mother first introduced her and her twin, Gin, to anime and manga as young girls. Even then, the twins aspired to one day become manga creators. Kamo is based on Ka-Mo which Ban had previously self-published in 2014 and is largely inspired by Caribbean myth.

Fun fact: the character Shokola is influenced by Ban's mother, and even a little by a fellow TOKYOPOP manga creator! "I also have [Goldfisch creator] Nana Yaa's afro-hair splendor in mind, which also influenced her design; I tied them together and put them to paper."

Kamo: Pact with the Spirit World, Volume 1-3

Born with a failing heart, Kamo has fought death his whole life, but to no avail. As his body weakens and he readies to draw his final breath, he's visited by a powerful spirit named Crimson who offers him a deal: defeat and capture the souls of twelve spirits in exchange for a new heart. It seems too good to be true... and maybe it is.

A pact with the spirit world... what could possibly go wrong?


GIN ZARBO · Undead Messiah


I largely have my fans to thank that I have come this far. I have been able to acquire many tricks myself, but there are still so many things I have to learn. I hope ‘Undead Messiah’ provides readers with a different kind of zombie story, and I welcome your feedback!"


— Gin Zarbo

At just 24 years of age, Gin and her twin Ban, the Swiss natives with Dominican and Italian roots have already reached their goal of becoming manga creators, building a following of devoted fans through social media, and the eventual German publication of their work by TOKYOPOP.

Gin Zarbo self-published the fan favorite Cope Soul manga before creating Undead Messiah, which has everything she loves about the horror genre, but with a twist. As she puts it, "There are different reasons why the undead are so interesting. In my family I grew up with horror stories. I've always liked eerie myths and monsters like vampires, werewolves, ghosts and zombies. Due to the fact that a zombie outbreak could trigger catastrophes all over the world, I find them most fascinating because they can spread rapidly compared to other monsters, thereby giving them the power to wipe out all mankind."

Undead Messiah, Volume 1-3

A pregnant woman is pursued by a supernatural creature. On the internet, videos of a bandaged hero surface. 15-year-old Tim Muley makes a terrible discovery in his neighbor's garden. Three seemingly unrelated events, all of which seem to point to an imminent zombie apocalypse! But this time the story's not about the end of mankind; it's about a new beginning...

"As a huge fan of The Walking Dead comics, I thought this book would be perfect for me. And it was."
- Diane Hernandez, Goodreads


NANA YAA · Goldfisch


When you make the step from amateur to professional artist and suddenly a lot of people will see your work, this job can be kind of scary. Self-doubt as to whether people will like your stuff, or if anyone even cares, can occur. No matter how big or the small the audience may be, you should always draw a story that you would like to read yourself."


— Nana Yaa

Born in 1991, Nana Yaa won first place in the manga competition Manga Magie at the early age of 17 and caught the attention of late-night talk show host Stefan Raab, who even had her on his show TV Total. She is now among the most productive artists in the German manga scene and has already published numerous amateur manga and short stories, including the Boys Love webcomic, CRUSHED!! In addition to her contributions to anthologies by the independent publisher Schwarzer Turm, her first full-length work, Patina was published by Droemer Knaur in 2016. Her slice-of-life drama MCS was awarded Doujinshi of the Year in 2016.

Nana Yaa lives and works in Neuss and graduated with a Bachelor in Communication Design in 2015. When she’s not at her work desk or thinking about a new story, she plays RPGs, drinks cocktails with friends or passes the time with her dog.

Goldfisch, Volume 1-3

Say hi to Morrey Gibbs! A fisher-boy in a flooded world overrun with dangerous mutated animals known as "anomals," he's got his own problems to worry about. Namely, how everything he touches turns to gold! Sure it sounds great, but gold underpants aren't exactly stylish — or comfortable! Together with his otter buddy and new inventor friend Shelly, Morrey's on a quest to rid himself of his blessing-turned-curse and undo the tragedy it caused. That is of course, if they can dodge the treasure-hungry bounty hunters...

"Immediately noticeable, Yaa's art is bright, colorful, and lively. The cover is eye-catching, and the addition of a few color inserts shows off her wonderful coloring skills. With its excellent art and energetic story-line, Goldfisch is off to a great start."
- Roxii Harris, Goodreads


NATALIA BATISTA · Sword Princess Amaltea


I am so stoked, because as I live in a small country (Sweden) with very little printed manga, I know how much the English translated and globally distributed manga mean to readers that won’t get it otherwise. So happy!!!"


— Natalia Batista

Natalia Batista is a Swedish manga artist, illustrator and comic art teacher at Serieskolan in Malmö, the most prominent comic art school in Sweden. Her works include the kids manga Mjau!, published in Sweden, Portugal and the US. Natalia was a founding member of the Swedish manga artist collective and publisher Nosebleed Studio.

Natalia loves listening to podcasts, cooking vegan food and farming her own vegetables. She's got two cats who likes hanging out near her when she draws, and occasionally spill her water cups.

Sword Princess Amaltea, Volume 1-3

We all know the way the story goes. The valiant prince goes on a perilous journey, kills a ferocious dragon, rescues a captive princess, earns his family's honor. But what if this time the prince… was a princess?

In a fairytale world where Queens rule and magic is power, Princess Amaltea is sent on the biggest quest of her life — to rescue a prince in need and fulfill her duties as a princess. Spoiled, prejudiced and sheltered from the world at large, Amaltea reluctantly sets out on her journey and finds her "lad in distress"… only to find out he's not so willing to join her.

"Sometimes I couldn't stand Amaltea because she really was so self-centered, but for being a short read, she had a wonderful arc of growth. By the end, I was really cheering for her."
- Laura Grace, Goodreads

SOPHIE-CHAN · Ocean of Secrets


Initially, I was drawn to the ocean, to the level that, I could have been a sailor in my past life. I was also a big fan of fantasy and mystery. If you combine these genres together, along with a spice of drama, the ‘Ocean of Secrets’ is born. My advice to upcoming artists is to not compare yourself to anyone and keep doing what you like."


— Sophie-chan

Born in Iraq, Sophie-chan became infatuated with shojo manga at the tender age of seven. With dreams of becoming a manga artist herself, she began teaching herself to draw using her favorite shows as inspiration. Even as she studied to become an engineer, she kept drawing, refusing to give up her dream of becoming a world-class manga artist.

Things took a dramatic turn in 2008 when she started a YouTube channel, which serves as a platform to not only show off her own artwork to fans of her legions of fans, but also provides tutorials to aspiring manga creators all around the world.

Now living in Canada with her family, Sophie-chan proves that with hard work, patience and sheer determination you can realize your dreams.

Ocean of Secrets, Volume 1-3

Lia, a 17-year old orphan living by the Atlantic is swept away by the ocean currents during a ruthless storm. She is then saved by Moria and Albert, a duo of illegal runaways on their magical ship! Her normal, mundane life suddenly becomes a supernatural adventure as she learns about the powers of their kind and their relations to the human world. But Lia soon discovers that there is a dark secret hidden in a mysterious kingdom. Join Lia as she unlocks the truth behind an Ocean of Secrets...


CALY · Breath of Flowers


Don’t strive for perfection! A comic book is appreciated as a whole, not as a series of parts, and small errors on a page will not detract from its style.."


— Caly

Caly started drawing in kindergarten, and started creating her own manga at the age of 12! With qualifications in Applied Arts and Visual Communication, this young French artist completed the final version of her series MaHo-Megumi in 2007, and began self-publishing the following year.

Dubbed a "Fanzine Star" by Animeland magazine, Breath of Flowers is her first fully published work.

Breath of Flowers, Volume 1-2

Azami always thought she was only attracted to boys, but after the unexpected revelation that her long-time crush Gwyn is actually a girl, she quickly learns that love doesn't have to be limited by gender. Now, the two of them are a happy couple, and lovestruck Azami couldn't be more excited to do all the cute relationship things she's read about in romantic manga!

Unfortunately, their new relationship comes with new challenges as well. With Gwyn spending the summer at basketball camp and then transferring to a new school, Azami has to learn how to cope with her anxieties and jealousy in a healthy way. Meanwhile, Gwyn's dreams of playing basketball at her new school suffer an unexpected setback: someone on the team doesn't want her there, and is willing to expose her personal secrets to keep it that way.

SOPHIE SCHÖNHAMMER · Star Collector


If you really want to succeed, persevere and never give up. Always believe in yourself!"


— Sophie Schönhammer

Sophie Schönhammer was born in 1991 and lives in Bavaria, Germany. She has always had a love for narrative media and consumed as much as she could. In the indie comic scene, she has already published numerous works and organized several anthologies. Due to her large number of projects, she has gained valuable experience in the print sector.

Since 2013, she has worked with Anna on many projects, including the original publication of Star Collector by TOKYOPOP Germany.

Star Collector, Volume 1-2

Fynn's favorite activities are skipping class, smoking, and lying around. So when he's told it's time to shape up and try doing something else for a change, he has no idea where to even start.

Then, on a nighttime walk around his neighborhood, he sees a stranger with a telescope up on a hill: his name is Niko, and he loves to watch the stars. Intrigued, Flynn decides to find out more about this nerdy boy and what could be so interesting about the night sky that he loves so much.

"If you’re into BL manga, I truly recommend you this adorable story that you will love! And if you’re new into manga and are interested in exploring the shounen ai world, then this manga is a good — cute — place to start!"
- Maria Montijo Perez, Goodreads


ANNA B · Star Collector


In general, you don’t need special equipment to start, you can create great stories with a pencil and simple paper. Also, you have lots of time to be creative, drawing isn’t a race."


— Anna B

Anna was born in 1995 in Germany. She started drawing regularly at the age of 11 with a focus on visual storytelling. From 2009 she won awards twice from Manga Talente and once from Manga Magie, two popular manga contests in Germany.

Together with Sophie Schönhammer she worked as an artist on several indie comics from 2013 until 2015. From 2014 until 2017 she worked with Sophie and TOKYOPOP Germany on the German version of Star Collector.

Star Collector, Volume 1-2

Fynn's favorite activities are skipping class, smoking, and lying around. So when he's told it's time to shape up and try doing something else for a change, he has no idea where to even start.

Then, on a nighttime walk around his neighborhood, he sees a stranger with a telescope up on a hill: his name is Niko, and he loves to watch the stars. Intrigued, Flynn decides to find out more about this nerdy boy and what could be so interesting about the night sky that he loves so much.

"If you’re into BL manga, I truly recommend you this adorable story that you will love! And if you’re new into manga and are interested in exploring the shounen ai world, then this manga is a good — cute — place to start!"
- Maria Montijo Perez, Goodreads


KIRA YUKISHIRO · Scarlet Soul


I feel totally tranquil, relaxed and filled by the love of my family from which I get most of my energy to focus on my work. Without them I wouldn’t be here."


— Kira Yukishiro

Kira Yukishiro is a young manga creator from northern Italy.

Self-taught, her passion for manga is born from her love for Japanese culture, video game sagas like The Legend of Zelda and her desire to create stories.

She is mainly influenced by authors such as Yuu Watase (Fushigi Yugi, Alice 19th), Hideaki Sorachi (Gintama) and Kusanagi Mizuho (Yona of the Dawn).

Scarlet Soul, Volume 1-4

The kingdom of Nohmur has been a peaceful land for humans since the exorcist Eron Shirano repelled the demons and sealed the way to the underworld of Ruhmon. Generations later, sisters Lys and Rin are the heirs of the illustrious Shirano family, the most powerful exorcist clan charged with watching over the barrier and maintaining balance between the two worlds with the aid of Hikaten, the Sword of a Hundred Souls.

Until one day, for unknown reasons, demons begin slipping through once more... and suddenly, Lys vanishes without a trace, leaving the sacred sword behind for her little sister to take up. As the underworld threat grows, Rin sets out alongside her companion, the mysterious Aghyr, to find her missing sister and figure out how to fortify the weakening barrier between her world and that of the monstrous creatures that threaten her kingdom once again.


ROSSELLA SERGI · Deep Scar


If it’s something you believe madly and want to do, nothing and nobody can stop the flame, not even you! Never give up the fight, bring your stories and characters to life and get excited about them! If you can dream it you can do it."


— Rossella Sergi

Hailing from Turin in Italy, Rossella Sergi had already published Impossible Amarsi in Italy and Deep Scar in France before joining TOKYOPOP’s International Women of Manga lineup.

Fascinated by anime from childhood, she has a degree in Educational Science and works with children part time, drawing tirelessly in her free time. She takes inspiration from her favorite Japanese creators, like Io Sakisaka (Ao Haru Ride), Ai Minase (Sensei to Watashi) and Minami Kanan (Kyō, Koi wo Hajimemasu).

Deep Scar, Volume 1-4

Sofia is a quiet, shy young woman who's never been away from home for long. When she moves to Turin for school, it's her first time away from her family and her boyfriend Luca. But her new roommate, Veronica, leads a life very different from hers: she prefers evenings in the company of beautiful boys! Meanwhile, Luca dreads the influence of Veronica and her entourage on Sofia, and especially the presence of the enigmatic Lorenzo, who seems to be a little too interested in his girlfriend...


LORINELL YU · Servant & Lord


Aim to be better and improve your skills every day. Don’t stop achieving, because you can always do so much more."


— Lorinell Yu

Born in Russia, Lorinell has loved to draw since her childhood. She currently works as a programmer and graphic designer.

Some time ago, she participated in a manga art contest and won a prize — one volume of Chobits from TOKYOPOP. That was the first manga she ever held in her hands, and she never thought she would create her own finished manga someday.

Manga reading is still Lorinell’s first hobby, and the second is playing RPG games. She likes cats, sweets and music.

Servant & Lord, one shot

Christian has always admired handsome, talented composer Daniel. Their shared appreciation for music marked the beginning of a friendship between a willful boy and a sophisticated young man... But when tragedy strikes and circumstances twist around to put Daniel in the service of Christian's wealthy family, their bond is tried in unexpected ways.

Years ago, the universal language of music drew them toward one another. Now, Christian has to hope it's still enough to bridge the gap between their vastly different lives.


JULIA LO · Servant & Lord


It may sound trite, but believe in yourself and follow your dreams."


— Julia Lo

Julia Lo was born in Siberia, she lives and works there. Her greatest weakness has always been beautiful things. This determined her choice of art history education and make-up artist job. She found her love for storytelling early, writing her first BL stories and fanfics while at school. She likes snowboarding, watching TV and spending time with her family.

Servant & Lord, one shot

Christian has always admired handsome, talented composer Daniel. Their shared appreciation for music marked the beginning of a friendship between a willful boy and a sophisticated young man... But when tragedy strikes and circumstances twist around to put Daniel in the service of Christian's wealthy family, their bond is tried in unexpected ways.

Years ago, the universal language of music drew them toward one another. Now, Christian has to hope it's still enough to bridge the gap between their vastly different lives.


ESA PARR · The Anatomist


Do not compare yourself too much with other artists. There will always be somebody that you will find better or more skilled than you. Rather concentrate on your own progress. I live by this advice myself and still remind myself constantly not to forget it."


— Esa Parr

Esa Parr lives and works as a freelance illustrator in southern Germany. She studied art history with a focus on paintings of the Venetian Renaissance. During her studies, this knowledge served as inspiration for her manga The Anatomist, which was first published in 2019 by TOKYOPOP Germany.

The Anatomist, one shot

Venice, 1549 — the height of the Renaissance in Italy, a time of incredible advancement in the arts, technology and science. Giorgio is an anatomist, passionate about studying the human body and advancing the field of medicine. For this, he's willing to take steps as drastic as necessary, and doesn't hesitate to experiment even on living people. In the name of science, he makes the beautiful Belfore his guinea pig, keeping him around as a subject and a lover. But having studied Belfore for years, Giorgio's ability to gain new knowledge from him plateaus.

That's when he meets the angelic, strikingly gorgeous Harlow during Carnival. Harlow's unique physiology as an intersex individual sparks new interest for Giorgio's research. However, he did not expect the delicate feelings that Harlow seems to be developing for Belfore...

ANA C. SÁNCHEZ · Alter Ego & Sirius


I love cats and true-crime shows. I listen to J-RPG music to set the mood while writing."


— Ana C. Sánchez

Born in 1990, Ana is a comic artist from Spain. She got interested in drawing her own stories at a young age, inspired by videogames like the Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy series, and manga with deep characters and emotional baggage like Fruits Basket.

Soon she started to prove herself drawing webcomics and attending anime/manga conventions carrying her self-published books. Now she’s one of the authors participating in the Spanish publication Planeta Manga.

Alter Ego, Volume 1-2

Noel has always been in love with her best friend Elena, but she's never been able to find the courage to confess her feelings. Then, when her friend starts dating a boy, Noel’s world collapses as she sees her chance at love slipping away.

One night, in a moment of desperation, Noel ends up confessing her feelings for Elena to a complete stranger — but as fate would have it, this stranger turns out to be a girl named June, Elena's other best friend... and Noel's rival in love! Worst of all, now June knows Noel's secret. With everything suddenly going wrong, how can Noel ever win the girl of her dreams?

The heart-pounding romantic drama by breakout Spanish artist Ana C. Sánchez!

Sirius: Twin Stars

Dani's bright future as an elite tennis player comes to a sudden stop when, during a match, she has a heart attack. Her newly discovered condition affects not only her health, but also her relationship with her mother, as well as her career.
 
Wanting to get away from everything, she leaves behind the big city ⁠— and all her problems ⁠— and goes with her cousin to a little coastal village. There she meets Blanca, a girl full of life and in love with astronomy. Blanca reminds Dani that life can be beautiful, and that she can shine again like stars do.