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Tutor: Rachel Miles

Present a detailed, critical analysis of a cultural text.
By Amy Beckley, First Year BA Animation.

I intend to study the Cultural Affects that the Internet has in relation to Art-based
Careers. Along with the effects it has on creators on a grander scale that would not have been
possible several years ago. The world wide web has kickstarted many careers and elevated art
communities to a new level in an incredible way.

My first example of this is a Japanese Web-comic and Manga artist, (who is known by the
pseudonym of ONE), that I researched during the Winter Semester of 2016 and my original notes on
his rise to success can be viewed in the Cultural Text section of my Weebly Blog.

ONE (born October 29th, 1986) has made several mangas in the past, however none of them were
serialized or published officially. Such titles include “Taiyo Man (Sun Man)” and “Tennis Player Ryu”.
Then, July 2009, ONE began self-publishing his comic, ‘One Punch Man’ online. His artwork is not
traditionally attractive and many artists find that their work will not be picked up by publishers
because of this. Fortunately, the World Wide Web allows their stories to be told anyway, albeit
without the initial guarantee that they may profit from it. It also allows for a much wider audience. It
is a digital word of mouth to share their stories from town to town and country to country.

Despite its unconventional art-style ONE’s talent for storytelling and compelling characters drew in a
huge audience. The comic, ‘One Punch Man’ was getting more than 10 million viewers and 20,000
hits per day and soon enough this self-proclaimed “manga artist for fun” was approached by Yusuke
Murata online and their collaboration began.

Yusuke Murata (born July 4th, 1978) is a Japanese Manga Artist well known for illustrating the
manga adaptation for “One Man Punch” and for his previous collaboration with Riichiro Inagaki
“Eyeshield 21”. The publishing company, Shueisha’s Young Jump witnessed the web comic’s
popularity and commissioned both ONE and Murata for the adaptation. Around the same time, ONE,
began working on an additional manga, ‘Mob Psycho 100’, which is published in Ura Sunday
Magazine.

Since then both of ONE’s comics have been adapted into animated series (One Punch Man having
been animated in Murata’s artstyle and Mob Pyscho 100 in ONE’s with some stunning results) and
both are expecting a second season.

The internet has been responsible for giving many people the opportunities they need to shine,
simply because it allows for a larger audience. Word of mouth has been said to be the best form of
advertising and there certainly are a great number of success stories to back it up. Especially for
artists of visual or audio mediums.

While it is certainly not a visual medium, podcasts have thrived in this environment. Art begets art
and many of these audio-based stories weaved by “no-name” creators inspires many others to draw
and share their illustrations with the rest of the world. “Welcome to Nightvale” is a partially popular
series that has been running since June 2012, and also quite prominently features independent
artists’ songs within each episode.

Another brilliant example would be “My Brother, My Brother and Me.” Created by the McElroy
Brothers, and their additional family podcast, “The Adventure Zone.” which featured its pilot as a
‘special one-off’ episode on “My Brother, My Brother and Me.” The podcasts are distributed by the
Maximum Fun Network which is an independent radio show online. Without Maximum Fun’s
support and the support of their listeners their shows could not have taken off the way they did. All
of this was made possible by the internet.

“My Brother, My Brother and Me” was initially produced and released independently by the McElroy
brothers since April 2010. Until the Maximum Fun Network picked it up on January 2011. Each
episode of the podcast lasts about an hour and they have had multiple live shows across the United
States of America. Their most recent and noticeable addition to the series’ name is, the “My Brother,
My Brother and Me” TV show. Released by Seeso on February 2017. The show’s first season ran for
six episodes and stared such guests as John Green and Hank Green, Lin-Manuel Miranda and “Weird
Al” Yankovic.

The brothers are all individually involved with multiple different podcasts.

Justin (Novemeber 8th, 1980) is an editor for Polygon but he also co-hosts the medical history
podcast “Sawbones” with his wife, Dr Sydnee McElroy, and the complete series of “Smart Stuff” with
Roman Mars.

Travis’ (November 8th, 1983) main job is as a Master Carpenter for the Cincinnati Shakespeare
Company. He also co-hosts the doomsday prepping comedy podcast of “Bunker Buddies” with Andie
Bolt, “Interrobang” with Tybee Buskin and “Schmanners” and “The Kind Rewind” with his wife,
Teresa McElroy.

Griffin (April 17th, 1987) is a senior editorial producer for Polygon, where his older brother Justin and
he co-host the mini-series ,(more commonly known as a ‘Let’s Play’), “Monster Factory” among
other numerous projects. Griffin also co-hosts “Cool Games Inc.” with his co-worker Nick Robinson.
Who he also co-hosts two let’s plays titled “Car Boys” and “Touch the Skyrim” and a podcast called
“Rose Buddies” that he co-hosts with his wife, Rachel McElroy.

The brothers’ other prominent podcast is “The Adventure Zone” a Dungeons & Dragons game series
they produce with their father, Radio Personality, Clint McElroy. They loosely followed the game’s
Basic set adventure before quickly diving head first into a story of Griffin’s own making. The show’s
pilot was introduced as a ‘special episode’ as a break for “My Brother, My Brother and Me” after
Justin and Sydnee had a baby. The family directly interact with fans on Twitter and are encouraged
to send in suggestions for “Fantasy Costo’s” inventory and stock. Additionally, many characters on
the show are named after fans, one particularly one being Carey Pietsch.

Carey has interacted with the brothers on Twitter and shown them her illustrations based on
moments and characters in the show. Which ultimately lead to a collaboration between the five of
them. The Adventure Zone’s first arc is set to have a graphic novel adaptation some time in 2018;
with the McElroy’s as it’s writers, Carey Pietsch as it’s illustrator and the novel to be published by
First Second Books.

The brothers don’t pay for advertisements and have simply relied on word of mouth for the last
seven years to advertise their work.

The beautiful gift that the internet provides us is that chance to connect with an audience beyond
our initial expectations and beyond what was possible for the generations before us. The internet
connects us and by doing so elevates our art onto platforms where they can be viewed by anyone,
where they can inspire anyone and create communities for others inspired by that. The World Wide
Web allows a larger chain reaction for each piece. It allows for artists to meet and collaborate with
those who, in another life would be complete strangers.

It is invaluable and every new, diverse voice makes everyone’s art stronger as a result.
Bibliography
First Second Books, Official Site

- http://www.firstsecondbooks.com/

Maximum Fun Network, Official Site

- http://www.maximumfun.org/

Welcome to Nightvale, Official Site

- http://www.welcometonightvale.com/

Wikipedia. Shueisha Inc.

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shueisha

Wikipedia. ONE

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(manga_artist)

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