At San Diego Comic-Con this year, I got to interview Hiro Mashima, creator of Fairy Tail and Rave Master. Frankly, my interviewing wasn’t very good because I didn’t get any sleep the night before, but I bulldozed through it with coffee-powered enthusiasm. He seemed like a very nice guy — shy, but not shy by manga artist standards, just friendly and mild-mannered.
Apparently my interview style (and/or my snarky reviews) made an impression on Mashima, because in the October 8 issue of Weekly Shonen Magazine, Mashima wrote in a role for “Jason, the reporter from Sorcerer Magazine who comes to interview the heroes.”
The chin, the nose, the sideburns, the air of insincerity — DAMN! I am honored! It should also be mentioned that I get punched in the face a few pages later (something I’m sure Tamayo Akiyama or Kia Asamiya would also be glad to do if they ever read “Manga: The Complete Guide”), only to say “Wow! What a cool punch!” It was Jake Forbes who first told me that Mashima was a good artist, and although I am as always 90% swayed by sheer vanity, I gotta admit, I’m impressed.