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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Diles

Genre Specialty Spotlight: Manga and Comic Books

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Now that Courtney Diles Writing & Editing Services has moved from freelance marketplaces and word-of-mouth clientele to an independent website, let me tell you more about the kind of work I've done over the years.

After spending years in critique groups, I have experience editing in every genre out there, but I professionally specialize in YA fantasy, paranormal romance, and comics. I have already posted about YA fantasy and paranormal romance. Today, let's talk about manga and comics.

While I was getting my BA in English from the University of South Carolina, I got a three-line email that changed my life — I was accepted for an Editorial Internship for Penguin Random House. (This was in 2012 shortly before the merger, so at the time it was simply Random House.)

I worked for a subdivision called Random House Publisher Services, specifically a subdivision of that subdivision, Kodansha Comics. My first day on the job, I was handed a newly printed copy of Attack on Titan Volume 1 and told it would be the next big thing. Within the next three years, it was.

My first day, I also checked over a print run of Sailor Moon Volume 6 for ink blots from a printing press error.

Since then, I have edited for some independent comic creators. My editing typically takes two forms depending on the stage of development:

  1. A document of the dialogue, narration, and effects, organized with a label for each box - The editing for this is pretty standard. I track changes in Word or Google Docs. The biggest derivation from normal word document editing is checking that the boxes and bubbles match up in terms of labeling.

  2. The pdf of the comic - At this stage, I use Adobe Acrobat to make comments on bubbles and boxes in regards to text. There are also quality control checks such as making sure all text is within print lines.

My Japanese reading skills were decent at the time, so I was tasked with reading some of the manga in Kodansha’s lineup and made recommendations to the production editor. I was one small voice out of many, but the list included Vinland Saga and My Little Monster.

I was also very proud to recommend changing some “munch” sound effects to “nom nom.”

Please take a look at this carousel of some of the manga I had the privilege to help with.

Courtney Diles (Coco Henderson) has been the Owner of Courtney Diles Writing & Editing Services since 2012. She is the author of The Pain Eater (The Wild Rose Press, 2018) and five ghostwritten indie paranormal romance novels. She specializes in editing paranormal romance, young adult fantasy, and graphic novels, and in Mental Health Sensitivity Reviews. Her former blogs included Studies in Storytelling and The Depression Detective. Thank you for reading!

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