LINE Webtoon is one of the leading webcomic platforms available, boasting millions of readers worldwide. Here to join me is one of LINE Webtoon’s newest featured creators Hanza! Hanza’s already popular comic My Deepest Secret was just launched April 22nd.
For those unfamiliar with My Deepest Secret, here is the synopisis:
“Having a handsome, kind and caring boyfriend like Elios means the world to Emma. Even a look at him makes her heart flutters. But little does she know about a secret lies deep in their relationship. What is the said secret?”
Amy: First of all, it’s been about 2 weeks since the launch of My Deepest Secret on LINE Webtoon. Congratulations again on it! Tell me a bit about yourself and how you ended up as a webtoon creator.
Hanza: Thank you very much!
I’m a freelance artist based in Malaysia. Before starting My Deepest Secret, I worked as a part-time comic artist and had published a few comic books in my country. But I’m not that famous to be known here though (LOL) since most of the published books were the results of collaborations with other comic writers. However, I did write my own short comics and posted them on my Facebook page; Hanza Studio if you’re interested in reading them.
After graduating in March last year (I studied animation by the way), just like any other nervous graduates, I started thinking on what to do in the future. I thought if I could work as a full-time comic artist, it would be great. But of course, it’s not easy to get such a job (and get paid handsomely for it). So I looked for another full time job and made comic at the same time. When I posted My Deepest Secret on LINE Webtoon’s Discover, I was working as an illustrator at a local game company.
When I first started creating My Deepest Secret, I just wanted to create a fluffy, cute romance with the cafe theme. So I drew the first few sketches of Elios and Emma. It then struck my mind that it would be more interesting if I make Elios a sociopath. That’s when I decided to put a dark twist to the story. So My Deepest Secret is really just a mix of my love for cute romance and thriller.
However, when I reached chapter 3, I actually thought about giving up on My Deepest Secret since I was busy with other things and it seemed the series was going nowhere. I continued the comic again a few months later with a new mindset and a more structured story line, and I’m glad I did.
Amy: Compared to your Discover days, are you a lot busier now that My Deepest Secret has been featured?
Hanza: I don’t know how to explain LOL. I think I was busier during my Discover days since I was working a full time job at the time. And actually at the same time I was involved in making a local comic (the comic is already done at the moment though)
Now that My Deepest Secret is getting featured, I quit my full-time job, as well as the other comic projects I was involved in. I’m happy that I can completely focus in this comic series. It’s just that when I just focus on one project at a time, I get bored easily of the same repeating routine (since I’m used to multitasking). So, on some days I procrastinate too.
Reading the comments by the readers is one of the ways to motivate myself though.
Amy: I know when I have to do some writing, I either lock myself up in my room where it’s quiet or have to go to the library to be able to concentrate. What kind of environment do you need to be in to be able to focus on creating your comic?
Hanza: I usually lock myself up in the room when I do work too, so no one can disturb me (my cats always disturb me though).
When it comes to drawing, I don’t mind having people around or anyone watching me drawing. So when I want a change of mood, I’d usually go out and draw at the nearby cafe. But when it comes to writing or making storyboard, I’d really need to concentrate and I can’t if there’s people around.
Amy: How long does it take for you to create one episode?
Hanza: It usually depends on how long the chapter is. One chapter would have 50-80 panels, depending on the pacing. The shortest time I took to create one episode is 5 days. The longest (during my Discover days, I won’t dare to do it during Featured LOL) would take 1-2 months.
Now that My Deepest Secret is getting featured, I’m making sure one chapter will take 7 days max. But sometimes I slip too, and it would take 8-9 days. So to prevent wasting time, I usually use the days I procrastinate to make storyboards for further chapters or polish the story. By the way, I’ve already planned the story from start until the end, which helps me a lot to save time.
Amy: Since you already have the story done, have you planned out how many episodes the comic will have?
Hanza: Yes, according to what I’ve planned, the comic will have 60 episodes (maybe more, it will depend on how things turn out).
Amy: As we all know, Elios is a psychopath. Just how crazy should readers expect My Deepest Secret to get?
Hanza: What can I say about this…well, be prepared I guess. This story will be one roller coaster ride of feels. The reason I made the cat died in chapter 1, other than to introduce Elios’s real nature, it’s also as a warning to the readers; to proceed reading or not to. That’s why I actually don’t mind if readers drop the comic after reading chapter 1.
Amy: Last but not least, of Emma, Elios, and Yohan, who would you kiss, marry, and kill?
Hanza: LoL xD (how am I supposed to answer this?)
Emma is a cute sweetheart, so I won’t ever feel like killing her. But then, I’m straight so I don’t feel like kissing or marrying her either (but if it’s the genderbend version of Emma, I’d love to)
For Elios, well… He’s actually my type of guy (if he’s normal, that is. But then he’s not LoL). So I’d love to kiss and marry him (again, if he’s normal). About killing him, I don’t think I’ll be so brave to do so. I mean, if one day he ever tends to physically hurt me, I’ll just run far away first. Move to another country and change my name. In short, Elios is the type of man I won’t dare to mess with.
As for Yohan, I created him to be a character that readers can relate to. He has flaws (his terrible sense of direction) and hobbies which will be revealed soon in the story. So I think he’ll be a great company. And yes, I’d love to kiss and marry him but won’t ever think about killing him.
And that concludes this interview with Hanza! If you haven’t read My Deepest Secret yet, you can find it here on LINE Webtoon. Make sure to follow Hanza on Instagram and Facebook. If you’d like, you can also support them on Patreon. Now go read some webtoons!
Feature image © Hanza
Hanza. “My Deepest Secret.” Line Webtoon. Naver Webtoon Corp. webtoons.com/en/drama/my-deepest-secret/list?title_no=1580. Accessed 8 May 2019
Hanza. Personal interview. 6-9 May 2019.