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This Month We talk to Chris (aka Christian Schönlein) Author of Neon Genesis Evangelion Special Episode: Child Zero and Stories by the Cute, Little Girl

Post: What the hardest part (for you) about making a Kamishibai story?
Chris: "I think for me the hardest part is to puzzle together a whole story. You have an idea for the story here, some charas there - you just have to make it one working unit now. It's often like you finally finished your story and then you think "something's still missing". I often end up with stories that I'm not content with 'cause in the end I think the story isn't nearly as good as I expected it to be, or the images suck. I have like half a dozen Kamis I never finished because of that problem.
Other than that I think I have most problems with the images. That's why I didn't use own images up to now, but I'm trying hard.
It's also hard for me not to loose interest in a story when I just can't get on with it."

Post: What do you think about when making a Kamishibai story?
Chris: " It depends. When I'm working on a story that I already made a script for I'm thinking about how I could make the next scene, what's the best way to show what I want to show.
But when I made the "cute, little girl"-series where I didn't have a script or even a rough idea of what I want to do I just go on working with nothing specific on my mind - I just wait for an idea to pop up and then write it down in the gamefile."

Post: What were some of the things that influenced The Cute Little Girl Stories?
Chris: "Only Kamishibai itself and the Sakura windows sitter. When I first visited Otakuworld I downloaded a lot of stuff. After watching some Kamis I wanted to try this myself. I just wanted to do something - no matter what. When this Sakura windows sitter was smiling at me I had the idea of her as a storyteller and then I began working on the first part of the "cute little girl"-series."

Post: What are your plans for future kamishibai?
Chris: "When I first visited Otakuworld Kamishibai was kinda new, there were only very few Kamis at that time. So nobody cared about whether you had your own art or not. Main thing was there were Kamishibais at all. So I didn't think anything bad when I was "stealing" art for my "cute, little girl"-series. But since more and more people are saying that they prefer original art I'm planning to re-do the "cute, little girl"-series. I'm gonna do original art for all five parts.
Other than that I'm working on two completely new projects (with all original art of course ^_~):
"Just another Comedy" will be a comedy series about some ordinary otaku who becomes a super-hero.
"Ai no eika" is gonna be a very sad and dramatic multi-part love story."

Post: Other than yourself, who are some of your favorite Kamishibai artist?
Chris: "Hard to tell since a lot of the available Kami Stories are great. But since most authors got both, great and not so good stories I guess I could only name my favorite stories, not authors."

Post: If you could change one think about Kamishibai what would it be? And why?
Chris: "Sometimes I'd like to use more than just 32 images per animation. And often the text window is too small. I sometimes have to use three scenes to write down what I wanted to write in one scene. I also would like to be able to use MP3s instead of waves for the sounds or maybe even as bg-music and jpgs or gifs instead of bmps. That would make the file size extremely smaller."

Post: So do you have any additional comments, concerns, or thoughts for us?(Any shameless plugs, like your website?...)
Chris: "Shameless plugs? I guess I had enough of those on the forum but since you're asking for it:
Additional comments? Well, I'd like to say thanks to everybody on the forum for accepting me in the "Kamishibai-society" (if there is something as such) and thanks for having me interviewed and of course thanks to those who wrote eMails to tell me they like my stories. This is something I enjoy most on doing Kamishibai (although it haven't been too much up to now)"

Thanks for your time Chris.

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