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Interview: Ribby

Interview with the Kami artist.

The creator behind the stories Hikawa Hijinks and Magical Girl Mistress Key, Ribby

Kamipress: What do you think about when making a Kamishibai story?
Ribby: "When I'm making a story, frankly I think about what's gonna come next! ^_^ When I've been doing Hikawa Hijinks, I have a little 1 paragraph outline that I follow, which covers just the general gist of the story. But sometimes I decide to do different things--for example, I didn't have the characters learn about the legend of Tellia and Mohna's battle until the fifth chapter. I was so excited about doing it that I decided to put some of it in the fourth chapter, then have everyone waiting to see what happens in the fifth (at this writing, it is done, but I am yet to release it.)"

Kamipress: What is the hardest part (for you) about making a Kamishibai story?
Ribby: "It has to be sticking with my idea. I can't tell you how many good story ideas I've let drop in the 8 months since I've started! Just recently I stopped work on Hikawa Hijinks part 5 for a few days just because I wasn't pleased with the continuity of the story. As for Mistress Key, I did that just for fun (it was my first real story Kami but I didn't want to release it just yet because I figured it was too sugar coated) but now that I've decided to expand it it's hard to find time. (For that reason, I'm holding off until I finish Hikawa Hijinks.)"

Kamipress: What's your favorite part of making a Kamishibai story?
Ribby: "I think it's got to be hearing what people think about it! When I heard the comments about what people thought of the first chapter, you could've knocked me over with a feather! Sure, I've written fanfic and all that, and I've gotten fan mail, but this was WAY different because my art talent on a computer is not so good...(Fact is, the only thing I'm really good at drawing on the computer is silhouettes.)"

Kamipress: How did you start on Kamishibai?
Ribby: "It was actually a mission. I'm a super fan of the TV show Samurai Pizza Cats (sadly, it is off the air and has been for quite some time) and one of THE biggest SPC fans on the net, Princess Vi, who runs an SPC newsletter, told us about Kamishibai in our newsgroup ( and said that an SPC Kamishibai would be nice. Then that December I finally got around to downloading it when my (then) boyfriend gave me a ZIP disk for my birthday, and after harvesting some pictures and fooling around with code, my SPC quiz was born. Then I decided to do Mistress Key and felt it was too sugar-coated, so I went for something more mature, Hikawa Hijinks."

Kamipress: What is on your wish list for kamishibai?
Ribby: "I'd like to be able to use different sound formats, like mp2's, mp3's, and different music formats. I'd also like to be able to use .gifs instead of .bmps. And finally, I'd like the text to be animated too, sort of like subtitles."

Kamipress: What are some of the things that influenced Hikawa Hijinks?
Ribby: "In the first ever issue of Animerica that I bought, there was a special article on the anime El-Hazard (that I am yet to see.) It told me so much about it and it really intruiged me (I'll get some tapes as soon as my checking account balance goes up to a reasonable number--say, $200!) Then one night in IRC I got the idea and immortalized it in my notebook. My boyfriend (at the time, we've now broken up but we're still friends) suggested the title while the other people in the channel helped me choose names. Some of the other stuff came to me as I was working in my job--book shelver at my public library. Book shelving is boring work (it also pays minimum wage) but it allows me to think, and I've thought up many a character."

Kamipress: How about the thing the influced Magical Girl Mistress Key?
Ribby: "Now this is a little more funny...Last year I was in IRC when someone suggested that we should do some role playing. I am in a little RP which slowly dwindled from 10 members to 8 to 5 and now finally 2 (or 3, but hopefully old members are returning!) So we decided to give it a sort of Pokemon flavor. I play myself (Ribby) in the RP and the Ribby I play is older than the Ribby in MK. So I re-invented Ribby as a magical girl. On New Year's Eve I managed to sketch out a good picture of her and Mappy, and then a heroine was born.

Also, I am a very big fan of the magical girl series, Nurse Angel Ririka SOS. It is a very cute and sweet series that has a different sort of focus than other series such as Sailor Moon. The heroine, Ririka, is only ten, and the series only ran for about 30 episodes. It gets very emotional at times, but still has many funny scenes.

Kamipress: Who are some of your favorite Kamishibai artists?
Ribby: "Hard to say, I like 'em all! But my fave story of all time has got to be Pastel Defender Heliotrope, which has wonderful art (reminiscent of crayon drawings), music and looks just like a shojo anime. Other than that, I think the best stories are Questors and The Heroic Legend of Mad Monkey Kung Fu!"

Kamipress: So what are some of the Kamishibai you're considering for the future?
Ribby: "Once Hikawa Hijinks (six episodes) and Mistress Key (four episodes) is over, I don't know what I'm gonna do! But I am planning on making a Kamishibai adaption of the Japanese story "Momotaro The Peach Boy." I was heavily influenced by "The New Journey to the West" and have researched three different versions of the story during my work at the library. Of course, I could always do a few of the stories from my RPG that I do, the trouble is I can't draw all too well and have NO access to a scanner! Speaking of RPG's, I think I'd like to do one sort of like Sparkle Star's. However, I don't know what to do it on..."

Kamipress: What are your favorite animes?
Riby: "I like the stock: Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Magic Knight Rayearth, Ranma 1/2, etc. But I also like obscure anime such as The Slayers (very, very funny) Dragon Half (home of the most obscene rocket launcher in anime, believe me, it is DARN OBSCENE!) Kodomo no Omocha (99 44/100% caffeine) Here Is Greenwood (shojo OAV story about 4 guys at a college that are stuck in a dorm where a guy sleeps with his motorcycle and two people have set up a video arcade in their dorm, meaning they're stuck with the REJECTS), and Nurse Angel Ririka SOS. I'm also a huge fan of Kiki's Delivery Service, I can't wait for the Sailor Moon R movie to come out, I am awaiting an abundant supply of money in my checking account to buy a Playstation and be surrounded by cuties in FF7, and I await my monthly visits to the comic book store I frequent in Boston with all the eagerness of a little girl (I'm 17!)"

Thanks for your time Ribby

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