~ by mooncloud a.k.a. MC217 ~
It was spring 2001, and I was just heading out from the
central convenient store in my home town. I visited them regularly
because they got in some rare stuff from time to time.
The only reason why I looked to my right at that time was because
I could see a magazine where it said something about manga on the cover
( at the time, manga wasn't very common here in Sweden, so once
I spotted that word somewhere, you could be sure I was all over it).
Then, when I took a closer look, I could read the title - WITCH.
It said it was Disney, but in manga style, so I thought:
" Hey, I like both manga and disney, plus - witches are cool.
I can't find a single reason NOT to buy this! "
I fell in love with the art style, the characters and the story right away.
It was like the best from two worlds for me! But how could a mere magical girl
comic feel so unique? There was something about the way the story was told ...
I continued to buy the comics each month, but I rarely found the time
to read them. I tried to make sure never to miss a single one - but one time,
I actually did! It was during a summer vacation, and I wasn't at home...
Luckily, I got my hands on the issue later, from a second-hand store. Phew!
( I know, I know, I should've gotten a subscription from the start,
but I always waited for the perfect subscription deal. :P )
Several years passed, and before I knew it - WITCH didn't look like
a normal comic anymore. The cover made it look like a children's magazine,
and people started to wonder what the hell was wrong with me!
I always thought it was funny, but also a bit tragic, how no one
else could know of this hidden jewel.
Then, one early summer day of 2006, I saw an ad in one of my comics.
It said there was going to be a TV show about WITCH! I had no idea that it
even existed, and now it's coming on Swedish television? Wow. The problem was,
I didn't have the channel it was aired on - Jetix - and that's when I decided to
look up WITCH online. That decision would change my life forever.
The first site I found was an early version of the
Unofficial WITCH Website (no longer online). I remember that it surprised me
how ambitious the site owners were. Then it hit me:
" maybe there are other fanatics like me out there? "
And when I found that cute RPG forum, I thought:
" Why didn't I think of doing this before? "
I had finally found others I could talk to about WITCH and its world.
So I decided to stay and play - and so I did during that whole summer.
Meanwhile, I was looking for more info about the show.
Not only did I find where I could download it, I also found
the WITCH forum @ tv.com where I could discuss it with other fans!
And that's where I found out about the comic scans...
Although very unorganized, I was surprised to find a community of fans
of the same comic I had adored for years. I admired Witchlover and the others
who tried their very best to provide scans for WITCH fans all over the world.
When I found out that the scans were 'stuck' at issue 47 and that most
people can't buy the comics in their countries, I offered my help. At first, no one
seemed to take me seriously. I guess that was because many others probably
had said the same things without doing anything. This only made me want
to prove to them that I could go through with it even more.
The second part of the back-then-incomplete special 5 (now known as
the Core of Kandrakar special) became my first scanlation project ever.
Issues 48-49 were made in haste, 48 even got online before I created
WITCH-o-HOLIC. Then, when Irmalover got issue 50 in english original,
I finally had the time to get my site and other things in order.
Shortly after that, the comic scan threads at tv.com started to get
deleted or locked, and that's when we started the comics forum.
From issues 51-74, deciding who would scan what was pretty difficult.
My website and the Philippine release were pretty much neck-in-neck and
it was difficult for me to know what was best for the community - to translate
as fast as possible or to wait for someone with Philippine comics to scan.
Back then, I did pretty much all the work myself, which meant that everything
took twice as long. People who said they were going to help out just disappeared,
and there were times when I had planned to get help but ended up empty-handed.
So we finally decided to let MAX9075 and Rojaws finish up the Ragorlang saga,
because I thought that would go faster - plus, I'd have more time for specials.
In retrospect - this decision ended up being the wrong one - seeing as
both of them had way too little free time to be able to keep up. That's why
the scanlations took so long for us to finish during 2008 - a lot of disappointments,
empty promises and misunderstandings. In addition to that we also had a lot of
circumstantial problems. For example, the admin of the comics forum was away
on holiday for three whole months, which meant that I had to handle the
forum on my own since I was the only moderator at that time. And of course,
the spambots decided to show up just in time for that...
When it became known that issue 74 would be the last Philippine issue,
everything changed. People started to work together, we became more organized,
and problem after problem started to go away. The amount of new members
to our comics forum skyrocketed, and we got more attention than ever before.
Since the beginning of 2009, everything has been taking a new path, and I'm
very happy that we were able to release the New Power saga so fast.
Things were finally going more or less according to plan, which also lead to the fact
that we could continue in the same pace for the Teach 2b Witch saga.
Luckily, we were able to continue this story until the very last issue,
and now for the remaining specials I hope that we will continue to overcome
any obstacles that may stand in our way.
( this is an updated version of a post I made @ the Witch RPG forum during summer 2009 )