Dōjinshi is a specific type of manga. Manga is the name that is commonly given to Japanese comic books or graphic novels. Dōjinshi is the term that generally refers to manga written by amateurs. Translated into English, dōjinshi means “same person”. This is an accurate term as the person is publishing the manga on their own, outside of the comfort zone of a publishing company. Some professional artists publish outside of the industry as well, as a way to publish things that their publishing houses disapprove of, or do not believe will make money.
It has become popular, recently to create dōjinshi. Fans have jumped on board the bus and creators are using it as a way to get into the eye of popular publishing companies. As technology increases, most dōjinshi creators are putting their works directly in the public eye, by putting it online. Digital media has become a great way for unknowns to get recognized and to build a fan base. Often, if an artist has built a strong fan base, a publishing house is more likely to take them seriously. They recognize that they have people willing to buy their work and are more likely to take them on. Some dōjinshi artists actually sell their work online, using on-demand services and paying websites.
Dōjinshi come in many different varieties. For every variety of manga there is, there is usually quite a few dōjinshi writers. Manga written by fans are known as fanfics. These can range from manga even to anime. Websites that allow people to post their videos have created a whole new world for dōjinshi authors, allowing them to make videos or music videos of their favorite manga characters.
Often, dōjinshi contains sexually graphic material. This is usually due to the fact that publishing houses are very strict on what they allow to be published. Fans, as well, tend to prefer sexually explicit material in their dōjinshi, which is why it sells so well. Most of the popular manga authors are not permitted to get extremely sexually explicit with their manga characters and this makes some fans upset. Dōjinshi authors can take the same characters and put them into situations that would make publishing houses cringe.
One of the most famous group of dōjinshi authors was known as Clamp. This started out as twelve women but was whittled down to seven within a year. Eventually there were only four of the original authors left in the group. The current members include: