Sept. 28, 2021

Panda! #BHM - Mangaka and Illustrator Gigi Murakami (Koyuki Panda) Joins Us To Talk, Storytelling, Creativity, Improv, Horror, Anime, Illustration & So Much More. | Ep.66

Panda! #BHM - Mangaka and Illustrator Gigi Murakami (Koyuki Panda) Joins Us To Talk, Storytelling, Creativity, Improv, Horror, Anime, Illustration & So Much More. | Ep.66

“I would like to leave behind a legacy like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison with my manga/illustrative art.” 


On this episode we had Gigi Murakami (Koyuki Panda) who is an American freelance illustrator and manga (comic) creator. She specializes in traditional mixed media ink and color illustrations, and manga art. She has been featured in publications such as Buzzfeed, Black Girl Nerd and Gritty Vibes to name a few. She hails from the Bronx NY, loves and is influenced by horror and science fiction media and has her own Manga called the Mixed Tape Reel.


We discuss the following things:  

  •  What character Gigi would love to cosplay? 
  • How did Gigi get into anime?  
  • The brilliance of Akira and whether that was Akira scary? 
  • A tangent into horror movies! 
  • How Gigi got into illustration? 
  • Difference between concept art and illustration?  
  • How Gigi found her style in terms of illustration?
  • How Gigi finds creativity in improvisation with her lives rather the preparing?  
  • What are some misconceptions of illustration and manga drawing? 
  • If Gigi could illustrate on any manga which one, would she choose and why? 
  • The hardest object to draw from Gigi’s perspective. Can you guess what it is?
  • Does the industry need to do more for black and people of colour or should black and people of colour take it on themselves to do their own stuff? 
  • We end the show with the Suuuper quick fire round
    • Can you guess if Gigi is a morning or night person? This and more revealed. 

Gigi Murakami (Koyuki Panda) socials  


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Gigi Murakami (Koyuki Panda)

Mangaka and Illustrator

Gigi Murakami, also known as Koyuki Panda is an American freelance illustrator and manga (comic) creator. She specializes in traditional mixed media ink and color illustrations, and manga art.

Influenced by horror & science fiction media, mainstream and cult films, Pulp art and vintage imagery, Japanese manga art masters, such as Katsuhiro Otomo and Junji Ito, and her own experiences as a Black woman in America--her aim is to combine her tastes and beliefs to produce provocative, yet relatable illustrations and manga that speak to the experiences of Black women and femme presenting people in an alternative way.