dink September 2009
dink is currently the leader of DFCG, or Delicious Flat Chested Guild. DFCG is a relatively new group founded by Skyking at the beginning of 2009, but was soon taken over by dink and be0wulf. Although the DFCG is a relatively new group, dink has been an avid reader of scanlations as early as 2001, but became involved with the scanlation scene around 2003. DFCG is known for scanlating a variety of interesting series aimed at different audiences.
dink: Good day to you~! The name is dink and I'm a Korean Translator as well as the leader for my group... the DFCG. I've only been publically doing scanlations since March of 2009, but I've been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work for scanlation groups dating as far back as 2003. The groups that I've OFFICIALLY been with is just my own, but I have a lot of friends in the scanlation scene because of my past.
dink: The scanlation scene from back then was... VERY different to say in the least. From what I can recall, I remember that there were A LOT of mIRC-based groups when it came to the scanlation scene because not everyone could afford a nice website / layout / DDL service, and also because it allowed scanlators to interact with their viewers / readers on a much more intimate level. Nowadays, manga is more publically exposed to the mainstream... With online manga reader sites such as Onemanga and Mangafox; free filesharing/uploading websites such as MediaFire and places that centralize on the announcement of a new release (i.e. Mangaupdates, Mangahelpers) beginning to pop up more and more... things are a lot more 'accessible.'
dink: Well, the DFCG is obviously a scanlation group... but it initially started out as a joke of sorts. There was a guy named 'Skyking' who was involved in the scanlation scenes at the time who was notorious for starting up projects but never committing to them. Skyking collaborated with my close friend 'be0wulf' (who, at the time, thought it was a great idea due to some drama going on in the group) and that's when the first conceptualization of the DFCG came about. be0wulf told me about the new group, and seeing as how I was fairly disgruntled at the way they were managing things at their old group... I wanted to show them how it was done and at the same time help my friend out with the DFCG.
The DFCG actually stands for Delicious Flat Chested Guild, but there's an insider's joke that ever since I joined the group and took jurisdiction into my own hands... the DFCG is a connotation for anything that I want it to be (i.e. Dink's Financially Comfortable Groupies) especially with my distaste for loli's. >_>
dink: Initially, it really felt like the DFCG was a me-against-the-world kind of thing. I mean, we even had to deal with the burden of Skyking ripping into us in one of his associate group's new releases despite us having ONLY one release out. But the ironic thing was that actually garnered peoples' interest in us as a group. So I combined that with my knack for networking and shameless advertising... and somehow, the DFCG started coming together. As far as technicalites are concerned... I had to scout down A LOT of people and call in for A LOT of favors. Like Gottaname, who's responsible for hosting our official website and who was involved in the creation of our current website layout. The list is really too long for me to remember... but the most significant ones were finding a RAW provider, as well as recruiting people who were willing to edit for us. The DFCG was built from nothing, but on a more personal level... I think I did it to prove to myself and all the people who doubted me. That I CAN be successful.
dink: That's really such a hard question to answer because different people have different tastes, and it really just comes down to who you ask. All of our projects are projects that cater to a specific fanbase, so one person may know us as 'that one group doing that mecha series' or 'that one group doing those incest/seinen shorts.' To better elaborate on this... Trump!, for example, is (demogrpahy-wise) a Shonen series, but it has A LOT of female readers mainly due to the style of the art, and humor. Whereas a project like Monk!, which is also a shonen with a lot of humor, caters more to male readers due to the raunchy usage of fanservice and etc. Our versatility is what keeps us fresh, and ultimately, our main point of appeal.
dink: There are a lot of people that come and go inside the scanlation scenes. Initially, I held the idealistic view that that was something I could avoid... but I came to the realization that's really just a part of life in general. People are prone to change, and when they do change... there's really nothing you can do to stop their loss of interest. The only thing you can do is be supportive of your peers, and friends, and always make sure to let them know that you accept and appreciate them as people.
As far as interesting stories go... there's just simply too many to mention. But the one that I fondly remember the most is the whole Red-Hawk / CoalGuys incident that happened a few months ago. The story began when the leader of CoalGuys, 'Jaka (for those of you who don't know... CoalGuys is a fansubbing/trollsubbing group) noticed a small translation error in a chapter of To-Love-Ru and the guy managed to cause a ruckus inside a select few IRC channels on IRCHighway. A good friend of mine showed me logs of what happened and not to feel outdone by 'Jaka and his associates... I decided to get involved by joining their channel on their server, Rizon, and troll them back. (For those who don't know: IRChighway is usually where the manga scanlators hang around, and Rizon is where the fansubbers reside) What ensued was a two-three hour long discussion of ignorance, rashful assumptions, and sarcasm on topics such as 'Which is harder? Scanlating or Fansubbing?' Needless to say, by the time 'Jaka realized that I wasn't looking to be rational... he and his associates pretty much came to the realization that scanlators weren't to be trifled with. ;)
dink: The group is going on as strong as ever. I mean, we could ALWAYS use more translators, cleaners, and quality checkers, but these days... who doesn't? As far as future plans go, I'm not sure when you guys are going to release this interview. But I'm going to announce to the public for the first time and in this very interview... that we're picking up Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, a project that was formerly being done by the guys over at SnoopyCool.
dink: Oh wow, this is definitely going to be a long list so I'll definitely try and trim it down... Yanime was DEFINITELY the group I idolized and tried to use as a blueprint to structure the DFCG around. With that said, I simply don't remember all the places I've been a fan of, but just off the top of my hat... definitely Toriyama's World. MangaScreener is an auto-include. MangaProject was also a local fix for me. And who can forget Akatsuki-Manga? Badandy and his group AnimeWaves were/are really legit too. Band of the Hawks is one of the greatest. You can add Omanga in the list too. SnoopyCool... how do you call yourself a fan of manga and not know this group? K-Manga, most definitely... with its firstly defined legendary trio of xX_bLuE, ambience_blue (bambi) and geeKeR. The list goes on and on, so when I look back at this inteview I know I'll be thinking "Damn! I can't believe I missed these guys. x_x"
As far as scanlation groups that I'm a fan of in the present-day.... definitely my buddies Amaru, Kuthrow, and knight64 with the whole A-Team gig going on. Null, definitely Null. They're probably THE premier group of irchighway after K-Manga disbanded. I definitely respect Lenners and her crew over at SCX-Scans. NCIS had their best run with CassiusOS... I also need to mention my associates over at VI-Scans as well. Great people. Suyara, immi and their lovely cohorts over at MangaArt as well~! taka's crew Red-Hawk too!! Again, good people. Definitely Illuminati-Manga and their taut, but organized leader... GGpX. Shoujomagic is like the last of a dying breed... so much props go to them for being able to hold down a shoujo-based group on IRCHighway still. [Madocchi] with Kindan no Aku... their scanlations are awesome and hilarious. There are some good people over at OMFGG as well. Chibisuke-Scans with Area no Kishi and everything~ I even ended up doing a rant page for them!
dink: Call me old-fashioned, but I'm feeling slightly dashed about the current scanlation scene on IRCHighway. It's been a general rule of thumb that all leechers really care about is reading the latest releases and all... but I feel that they're detached to us now more than ever due to the accessibility and exposure that manga has been getting within the past few years. Ultimately, that SHOULD be a good thing because it means that your releases are getting read more... but it's hard as a scanlator, because with controversial channels like #Lurk around.... you can hardly feel that the reader has a sense of attachment to all the hard work you may have put in for a release when all the readers congregate to one setting, and most of them will come to the realization that there is no longer an incentive to stick around the actual group responsible for the series. And hardly any will join the channel for the newest release because they have the luxury of reading any other series that's been scanlated.
In hindsight, though, this has really taught me a lot about consumer views and adaptation. It also made me realize that the best leaders are the ones who can advertise and sell themselves to you. I mean, there's definitely something to exploit here. I just haven't put my finger on it.
As far as online reading sites are concerned... it pretty much boils down to the same thing. Manga is a lot more 'accessible' now and Online Reading sites are continuing to become more prevalent these days, so perhaps embracing or officially endorsing these sites may prove to help us in the long run.
Getting down to predictions now... unless #Lurk gets ravaged like Poland did courtesy of Germany in WW2 (lol, historical reference), things will pretty much stay entirely the same on the mIRC front. As far as things go on the HTTP end... either most if not all the scanlators congregate into one HUGE super group (i.e. Franky House) and manage to exploit the reader base OR groups will continue to lose incentive in scanlating and/or more groups will begin to rely on public translation/scanlation websites like Mangahelpers for help. Another thing to note is that joints are getting as popular as ever now, so we're already taken a step in that direction.
If you're planning on getting involved in scanlations for the sake of recognition... just do a Weekly Shonen Jump series, otherwise you better be prepared for disappointment.
dink: It was my pleasure, really~. If there's anything that I would like the reader to take from this interview... it's the fact that scanlators are people just like you! If there's a series that you enjoy reading... let them know. Visit their website. Leave a comment inside. Come lurk/idle inside their mIRC channel. Register and start posting in their forums... BE VOCAL about your appreciation! Because, ultimately we're scanlating for you guys! Thanks for reading, and most of all... thank you to all the supporters out there for believing in what one person's determination can bring upon.