Míriam Bonastre Tur (Pineda de Mar, 1994) still keeps the notebooks in which she used to draw and write stories as a child.

His passion for manga, he explains, stems from watching a lot of anime, especially the one that was broadcast on the Super3 channel, like the series La màgica Do-Re-Mi. He also read comics that he found at her parents’ house: Esther and her world, Conan the Barbarian or even El Jueves.

Her great passion for manga has led her to become, at just 29 years old, the best-selling European author of 2022. This success is thanks to Hooky, the fantastic genre work that took the Korean free online comics platform by storm. Webtoon. That success led Bonastre to publish Hooky on paper, first in the United States, through Harper Collins, and later in Spanish bookstores, with Martínez Roca, from the Planeta group (it will soon be released in Catalan by EntreDos).

Transferring his comic to paper was a process that helped him disconnect from problems in times of confinement. He believes that there is room for the coexistence of the paper format with the digital one, but he believes that the latter is the future. “It is clear that people have stopped reading physically to read digitally, be it with newspapers, books and also comics. I like it better on paper, but you also have to save the Amazon, right? In the end it is more ecological to read digitally, and I believe that the future will follow that path”.

For the creation of Hooky, Bonastre did not have any specific audience in mind, but instead drew what she would have liked to read when she was 13 years old, but also what she would read now. One of the keys to success, she explains, is the theme of magic, but also the personality of the characters, two twins, a boy and a girl, who miss the bus to the Magic school. “People tell me that what they like the most is the construction of the characters, that they perceive them as real.”

Hooky’s references are evident. The illustrator affirms: “Harry Potter is the first one that comes to mind throughout the magical universe, but also the films of the Japanese studio Ghibli”, both for the drawing style and for the simple characters.

Regarding his working method, he says that “everything starts from the characters”. With Hooky first he had only the two brothers, there was no story, but he liked to draw them. As he did so, his personalities were defined. Bonastre started with a vague idea of ​​the main plot, some specific scenes “and he also had clear relationships between characters. The rest – he says – was flowing through the drawings ”.

The main markets for comics in the world are the United States, Japan and the Franco-Belgian area of ​​influence. In Spain it seems that it costs a little more to sell this genre. Bonastre believes that “interest is growing now” thanks to the fact that “many influencers have a geeky and otaku vibe, and they have made it fashionable. Manga is no longer seen as childish or fringe as much as something cool.” The cartoonist believes that she has also helped confinement, at which time “many people began to read books … But also comics.”