Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Wollstein.
Hi Robert, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was a kid with highly functioning autism who grew up in the 90s and I was a big fan of anime. It was the beginning of the anime revolution. And it was glorious. But I always wondered why there wasn’t any black characters in anime. (The real answer is that in the Japanese have very little knowledge on black culture.) And when I gotten older I started to realize that my era of entertainment was coming to an end. My favorite shows like Psych, Mythbusters, and even my favorite doujinshi artists were fading away for my eyes and nothing good was placing them. And the minute I saw teen titans go I knew I had to fill this void in my chest and distract myself from the atrocities of teen titans go. So I went back to my curiosity of why Black people can’t be anime characters. It couldn’t possibly be that hard to design likable Black people in anime form. You just need a good and simple design. So I hired a local artist name Venisha Penland. We met in a bookstore in the discovery mall and I asked her to draw my best friend James, and that’s how we made our lead character Karasu. And because I like anime tomboys I then asked her to make a cute but determined Blasian girl name Mura. Then I let Venisha take full control in designing and asked her to draw an edgy antihero with a sense of humor named Ronin. And we kept building the world over the past decade until we had a premise of what we wanted in the story. (a metaphor for how facts are no longer true because some jerks destroyed the truth and replace it with their own.) I then look for a talented writer to help me out (by searching craigslist) and that’s how I got Leonard Longford.
As an autistic person, I have a very unique imagination but very little patience to actually fill in the blank spots, and Leo filled in those blank spots perfectly and even help me perfect the hard Magic system in the series. I then meant John “Knight” Miller at a convention and gave him a shot because I wanted a backup writer and realized that he’s a very talented fight coordinator and brought him into the team officially. And that’s how we became a team of four. I know “mangaka” are traditionally supposed to be one person (in credit), but I couldn’t have done this without these three very talented people, so I gladly took bottom billing the book cover. (And it makes me sound more mysterious. lol.) I go by the pen name “NEXIK” after one of my favorite doujinshi artists, Because if they won’t make any more content for me then I’ll just take their name and rearrange it as my own. (If anyone can figure who that doujinshi artist was, I’ll give them $100. lol)
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I suffer from highly functioning autism so everything is a giant struggle for me. I can barely spell. It took me forever to figure out how to read adequately. My taste buds are too sensitive so I only eat like 10 types of food, And I graduated from high school by the skin of my teeth. Like I said before I have a great imagination but lack the patience and talent to bring those out. But thanks to Leo, John, and Venisha, I’m pretty sure I can overcome anything now. I’m going to conventions all over America just to make enough money to keep us going. I was born into a rich family, and without their money and support, I doubt we would’ve made it this far. but I want to make an honest living and not work in the Fabric business anymore. I still live with my mom today. She is very supportive of me and I love her dearly but she can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to my safety. (and I am 34). When I try and talk to customers to buy our books it feels like I’m banging my head against a brick wall. (especially since I don’t really like talking to people.) But 1 out of 10 I can break a small chunk off the metaphorical brick wall and turn it into a profit. Shout out to all the customers who bought our books. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed them. Also as being the only real nerd in my family (and I have a BIG extensive family) no one else really understands me. All they talk about is business and sometimes sports.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am the “author” of Boundless manga. I come up with crazy ideas and my team makes it for me. but I always try to pull my own weight and more in order to help them out. Like coloring, writing, editing, and even going to conventions by myself.
What do you like and dislike about the city?
Likes: anime, video games, cartoons, superhero movies, comic books (stop reading them though), my current and old friends, my family, pizza without cheese (I’m weird), Pasta smothered in red sauce, Venisha. John, and Leo.
Dislikes, teen titans go, anyone who likes teen titans go, the people who keep teen titans go alive, my family (sometimes), and Reality.
- Chapter 1 is $15 (physically)
- Chapter 2 is $5/$8 (physically)
- Chapter 3 is $5/$8 (physically)
- Chapter 4 is $5/$8 (physically)
- Website: boundlessmanga.com
- Instagram: @boundlessmanga
- Facebook: @boundlessmanga (neglected)
- Twitter: @boundlessmanga (neglected)
- Youtube: @boundlessmanga (never updated)
The one with the hat is John “Knight” Miller the fight choreographer and secondary writer, the guy looking into space is Leo Longford the main writer, the woman is Venisha Penland the artist. Are three main characters of our series are Karsu (the black kid with the glasses and sometimes strange Black and white eyes ), Ronin (the guy with the metal arms), and Murasaki aka “Mura” (the cute Blasian tomboy with the “poof”.)