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Unread 02-07-2003, 04:39 AM   #1
ZiggyB
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Why Does Manga Succeed Where American Comics Fail?

Why Does Manga Succeed Where American Comics Fail?

A very interesting article I found on Slashdot .

It takes a very serious view, culturally and economically about why it seems that Manga does better then American comics.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 10:44 AM   #2
dmdflarekojima
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Personally I think it succeeds where our comics don't because it keeps a constant storyline and doesn't vary all the time. On top of that all of our comics tend to turn into animated soap operas.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 10:55 AM   #3
Ranma Saotome
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You took the words right out of my mouth.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 11:57 AM   #4
Dark Vision
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I think american comics generally hit a small percentage in the US. Mangas tend to hit everyone in every class, position, executives etc. Its not the lack of storylines but the lack of diverse topics and genres in american comics.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 12:40 PM   #5
Deathscythe
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmdflarekojima
Personally I think it succeeds where our comics don't because it keeps a constant storyline and doesn't vary all the time. On top of that all of our comics tend to turn into animated soap operas.


Well, thats because American comic books get different writers every now and then. It's the main reason they vary. Every writer comes on to a certain book to tell a certain story. Also, American comic books are ongoing whereas manga usually has a beginning and an end to a story. Just look at Action Comics. This month is the 800th issue. Lots of stories have come and gone since 1938.

And not all comic books actually vary all the time. Fantastic Four, Amazing Spiderman, Action Comics(and two other Superman titles), Detective Comics, Batman, Uncanny Xmen and New Xmen are probably the only books that continue to vary due to the fact that they bring in huge sales numbers for their parent companies and they have to get the next big writer to keep that book interesting with new plot twists. Although, nowadays you find more mini-series(or maxi-series) on the racks.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 12:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dark Vision
I think american comics generally hit a small percentage in the US. Mangas tend to hit everyone in every class, position, executives etc. Its not the lack of storylines but the lack of diverse topics and genres in american comics.


American comics hit more than a small percentage in the US. I agree that there are not enough genres in American comics, but they still have more buyers than manga. Also, manga began to be accepted more and more due to Joe Madureira. His art style is what made the manga artform hip.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 02:55 PM   #7
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American comics are all superheros... I know a lot of manga is but those are more interesting. American: some evil dude plans on destroying the city. Buff superhero to the rescue. Manga: there's good, evil, and a little bit of everything. The hero (if any) can be young, old, anything. It's so much more diverse and creative.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 04:52 PM   #8
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I have to admit I haven't read any American comics since... oh boy, The X-Files? :)

But yah, I have to agree that the american comics just don't interest me. For instance, I really liked Ghost in the Shell and Ah My Goddess. I'm sure there's something in American comics that similar to GITS, but probably not like AMG.

Hell, considering all of the sports manga that's out there, I'd read something like Princess Nine manga if there is such a thing (I got hooked on the anime). Yes, it's a baseball soap opera, but I like soap operas. :)

If I'm stereotyping american comics, I'm sorry. But I'm open to suggestions, if you can recommend me something sci-fi or very good plot based drama comics, I'll be glad to check it out.

For the sake of argument, no "superhero" comics, not that I'm personally against it, but just to make people work harder on their suggestions. ;)

Edit: fixed some typos :)
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Unread 02-07-2003, 06:19 PM   #9
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There are a LOT of very good American comics - they are NOT all superheros! Those are just the popular mainstream ones. >____<;;; I have boxes and boxes full of comics about very UNsuperher-ish things. If I was home, I would haul them out and list titles for you. Just because something isn't at your local mainstream Marvel-DC-Image-only comic store doesn't mean it doesn't exist. RAR.

Manga has more variety because it is a bigger media. In America, people think of comics as a childish media, simply because that's how it is in our culture. It's different in Japan. Manga in Japan is like books in America - there's far, far to many to make a generalized statement.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 06:28 PM   #10
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I stand corrected. :)

I would like to get an American comic just to see what I'm missing...

Actually, this is just another personal thing, so don't kill me. ;)

I just like the art work in manga better. Sure the American comic COVERS are fantastic, but then you look inside and it's sorta disappointing. I know that's the "style" that American comics have, it's just not my taste I guess...

Last edited by ZiggyB : 02-07-2003 at 06:37 PM.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 07:03 PM   #11
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You are totally generalizing - obviously you haven't seen all that many American comics! Yes, there's a bit of a quick-and-easy style to a good deal of them (mostly the super hero ones), but that's because they were originally made to focus on the story. Sadly, with most popular comics, stories have degenerated and art has not advanced.
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Unread 02-07-2003, 07:29 PM   #12
Rosiel
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(And the French comes charging in...)

I don't believe continuous storylines should be a factor in the relative success of manga vs american comics, because short stories have fueled a great part of the European comic industry.

And, coming from the European comic culture, I will say that manga is popular for the same reason junk food is popular: it's flashy, in large quantities (updated often), pop-culture, and easy to digest (does not require much thought). The only thing that gives is a boost compared to the US comic industry imo is the fact that it has many -mainstream- genres catering to uptapped markets, such as girls. Most of the well known mainstream US comics seem to be geared towards boys.

But what saddens me, is that it is gaining ground on other genres such as, yes, European comics, which are lightyears ahead in terms of art, quality, storylines, writing, and especially philosophy/history... all I can think of is that with our current pop-culture society, people want instant gratification. Why read Bourgeon and learn historically accurate facts about colonization and the slave trade when you can read Fruits Basket and awwwwww at the empty sugary fluff? (Yes, I love Furuba, but I admit it's something I read when I just don't want to be burdened with thought.)

As for the US comics being soap operas... MANGA are the biggest soap operas I have ever read. Especially when dealing with the shoujo genre. What plot is there in Furuba other than "who will Tohru choose in the end"? There isn't. Fushigi Yuugi IS an animated soap opera and doesn't try to hide it. Moreover, I don't think plot has anything to do with it, as most mangas I have read have little to no plot, at least compared to what I am used to.

Seriously, I am sitting here trying to think of a manga with an intricate plot that makes sense... I'm looking at my collection... and I don't see any.

Then why do I read so much of it?

1. It's easy, no thought-needed entertainment.
2. Unique styles.
3. Pretty girly men.
4. Pretty girly men. (you can never have too much of those)
5. Sap.

From what I've seen of US comics, I haven't come across any 3,4 and 5, and very little of 2.
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Unread 02-08-2003, 01:19 AM   #13
Ranma Saotome
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Last American coming I bought (Anything by Adam Warren is excluded) was the Scarlet Spider mini-series. Talk about a letdown...
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Unread 02-09-2003, 11:25 AM   #14
Deathscythe
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZiggyB

For the sake of argument, no "superhero" comics, not that I'm personally against it, but just to make people work harder on their suggestions.

Edit: fixed some typos


Well then, if you want something NON-superhero, then you must read Powers. It's crime-fiction with a twist. It has superhero's in it, but its not the superhero's who save the day. Trust me, you'll like it. And it doesn't have that soap opera feel to it. Also, you could definitely read Leauge of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore. He uses characters such as Alan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Definitely a worthwhile read.
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Unread 02-09-2003, 01:01 PM   #15
A J
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Disclaimer: Keep in mind, I've only read mainstream titles like X-Men/Shi/Withblade/etc.

Personally, I like manga better for a couple reasons. Mainly because back when I was collecting American comics, I could not friggin keep up. They would have spinoff comic after spinoff comic and there was never an ending in site. It's impossible to keep up. It was like they would take an idea that was popular and just run like mad with it. It got to the point where I just gave it up altogether.

I also think manga, for the most part, has better art. There are some pretty bad American comic book artists out there. =) Like the guy who used to do X-Factor back when Jim Lee did X-Men. Hi idea of drawing a person was a colored blockish shape with a face. I'd like to see a little articulation or something. =P Not that I can draw, but I don't get paid to do it either...

Also, I've found that manga has better storylines. American comics sometimes have the most inane writing. Image/Top Cow comics is a great example. I dunno what they're like now, but when they first came out, they seemed to think they could get by on pretty pictures alone. Pretty art is nice but at the end of the day, I'd like to have a storyline that doesn't suck. =)

I know there are a lot of alternative/small name comics out there that are probably worth reading but it just seems they're a bit more obscure and have more of a cult following. The hey-dey of comics was back in the 80s. Now it's just a dying field.

Sides, who has time to read... I have to go SEW!!! ::Katsucon panic::

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