Japanese Manga Vs American Comics
Japanese Manga Vs American Comics
Difference in Japanese Comics (Manga) and American comics is vast ranging from their art style, their presentation and other parameters such as size or length of the comic and the fashion they follow. Even audiences are more diverse and innovative and choose to have liking for Japanese or American based on their choice (Adam, 2006). Japanese (Manga) is more of exaggerated kind of flow. However, American comics tend to rely more on realistic basis and have their own apprehensions. The color is another specification that can make the difference between both.
The Japanese Manga comics come in black-and-white format whereas the American comics are fully colorful. The traditional American comic books size is usually digest size and one third of the comic books today. If you see Japanese Manga, they can be of 100 pages nearly and weigh accordingly. The American comic books known to be light weight one weigh about 32 pages. In older times, Japanese comic books were full of colorful pages at least for the first pages. The top covers always filled with four colors mainly. At that time, Japanese did not believe in these factors such as the lines, forms and colors.
Western artists tried to teach the people about the modernized style of making comic books. However, none of them showed interest. Manga referred to as Ponchi-e, meaning the punch picture was highly known. Even British people had Punch magazine that was all about humor and political satire. Dr. Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989), who is father of nirvana Manga, first found Manga. It was from him the episodes of comics took form and developed rapidly. They all contained different stories in episodes and the way he developed characters in those comics are highly known until today.
He became a great Japanese comic artist by inspiration from an animated war film by name “Momotaro’s Divine sea warriors”. The Japanese Manga comics gained so much popularity because of his keen interest in combining both the cinematic quality and a style of drawing facial aspects. Walt Disney was another of Tezuka’s leading inspirations due to which he began his comics in an exaggerated style of manner with simplicity imbibed in the expressions and lines that can be very catchy. He gave more importance to facial features like drawing every characters nose, eyes and mouth.
Unlike Japanese traditional methodology in comic world, the American comics have set their own standard in the world of comics be it for adults or for children. However, many times the American comics reflect more on elements of sexuality and violence though they In contrast to both, comics in Japanese or Manga have managed to hold a standard significant place in their culture or place rather than the comics in American world. They show their respect as a great essence of art and part of literature (Klaus, 1992).
Manga became one of the popular TV shows and some even made short length movies out of these Japanese comics. In contrast to them, American artists have created many comics even including violence and sexual aspects though many disapproved for all the age groups on every topic. In America, the trade paperbacks make the comics cover, whereas in Japan, the Manga magazines otherwise known as phone books on newsprints with low quality of about 20 to 40 if it involves episodes are used. Otherwise, the range varies from 200 to more than 850 pages on an average.
Those called as trade paperbacks in America are termed as Tankobon that means stand-alone books in Japan. They are generally printed with high quality paper and very useful for those who are unable to bear the cost of weekly or monthly publishers or those who want to get updates about day-to-day. As in Japanese, the American comics became major part of the industry in the year 1938, also known as the golden era of comics. There is no specific inspiration on who started or got inspired to write comics. However, they have several ages where different comics celebrated their success.
There is also something called atomic age where comics came into picture after World War II (Thomas, 1979). There are something called graphic novels and underground novels apart from others that need closer look according to Japanese and American comic notations. The graphic novels are series of on-going novels in America unlike Japanese where Manga is quite similar to the American graphical novels that are monthly ones combined into a single story or story arc. However, Manga graphic novels can constitute for about thousands of pages because they come with a storyline.
Manga graphical novels are those that describe above as magazines of nearly 100 pages even. Another major difference between the Manga and the American comic artists is that a single person, handling all the sketches, writings, creates Manga and any artwork required. However, American comic industry has a different style of mainstream, otherwise known as assembly-line fashion. They finally combine to produce a comic. First, one writer writes the story. Then, a penciled comes in to do the initial sketching part based on the ideas given by the writer.
He or she makes use of ink or pen later, which is the inker work to do some shade over the sketch drawn. Thirdly, it is the work of the letterer to embed dialogues where necessary and apt. Finally, the colorist is required to color the sketch that was drawn by the penciled and inked. As mentioned earlier, a single person works on the Manga, but the respective artists do the coloring (Klaus, 1992). Variation between these comics occurs even in length of dialogues and the pace with which readers read. American comics go on a slower pace level with more realistic approach and elements combined.
However, Japanese comics or Manga books are read by people at faster pace and speed due to which they have less scope for dialogues and more of story line that enables them to write pages and pages at a time. If you deal with the cost factor relating to Manga books, the cost is high on an average when compared to the average comic book or the paperback novels. The American comics with trade paperbacks are affordable. The black and white printing keeps the cost down. However, the story line and amount of pages fill the lack of color.
The manga comics are not same for all the kids and every age group like the American comics. The American comics are just for every age group and for all topics. However, Manga has categories of comics for girls, boys and adults. The girl’s comic is Shojo Manga, the boy’s comics as Shonen Manga and the adult comics as Hentai. The shojo Manga mainly deals with relationship and love. The shonen Manga is all about adventure and Hentai is an adult comic mainly dealing with sexuality. Nevertheless, in American comics, they have sexuality involved in almost all the comics.
Even Manga has the golden age, silver and platinum like the American comic industry but with few variations. In the golden age of Manga, it dealt with more of adventure comics of more than eight pages. They were usually short adventure stories with anthologies. Even American comic industry flourished in the golden age with adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck in 1842, the only variation of it being a graphical novel as well. The silver age brought the Mangas comics with titles of increased page count of about 12-16. The American comic industry managed to release the superhero in the silver age (Adam, 2006).
In 1970’s, more of Marvel comics with superheroes such as Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and many other entertained the silver age. Americans published the underground comics during 1960’s and 70’ s. Americans distributed independently as the “Adventures of Jesus” published under false name Foolbert surgeon. However, they were not available at the news outlets, but at youth outlets. The Mangas did not have any underground comics as such. However, they did have adult comics even until today and children must not read them. They usually sell those in place called doujinshi.
The United States comics are very famous for super-hero genre whereas Japanese and countries like Europe sell other varieties of genres also (Ohn, 2001). If American comic industry gets the maximum profit from super-hero genres, the Manga gets from Power ranger. Manga seems to have more impact on the western culture. It has been able to capture from speed racer through live action of Mighty Morphin’ power rangers and their sequel in the years of 80’s and 90’s with Pokemon and Dragon Ball until today. You can find manga comics online.
You can download and enjoy reading them since they are suitable for all age groups. As I mentioned earlier, many people do American comics, whereas manga needs a single person for coloring apart from creating comic. Nevertheless, we need to know that Americans work on single project at a time. The whole team works on each book. Considering Manga, only one person is required to create and illustrate. The person who works on Manga leaves only the lettering part that is usually taken care by the computers nowadays. Many people say that manga is very helpful for those who want to learn Japanese.
It gives clarity in using their conjunctions and phrases. One more major difference occurs relating to cost factors. Though we have discussed earlier, this is in detail. Manga books are usually many pages length, sometimes exceeding up to 300 pages, otherwise known as anthologies. So, people in Japan or anyone fond of reading mangas read in trains and at any places and even throw away sometimes because they come at low cost and benefit as entertainers. However, if you consider American comics, their price is very high on the other hand, except few of those with low quality.
They cost less that many people can afford, those who want day-to-day updates without paying much. Like the action comic by Americans is very costly. Therefore, people prefer to store and save because they spend a little high when compared to Mangas. Manga has its own style, especially when Japanese create it. Nowadays even Americans are creating mangas, but they are western mangas (Ohn, 2001). The work of a manga creator or illustrator is very demanding, at the same time very hectic unlike the American artists who work for their own field.
They do not get tired because an inker does his part, penciled does his part and colorist does his part. Apart from differing in style and other artwork, they differ in the marketing strategies also. The formats are different based on the choice of the class of people reading in the society. Many girls read mangas, so the market is girl-friendly for manga. However, it does not mean that no one is reading American comics. The American comics are more of adventure like super-hero genre and others.
It all depends on the presentation and creation style which makes both of them differ from one another. Some of the mangas famous are the “Full Metal Alchemist” and the “Bleach”. The full metal alchemist proved to be a spin-off manga of multitudes. There is no pornographic manga as such except the adult themed hanta. In America, they have comics for age group from nine to thirteen. This is not the case here. All the manga volumes follow the same plot unlike the western comics that have different plots for each episode. Mangas sell in bound books unlike American comics sold in thin booklets.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 October 2016
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