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Comics Are Dead, Long Live Manga!

sol_bad

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no dedicated shops in my town. but a few popular comic books were sold in most newsstands though. some book stores had some trade/collected editions.

That is a shame. There aren't many comic shops in Australia either. In Sydney I only know of two, there used to be 3 but that was about 20 years ago or so.
 
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Lone Denjin

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Who could have guessed Manga is selling better. Yes this image is real in all its cringe glory. They tried to sell a comic with this in it.
 

sol_bad

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Who could have guessed Manga is selling better. Yes this image is real in all its cringe glory. They tried to sell a comic with this in it.

If you take that seriously the jokes on you I guess?
It's another specially picked image by the anti-woke crowd to try and prove a point, like the image of Jane Foster Thor fighting Absorbing Man.

That above panel is from Angela: Queen of Hel, released in January of 2016. There were at least 239+ comics released that month. Comics generally have 20-24 pages each and each page has between 1 and 12 panels each. That's over 4,780 pages of comic content in a single month and god knows how many panels. You are showing 3 panels, that is not the vast majority of the comic industry.
 
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Lone Denjin

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If you take that seriously the jokes on you I guess?
It's another specially picked image by the anti-woke crowd to try and prove a point, like the image of Jane Foster Thor fighting Absorbing Man.

That above panel is from Angela: Queen of Hel, released in January of 2016. There were at least 239+ comics released that month. Comics generally have 20-24 pages each and each page has between 1 and 12 panels each. That's over 4,780 pages of comic content in a single month and god knows how many panels. You are showing 3 panels, that is not the vast majority of the comic industry.
So you are denying that it exists? How bold. Oh and lol at the damage control in the first line.
"It's another specially picked image by the anti-woke crowd to try and prove a point"
Translated from asshurt speak
"How dare you provide evidence proving your point"
 
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GymWolf

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Sooner or later emilia big ass clarke is gonna be in something that it not complete shit...
 

sunnysideup

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this is the talent of the actual artists. not a standard for the average Manga. we can also selectively find plenty of amazing art in Comics..




comics have much better art, most of the time.

But it is like picture books, still images with text as an separate entity.
 

Amiga

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comics have much better art, most of the time.

But it is like picture books, still images with text as an separate entity.

the pages I presented were specific examples of art+story in sync.

2 of the spreads are from Sandman Overture. one of the best writers in comics history with one of the best artists JHW3, the whole book is full of art like this. the Bucky spread is from the legend Jim Sterenko. the FF cover is by the late Seth Fisher, he died just as he was starting to get big.
 
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sol_bad

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And just as I mentioned in an earlier post that it was a shame that there were no digital services for Kodansha, this pops up.


Huge list of manga that will be available that makes me happy.

*EDIT*
I think Flowers of Evil will be the first thing I read, loved the anime of that and it never got a 2nd season.
 
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strange headache

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Turns out, only 5% of comic readers actually use twitter.


The comic book industry needs to stop chasing Twitter clout and using social media popularity as a roadmap for new projects going forward.

Maybe then we will stop getting reheated crap like this:



It's World War Hulk... but with She-Hulk!
So they will capture her and subject her to the same training as Black Widow in order to transform her into this weird mix of Red Hulk and Winter Soldier.
The tagline referencing Game of Thrones is testament to the industry's inability to come up with new stories.
 
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kunonabi

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Turns out, only 5% of comic readers actually use twitter.


The comic book industry needs to stop chasing Twitter clout and using social media popularity as a roadmap for new projects going forward.

Maybe then we will stop getting reheated crap like this:



It's World War Hulk... but with She-Hulk!
So they will capture her and subject her to the same training as Black Widow in order to transform her into this weird mix of Red Hulk and Winter Soldier.
The tagline referencing Game of Thrones is testament to the industry's inability to come up with new stories.

Let's not be so harsh. Miles is doing a clone saga and Ben Reilly is coming back. I mean that's flexing some real creative muscle there.
 

strange headache

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Miles is doing a clone saga
Oh yeah, this is like the third time now they are rehashing that storyline. The 90s are calling, they want their story arcs back :messenger_tears_of_joy:

Jason Aaron is a great writer so we'll see what he comes up with.



You talking about the guy who turned Thor's name into a title just so he could introduce female breast cancer Thor?



The same guy who mocked John Byrne's She-Hulk?
 
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H4ze

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Manga was always better and will always be. I mean, do I have to say more than Berserk?

Not a single Comic could be compared. Nothing.
 
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sol_bad

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Manga was always better and will always be. I mean, do I have to say more than Berserk?

Not a single Comic could be compared. Nothing.

Is there any update about whether it will be continued or not?
 

FireFistAce

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Turns out, only 5% of comic readers actually use twitter.


The comic book industry needs to stop chasing Twitter clout and using social media popularity as a roadmap for new projects going forward.

Maybe then we will stop getting reheated crap like this:



It's World War Hulk... but with She-Hulk!
So they will capture her and subject her to the same training as Black Widow in order to transform her into this weird mix of Red Hulk and Winter Soldier.
The tagline referencing Game of Thrones is testament to the industry's inability to come up with new stories.
This is horrible to look at.
 

Porcile

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Manga is cool but the way it handles exposition is so awful, dishing it out in the most cliched way possible. The worst offender that I have read so far is Monster, which is like Kent Brockman on steroids.
 
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strange headache

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Man, if even gay Captain America can't save the comic for the modern American audience, you know things are dire. First we got Ta-Nehisi Coates' silly comparisons between the Red Skull and Jordan Peterson:



Now we get a total deconstruction of what Captain America stands for:



Social criticism is one thing, I mean in the original Captain America is revolting against a warmongering US military general clearly referencing American military interventionism, but taking a huge dump on the American dream is another. If anything, the message that anyone should be able to succeed in the U.S. if they work hard enough is now more important than ever in a country that is suffering economic decline while struggling to compete with other super-powers.

Yes a dream isn't real, but it is also an ideal that we should strive for. We might never reach it, but that is not reason enough to abandon it. Captain America turning his back on the American dream encapsulates what is wrong with current social commentary in American comics. It is not the American dream that is wrong, but that people have stopped trying to make it a reality. "If we can't have the dream, then nobody can" is the sort of fatalism that is putting people off reading these stories. It is social criticism without constructive messaging. It is destroying thje American dream without putting something better in place.

What these writers don't get is that Captain American never stood for brutish nationalism, but for the common values of American citizens like freedom, democracy, toil and merit. The American dream is a dream about high social mobility based on a meritocratic principle and that is certainly not a lie. Coming from an outside perspective, the American dream is what made people flock to the United States, it is the reason why people all over the world would want to live there. The American dream is synonym with the cultural melting pot that is the U.S.

Is it any wonder that this soul-draining deconstruction of these common values that hold the American people together is not very appealing to audiences?
 
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oagboghi2

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What people associate as manga/anime style of drawing is not quite a stylistic preference but an economical one. American comic artist have a luxury to spend a week on a page. Japanese comic artist have to continuously produce about 20 pages a week for one title, while coming up with a story at the same time. Some do 80 pages a week for multiple titles but such output require use of assistants. Another related reason for cartoony look is because stylised face are much easier to emote than photo-realistic face. Manga artist have to cheat, skip and economise a lot to keep up with deadline. (Why do my art teachers hate it when I draw anime? What’s wrong with it?). On the other hand, American comic characters by large are no longer cartoony like below because both Marvel and DC franchise are now driven and defined by Hollywood.



So for many Westerners, this villan



is no match for



I, on the other hand, am opposite. I can read English. And I (and most Japanese) greatly appreciate Hollywood reincarnation of comic superheroes. Many Japanese get interested in American comic due to their exposure to films. Yet, I (and most Japanese) find American comic nearly unreadable. It is not that I’m blind to visual details of their illustration. I, personally, actually don’t like anime in general (with some exceptions) precisely because it is even more cartoony than manga, and anime are often mere deliberative of manga. I am also aware of Graphic novel genere. I liked the film version of Watchmen, and the plot of Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
read great. I can also see the artistic merit of Frank Miller’s Sin City. But I found American comic too painful to read.

Firstly, I have to READ Western comic while I VIEW manga. The term graphic NOVEL is quite apt. There are just too many text per frame in Western comic.



The above frame is an extreme but not so uncommon example. It has unbelievably dense amount of text for a single frame. I can appreciate illustration is very nice but I really don’t want to go through that amount of text for one single frame. Manga is other way round. It is frame heavy and text light.



Manga usually keep text at minimum unless author deliberately want viewers to fix their eyes on a specific frame. In such instance, scene is meant to be stationary for the length it takes to read text. For example, the below is where a character is having a monologue in his head. Then manga author want the viewers to feel as if they are mindreading the character. Lack of speech bubble further reinforce the impression that text is thought of the character.



Clever manga artist use technique like below to make viewer read large amount of text. An evil monologue by a villan is split into three panel to give a quiet sence of tempo.



But in the below comic for wonder women, there are more than an issue of dense text. It is a quick motion of punch up action scene with “CHUKK” “CHOK” “PAK” and “KRAMMMM”. So why is she conversing with the monster at the same time for a minute? Seriously, if I’m just viewing the page, my eye just zig (left to right then down) in few seconds. Action scene and conversation scene are completely out of sync.



Compare that with the below manga. Two pages illustrate a whole sequences of combat, while introducing another sequence in the next page with an imminent collision into a building. (Japanese comic read from top right to bottom left) Also notice how frames are cut diagonally and are in different size to punctuate the action as well as to indicate the correct direction of zig and zag.



The above dynamism in manga is credited to one person, Osamu Tezuka
, father of manga as we know it. He was a medical doctor by training but he only trained to become a doctor to avoid military draft. He also had hemophobia (he was afraid of blood). So he didn't want to practice as a doctor, and tried to make a living by what he actually liked, comic. He was an avid fan of Disney animation so he attempted to animate his comic by doing below in 1947.



In the above spread, there is not a text, not even onamatapea of brooom. But you can see the speed of car and hear the sound of engine and even feel the dust the car leave behind. He is widely regarded as someone who introduced “cinematic technique” in comic medium, but this statement is widely misunderstood in West. He did not invent cinematic “angle” (camera shot) in comic. Quite few comic artists were doing just that before him. What he did was to synchronise size, shape, placement and sequence of frames with reader’s eye movements to create a sense of dynamism and drama within sequence of static pictures.

Let me demonstrate this idea of “time syncing” by showing how not to do this in the below, which is another example of beautiful illustration from American comic with great cinematic angle.



Frame 1: So Superman is descending to the ground, and that the scene is captured from sideway camera in long distance.

Frame 2: Instead of the camera then closing in on the superman following him going down, the camera suddenly switch to the location below him, looking up at him. Not only that, instead of Superman’s head pointing 5 o’clock south east direction (which would indicate he is still descending), his head is, instead, pointing 2 o’clock north east, flying away from fire in the background, which give an impression that he is now either ascending or flying side way.

Frame 3: But oh, wait, the camera switch back to chasing mode. So he is still descending. Also, it seems that I missed the part where he flipped so that his leg is now pointing down ready to land. Also, I can’t see the other person who is speaking to superman. And lastly, text is bit too long up to this point because that give an impression that superman has been gliding down in leisurely pace but the red line in the first frame should mean that superman is going down really fast. This is another example of text and frame being out of sync.

Frame 4: Frame 1 and 3 gave me an impression that superman was descending diagonally from left to right, but now in this frame he descended from top right to bottom left because camera flipped again. I personally prefered that camera chased Superman, and then, as he land, the camera also land behind Superman and rotate and face sideway, capturing superman’s back on the left of the frame, closer to the camera and catching the batman on the right, further away from camera. Also, if the superman’s back is facing the camera while batman’s front is facing the camera directly, the sequence of scene would naturally shift viewer’s focus from Superman to Batman.

Frame 5: I’m nitpicking here but if one want to close up on Batman’s face from frame 4, then you should just rotate the camera to right, which continue well to the next frame where someone is entering from the right with the dialogue “nothing is simple”, where the camera can keep rotating to right. (Also, why is superman suddenly standing so close to batman, sticking his head like he is photobombing? )

Frame 6 (the main pic): Wow, did Batman just teleport to the left of superman? In the previously frame, Wonder woman entered the scene from the right. And the previous frame 3 appear to confirm that she is standing in the circle podium which is on right. So the camera hasn’t flipped like the last time. Now Bruce is located to the left of superman.

I still like how the centerpiece of this page look though. It is a grand entrance of another main character, Wonder woman, with a wide shot which also capture superman and batman with a sense of depth. And with this nice camera angle, all eyes (batman, superman and the readers) are focused on her, announcing her appearance with a line, “None of us do, Bruce”.

Wait, what? What does she means by that?

Oh, ok, I should have, instead, moved my eyes to the furthest side of where my attention was naturally directed to, where Bruce is saying “You don’t belong here Diana”. So not only Batman inexplicably teleported furthest from the position of where people’s eyes are focused, he force-rewind time backward for viewer, then make reader/viewer to look at his back on the opposite end of the frame to read his speech, effectively ruining the moment (and momentum) of Diana’s grand entrance. I never worked in Tinseltown but if I was a studio execs who see this, I would be like “Who the fuck did this scene? This is worse than a high school project!”.

In term of visual details, the above DC comic strips is superb but as a sequential visual scene, it is one big mess of visual mindfuck. Editing is really terrible. Camera flip too often without good explanation. Texts are out of sync with the direction of eye movement.

If I was to fix this, I would have made superman fly from sideway from left to right, instead of descending from top to down. So in the fourth frame where the camera is behind Batman, we should see superman glide down toward camera and Batman instead of coming down from right to left. In the main frame, Bruce should have kept his mouth shut and let Diana say something dramatic straight after “Nothing’s simple”. Then he should have used “You don’t belong here, Diana” line in Frame 7 at the bottom left, and Diana could have countered that in Frame 8 with “None of us do, Bruce”.

Compare the above with what Tezuka did in 1947 again. This time, the second half of strip is accompanied by the onamatapea of break being applied.



which has evolved into https
in 21 century. (Thanks to Geofanny B. Yohanes who provided this in his comment).







But Tezuka did more than making a comic into a graphical conversion of filmed entertainment. His bigger innovation was his radical use of paneling (komawari, lit: frame division).



In the above two pages spread by Tezuka (start from top right and end with bottom left for each page), a guy is looking down a crowd from a terrace, then he spot a lady. His eyes widen with suprise, but she is moving away, he shout out, “Hey!” at the end of the first page. Then in the second page, the conventional paneling break down. The man begins to run into the corner of triangle, down the stairs trying to catch the lady before she disappears. The left page is give impression of urgency and desperation, because the shape of panel make character stretch into narrower corner, where viewer feel squeeze into so-close-yet-so-far sensation. Tezuka’s synched not just time but shape, size and placement of frame as a part of dramatisation. This innovative experiment in paneling moved comic away from mere graphical conversion of filmed drama and made it stand on its own as a distinct narrative media.

For example, below is a spread from a very popular high school football/soccer comic in 1980s by another manga writer. There have been several baseball mangas before but this was the first soccer manga which was a mass hit. Baseball is a sport where two teams take turns batting and fielding. It has clear attacking and defending phase, making it easier to dramatise action. (like Charlie Sheen’s Major League). Soccer, on the other hand, is a very tricky sport to convert it into a drama because game don’t pause, no clear attacking/defending sides, and multiple things happen continuously and concurrently.



So let me explain what is happening with the soccer spread. The story so far is that the hero’s team is losing by a point near the end of the game, and the opposition switched to heavily defensive tactics, hoping to carry the game with 1 score advantage. The hero’s team is desperate to penetrate the opposition’s defensive line but are failing. And to top it off, their (our) striker hero, Tsubasa, has retreated from the front line to the mid field because he sustained injury on his left shoulder and left feet. The hero’s team is nearly at wit’s end.



1) The first 3 frames on top right is where offensive forwards of hero’s teammates are thinking “This is impenetrable”, “We gotta change the play”, and “Send the ball back to Tsubasa, the gamemaker”. While these texts are read sequentially, these are actually viewed concurrently as one single meta frame.

2) So one teammate pass back the ball to Tsubasa (the hero), with thought text saying “You are hurt but we still believe in you”, (this is the part where visual line move horizontally from left to right). The speech bubble on the right middle of the page, which have straight geometric shape rather than round bubble is a narrative speech by the commentator, “Wait, they passed the ball backward?!”

3) This is followed by the opponent team’s reaction at the bottom of the right page, being taken back by the move. “What!?”, “Oh, no!”, and the commentator’s narrative speech “Look, Defensive side left Tsubasa without a mark! He is moving in!!”, which is coupled with the camera shot from the above and the front of our hero moving into the ball.

The camera close up to the face of the hero at the top center of the spread. Motion lines
of this close up indicate he is moving forward at considerable speed. Hero’s mind is shouting “The Dive Shoot! There is an opening at top right of the goal!”.

4) The reader's eye then move from the peak to down left direction, this time capturing the full body of Tsubasa making the Dive shoot, his right striking leg almost invisible with speed, about to launch the final Hail-Mary attack with his super shot (it goes over the defence super fast yet just before the goal, the ball suddenly dive down, making it almost impossible for any goalie to intercept. Complete fictitious super shot but the main audience was pre-teen.) At the same time, there are two onomatopoeia placed on the left shoulder and his left foot indicating his injured body parts creaking and being almost at breaking point. Also, the commentator is screaming with two speech bubble around the hero’s legs, “HE IS GOING FOR THE GOAL!!” and “CAN HE DO IT?!”, Then the last frame point to the opponent’s goalie (sorta rival/villain in this comic) shouting “Bring it on!! My right hand will stop it.” which then lead to the next new spread.

In this spread, physical actions, psychological drama and dialogue and narrative commentary are presented concurrently in one single visual spread and characters are literally breaking out from their frames. Even though this spread contain 10 frames and packed with relatively large amount of text, there are actually only 3 meta frame separated by two blue lines shown below and four classical narrative phase, 1. Arising, 2 Movement, 3 Turning, and 4 Convergence (Kishōtenketsu
) shown by the red lines. This narrative presentation is no longer a pictorial presentation of filmed scene which are sequential in nature. Multiple thread of drama are presented simultaneously in one spread. I actually hated the animated version of this comic because character’s thought, dialogue, narrative commentary, once put in animated sequence were too long, and it killed the pacing of action. (I rarely like animated version of any manga.)



The above is no longer a sequential linear narrative typified by film. The comic, with its dynamic use of paneling, can pack multiple thread of dramatic development into one single spread. This make comic as an unique narrative medium separate from novel and from film. So when I see a panelling like the below, it is a real eye sore. It is painfully flat. It is as if a film was merely made by fixing a camera in front of a theatre stage. And the camera never move, no close up or long shot.



And to top it off, American comic usually show very little sense of dialogue (and emotion which come with it). For example, below strips is something which recently came up on BBC about wonder woman finally coming out as a bisexual. I really likes the eyes/looks of Diana in the 1st frame, which is sad but empathic and caring. I have usual complaint here about the blonde woman talking too long in one single frame. But my biggest complain is that this scene could be so much more.



Contrast the above strip with the below one spread (two-page) fanfiction of Doraemon
, which went viral in Japan.



Frame 1 Doraemon: “Nobita-kun”

Frame 2 Nobita: “What is it?” (Nobita in real comic is a boy in a primary school. In this fanfiction, he is a wrinkled grey haired adult.)

Frame 3 Doraemon: “We could still do stuffs. We could go anywhere, and fly everywhere, just like old days.” (Doraemon is a gadget bot, and his two main gadgets are teleportation door and flying helicopter cap, which come out of his subspace pocket located on his tummy, visible in this frame.)

Frame 4 Nobita: “I don’t need gadgets…. as long as you are here.” Doraemon: “Is it so……”.

Frame 5 Nobita: “Let talk instead, about old days until I fall asleep.” “Will you, please, Doraemon?”

The next page is



Frame 1 Dorami: Welcome home brother. (Dorami is Doraemon’s younger sister. She live in the future so we know that Doraemon is now back in the future. )

Frame 2 Dorami: “Have you said goodbye to him?” Doraemon: “Yep”.

Frame 3 Drami: “I see, so you are not going back to that time era”. Doraemon: “Nope”.

Frame 4 Draemon: “Nobita won’t be there”. Frame 5 Draemon: “He is gone forever……”

Now, at this point, everything in the first page make sense. Page 1 was in the hospital, and Nobita was in his deathbed. The strip could have started off by something looking like the fourth frame and repeats that camera shot with dialogue back and forth. That would be similar to Wonder Woman’s strips. Instead, viewers are introduced to 3 close up frames, which give unusual angle of Doraemon talking to Nobita while facing away from him and looking down at his own hand because Doraemon can’t bear to look at Nobita. And he is still trying to make adult Nobita happy like old days with his gadget because he doesn’t know what else to say in this situation. Nobita, on the other hand, has already accepted his fate. He can look directly at Doraemon and he is no longer concerned with gadgets. He still make a wish like he does in every episode but of different kind today.

In the Doraemon strip, impending death is implied but not mentioned. Awkwardness of two are also expressed by Doraemon looking away, and the whole frame sequence gently push viewers’ focus downward toward Doraemon’s hand which Nobita physically and emotionally touch at the last frame, with the signature one liner “Please, Doraemon” of this manga series. Just this time, it is the final wish. Also, notice that pencil drawing is deliberately rougher and shadow deeper in the last hand holding scene because, when Nobita say his signature one liner, the time froze for a brief moment for two of them. This is an effective comic writing despite being show in B&W toons.

Imagine, what is unsaid in the above is explicitly explained by dialogue. Doraemon: “Nobita-kun, Aren’t you afraid of dying?” Nobita: “I have accepted my fate. Let’s talk instead about old time.” Not only this version of dialogue mention the unmentionable “D” word, Doraemon ask directly to Nobita as if he actually doesn’t care. Similarly, the blonde one in Wonder woman strips says “And that would break my heart” out loud. So we know she actually doesn’t care. She is “disappointed’ for sure but obviously it is no big deal for her. Also, when she explicitly spelt out that “You sacrifice your place in paradise and everything that come with it”, Diana’s sacrifice actually doesn’t sound that bad. The wonder woman dialogue is flat and the scene has no emotional depth. The reader won’t feel the pain of separation.

It is Film Study 101. If something have to be explained to audience by words, then film maker is not doing a good job. Also, it is Creative Writing 101. If, for example, you are going to describe a scene where a beautiful woman walk into a room, then do not describe her as “beautiful”. Describe how her hairs shine or how long it is, depth of her stare, her eye brow/lash, her poise, or stunned reaction of people in the room, but don’t mention the B word, because that will kill the mood. American comic characters don’t usually have proper dialogue because they are too busy explaining what is going on to readers so to fill the gap between pictures.

Contrast this with collection of no-speech manga from around the world

セリフなし。絵と演出力で勝負するマンガコンテストが凄い - NAVER まとめ

Press Center
(Winners get their comic animated or transformed into short film. SMA01. SMA02. SMA03. SMA04. SMA Extra Round 2016. SMA05. SMA6. SMA Extra Round 2017
)

So to answer the original question, American comic has very high production value compared to manga. Characters’ body and face are anatomically accurate and sculpted like greek statue and background drawing is also grand, all in high details and in colour. Plots are often serious, real and art. Overall, American comic looks superb. Yet, characters don’t move, they don’t emote, dialogues are in-your-face awkward, camera works is terrible and editing has no sense of how the reader view the spread. This is all because American comic are essentially illustrated story book for adult.



Japanese manga, on the other hand, have terrible production value as illustrative art. It is essentially B&W drawing with Mickey mouse characters printed on recycled papers which get thrown away like old newspaper. Yet characters can properly emote, action are dynamic, drama have dialogue with proper subtlety (well at least good manga do), and crucially for comic, all story are narrated visually rather than by text. You feel sound, action and emotion in manga. And it is not just a knocked off version of a movie, but it can narrate story in a way only comic can.

And there is really no need for American comic to be stuck in its current paradigm as illustrative art. Current direction of making comic as collector’s item is making matter worse because more time and effort is spent on smaller number of illustrations to make illustration looks pretty, while texts had to be used liberally to fill in narrative gap. There is a huge gap in creative outlet for Westerners who aspire to be storyteller. You either write novel or write screenplay (direct). And filmed medium is generally prohibitively costly. In Japan, manga as a graphical story stand between written story (i.e. novel) and filmed story (i.e. TV/Movie/Animation). Comic can match any genere in novel or film yet the cost of producing a manga story is as cheap as writing a novel, especially with the advent of PC. Many manga author start making manga when they are in high school because anyone, including those who cannot draw well, can create manga.

American comic does not need to ape disney/manga/anime style of character to transform their medium to narrative art. Big eyes characters are secondary effect of weekly production deadline, and is not what manga (and comic) is about. The essence of comic is in its panelling (komawari
) and not the style of illustration. Also, American comic artists would have advantage of not being constrained by by b&w presentation of Japanese manga, which is tied to Japanese specific issue of being pulp fiction. Hopefully, someone find a way to fill the gap which exist between filmed and written narrative story in English media (and preferably do so in colour). Manga just means comic in Japanese.
I wish I had found that quora page years ago.

Perfectly explains what manga does better than western comics in a visual sense.
 

oagboghi2

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Man, if even gay Captain America can't save the comic for the modern American audience, you know things are dire. First we got Ta-Nehisi Coates' silly comparisons between the Red Skull and Jordan Peterson:



Now we get a total deconstruction of what Captain America stands for:



Social criticism is one thing, I mean in the original Captain America is revolting against a warmongering US military general clearly referencing American military interventionism, but taking a huge dump on the American dream is another. If anything, the message that anyone should be able to succeed in the U.S. if they work hard enough is now more important than ever in a country that is suffering economic decline while struggling to compete with other super-powers.

Yes a dream isn't real, but it is also an ideal that we should strive for. We might never reach it, but that is not reason enough to abandon it. Captain America turning his back on the American dream encapsulates what is wrong with current social commentary in American comics. It is not the American dream that is wrong, but that people have stopped trying to make it a reality. "If we can't have the dream, then nobody can" is the sort of fatalism that is putting people off reading these stories. It is social criticism without constructive messaging. It is destroying thje American dream without putting something better in place.

What these writers don't get is that Captain American never stood for brutish nationalism, but for the common values of American citizens like freedom, democracy, toil and merit. The American dream is a dream about high social mobility based on a meritocratic principle and that is certainly not a lie. Coming from an outside perspective, the American dream is what made people flock to the United States, it is the reason why people all over the world would want to live there. The American dream is synonym with the cultural melting pot that is the U.S.

Is it any wonder that this soul-draining deconstruction of these common values that hold the American people together is not very appealing to audiences?
People who don’t understand these values could never effectively write characters like Cap and Superman.

it’s endless cynicism and depression
 

sunnysideup

Gold Member
Nov 11, 2018
979
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I wish I had found that quora page years ago.

Perfectly explains what manga does better than western comics in a visual sense.

I got into manga/comics some time ago through berserk(rip Kentaru miura). Loved berserk. Its one of the best work of fiction i have read/watched. So I thought this comics/manga thing might be worth getting into.

So i started buying some manga and comics, new/old classics. Not much has reached berserk status. There are some great comics/manga out there.

But there was one thing i noticed when i read manga i could read an whole book in a sitting, sometimes i even read another one. Everything just flowed in my head like a movie. Where as when i read american and european band desinee i get tired after 30 pages or so. I started to look into it and found that post. It really explains it well.

Manga is often much more advanced in its way it connects the text and pictures. Where as comics(and band dessine) pictures and text are almost separate abstract entities. With manga i read and watch the pics at the same time almost in real time. With western comics i read alot of well written prose, then i watch the often very beatiful pictures and then i interpret the whole scene. It gets tiresome. And you dont get that natural flow of storytelling in your head that manga has.
 

TonyK

Member
Aug 13, 2020
901
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What people associate as manga/anime style of drawing is not quite a stylistic preference but an economical one. American comic artist have a luxury to spend a week on a page. Japanese comic artist have to continuously produce about 20 pages a week for one title, while coming up with a story at the same time. Some do 80 pages a week for multiple titles but such output require use of assistants. Another related reason for cartoony look is because stylised face are much easier to emote than photo-realistic face. Manga artist have to cheat, skip and economise a lot to keep up with deadline. (Why do my art teachers hate it when I draw anime? What’s wrong with it?). On the other hand, American comic characters by large are no longer cartoony like below because both Marvel and DC franchise are now driven and defined by Hollywood.



So for many Westerners, this villan



is no match for



I, on the other hand, am opposite. I can read English. And I (and most Japanese) greatly appreciate Hollywood reincarnation of comic superheroes. Many Japanese get interested in American comic due to their exposure to films. Yet, I (and most Japanese) find American comic nearly unreadable. It is not that I’m blind to visual details of their illustration. I, personally, actually don’t like anime in general (with some exceptions) precisely because it is even more cartoony than manga, and anime are often mere deliberative of manga. I am also aware of Graphic novel genere. I liked the film version of Watchmen, and the plot of Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
read great. I can also see the artistic merit of Frank Miller’s Sin City. But I found American comic too painful to read.

Firstly, I have to READ Western comic while I VIEW manga. The term graphic NOVEL is quite apt. There are just too many text per frame in Western comic.



The above frame is an extreme but not so uncommon example. It has unbelievably dense amount of text for a single frame. I can appreciate illustration is very nice but I really don’t want to go through that amount of text for one single frame. Manga is other way round. It is frame heavy and text light.



Manga usually keep text at minimum unless author deliberately want viewers to fix their eyes on a specific frame. In such instance, scene is meant to be stationary for the length it takes to read text. For example, the below is where a character is having a monologue in his head. Then manga author want the viewers to feel as if they are mindreading the character. Lack of speech bubble further reinforce the impression that text is thought of the character.



Clever manga artist use technique like below to make viewer read large amount of text. An evil monologue by a villan is split into three panel to give a quiet sence of tempo.



But in the below comic for wonder women, there are more than an issue of dense text. It is a quick motion of punch up action scene with “CHUKK” “CHOK” “PAK” and “KRAMMMM”. So why is she conversing with the monster at the same time for a minute? Seriously, if I’m just viewing the page, my eye just zig (left to right then down) in few seconds. Action scene and conversation scene are completely out of sync.



Compare that with the below manga. Two pages illustrate a whole sequences of combat, while introducing another sequence in the next page with an imminent collision into a building. (Japanese comic read from top right to bottom left) Also notice how frames are cut diagonally and are in different size to punctuate the action as well as to indicate the correct direction of zig and zag.



The above dynamism in manga is credited to one person, Osamu Tezuka
, father of manga as we know it. He was a medical doctor by training but he only trained to become a doctor to avoid military draft. He also had hemophobia (he was afraid of blood). So he didn't want to practice as a doctor, and tried to make a living by what he actually liked, comic. He was an avid fan of Disney animation so he attempted to animate his comic by doing below in 1947.



In the above spread, there is not a text, not even onamatapea of brooom. But you can see the speed of car and hear the sound of engine and even feel the dust the car leave behind. He is widely regarded as someone who introduced “cinematic technique” in comic medium, but this statement is widely misunderstood in West. He did not invent cinematic “angle” (camera shot) in comic. Quite few comic artists were doing just that before him. What he did was to synchronise size, shape, placement and sequence of frames with reader’s eye movements to create a sense of dynamism and drama within sequence of static pictures.

Let me demonstrate this idea of “time syncing” by showing how not to do this in the below, which is another example of beautiful illustration from American comic with great cinematic angle.



Frame 1: So Superman is descending to the ground, and that the scene is captured from sideway camera in long distance.

Frame 2: Instead of the camera then closing in on the superman following him going down, the camera suddenly switch to the location below him, looking up at him. Not only that, instead of Superman’s head pointing 5 o’clock south east direction (which would indicate he is still descending), his head is, instead, pointing 2 o’clock north east, flying away from fire in the background, which give an impression that he is now either ascending or flying side way.

Frame 3: But oh, wait, the camera switch back to chasing mode. So he is still descending. Also, it seems that I missed the part where he flipped so that his leg is now pointing down ready to land. Also, I can’t see the other person who is speaking to superman. And lastly, text is bit too long up to this point because that give an impression that superman has been gliding down in leisurely pace but the red line in the first frame should mean that superman is going down really fast. This is another example of text and frame being out of sync.

Frame 4: Frame 1 and 3 gave me an impression that superman was descending diagonally from left to right, but now in this frame he descended from top right to bottom left because camera flipped again. I personally prefered that camera chased Superman, and then, as he land, the camera also land behind Superman and rotate and face sideway, capturing superman’s back on the left of the frame, closer to the camera and catching the batman on the right, further away from camera. Also, if the superman’s back is facing the camera while batman’s front is facing the camera directly, the sequence of scene would naturally shift viewer’s focus from Superman to Batman.

Frame 5: I’m nitpicking here but if one want to close up on Batman’s face from frame 4, then you should just rotate the camera to right, which continue well to the next frame where someone is entering from the right with the dialogue “nothing is simple”, where the camera can keep rotating to right. (Also, why is superman suddenly standing so close to batman, sticking his head like he is photobombing? )

Frame 6 (the main pic): Wow, did Batman just teleport to the left of superman? In the previously frame, Wonder woman entered the scene from the right. And the previous frame 3 appear to confirm that she is standing in the circle podium which is on right. So the camera hasn’t flipped like the last time. Now Bruce is located to the left of superman.

I still like how the centerpiece of this page look though. It is a grand entrance of another main character, Wonder woman, with a wide shot which also capture superman and batman with a sense of depth. And with this nice camera angle, all eyes (batman, superman and the readers) are focused on her, announcing her appearance with a line, “None of us do, Bruce”.

Wait, what? What does she means by that?

Oh, ok, I should have, instead, moved my eyes to the furthest side of where my attention was naturally directed to, where Bruce is saying “You don’t belong here Diana”. So not only Batman inexplicably teleported furthest from the position of where people’s eyes are focused, he force-rewind time backward for viewer, then make reader/viewer to look at his back on the opposite end of the frame to read his speech, effectively ruining the moment (and momentum) of Diana’s grand entrance. I never worked in Tinseltown but if I was a studio execs who see this, I would be like “Who the fuck did this scene? This is worse than a high school project!”.

In term of visual details, the above DC comic strips is superb but as a sequential visual scene, it is one big mess of visual mindfuck. Editing is really terrible. Camera flip too often without good explanation. Texts are out of sync with the direction of eye movement.

If I was to fix this, I would have made superman fly from sideway from left to right, instead of descending from top to down. So in the fourth frame where the camera is behind Batman, we should see superman glide down toward camera and Batman instead of coming down from right to left. In the main frame, Bruce should have kept his mouth shut and let Diana say something dramatic straight after “Nothing’s simple”. Then he should have used “You don’t belong here, Diana” line in Frame 7 at the bottom left, and Diana could have countered that in Frame 8 with “None of us do, Bruce”.

Compare the above with what Tezuka did in 1947 again. This time, the second half of strip is accompanied by the onamatapea of break being applied.



which has evolved into https
in 21 century. (Thanks to Geofanny B. Yohanes who provided this in his comment).







But Tezuka did more than making a comic into a graphical conversion of filmed entertainment. His bigger innovation was his radical use of paneling (komawari, lit: frame division).



In the above two pages spread by Tezuka (start from top right and end with bottom left for each page), a guy is looking down a crowd from a terrace, then he spot a lady. His eyes widen with suprise, but she is moving away, he shout out, “Hey!” at the end of the first page. Then in the second page, the conventional paneling break down. The man begins to run into the corner of triangle, down the stairs trying to catch the lady before she disappears. The left page is give impression of urgency and desperation, because the shape of panel make character stretch into narrower corner, where viewer feel squeeze into so-close-yet-so-far sensation. Tezuka’s synched not just time but shape, size and placement of frame as a part of dramatisation. This innovative experiment in paneling moved comic away from mere graphical conversion of filmed drama and made it stand on its own as a distinct narrative media.

For example, below is a spread from a very popular high school football/soccer comic in 1980s by another manga writer. There have been several baseball mangas before but this was the first soccer manga which was a mass hit. Baseball is a sport where two teams take turns batting and fielding. It has clear attacking and defending phase, making it easier to dramatise action. (like Charlie Sheen’s Major League). Soccer, on the other hand, is a very tricky sport to convert it into a drama because game don’t pause, no clear attacking/defending sides, and multiple things happen continuously and concurrently.



So let me explain what is happening with the soccer spread. The story so far is that the hero’s team is losing by a point near the end of the game, and the opposition switched to heavily defensive tactics, hoping to carry the game with 1 score advantage. The hero’s team is desperate to penetrate the opposition’s defensive line but are failing. And to top it off, their (our) striker hero, Tsubasa, has retreated from the front line to the mid field because he sustained injury on his left shoulder and left feet. The hero’s team is nearly at wit’s end.



1) The first 3 frames on top right is where offensive forwards of hero’s teammates are thinking “This is impenetrable”, “We gotta change the play”, and “Send the ball back to Tsubasa, the gamemaker”. While these texts are read sequentially, these are actually viewed concurrently as one single meta frame.

2) So one teammate pass back the ball to Tsubasa (the hero), with thought text saying “You are hurt but we still believe in you”, (this is the part where visual line move horizontally from left to right). The speech bubble on the right middle of the page, which have straight geometric shape rather than round bubble is a narrative speech by the commentator, “Wait, they passed the ball backward?!”

3) This is followed by the opponent team’s reaction at the bottom of the right page, being taken back by the move. “What!?”, “Oh, no!”, and the commentator’s narrative speech “Look, Defensive side left Tsubasa without a mark! He is moving in!!”, which is coupled with the camera shot from the above and the front of our hero moving into the ball.

The camera close up to the face of the hero at the top center of the spread. Motion lines
of this close up indicate he is moving forward at considerable speed. Hero’s mind is shouting “The Dive Shoot! There is an opening at top right of the goal!”.

4) The reader's eye then move from the peak to down left direction, this time capturing the full body of Tsubasa making the Dive shoot, his right striking leg almost invisible with speed, about to launch the final Hail-Mary attack with his super shot (it goes over the defence super fast yet just before the goal, the ball suddenly dive down, making it almost impossible for any goalie to intercept. Complete fictitious super shot but the main audience was pre-teen.) At the same time, there are two onomatopoeia placed on the left shoulder and his left foot indicating his injured body parts creaking and being almost at breaking point. Also, the commentator is screaming with two speech bubble around the hero’s legs, “HE IS GOING FOR THE GOAL!!” and “CAN HE DO IT?!”, Then the last frame point to the opponent’s goalie (sorta rival/villain in this comic) shouting “Bring it on!! My right hand will stop it.” which then lead to the next new spread.

In this spread, physical actions, psychological drama and dialogue and narrative commentary are presented concurrently in one single visual spread and characters are literally breaking out from their frames. Even though this spread contain 10 frames and packed with relatively large amount of text, there are actually only 3 meta frame separated by two blue lines shown below and four classical narrative phase, 1. Arising, 2 Movement, 3 Turning, and 4 Convergence (Kishōtenketsu
) shown by the red lines. This narrative presentation is no longer a pictorial presentation of filmed scene which are sequential in nature. Multiple thread of drama are presented simultaneously in one spread. I actually hated the animated version of this comic because character’s thought, dialogue, narrative commentary, once put in animated sequence were too long, and it killed the pacing of action. (I rarely like animated version of any manga.)



The above is no longer a sequential linear narrative typified by film. The comic, with its dynamic use of paneling, can pack multiple thread of dramatic development into one single spread. This make comic as an unique narrative medium separate from novel and from film. So when I see a panelling like the below, it is a real eye sore. It is painfully flat. It is as if a film was merely made by fixing a camera in front of a theatre stage. And the camera never move, no close up or long shot.



And to top it off, American comic usually show very little sense of dialogue (and emotion which come with it). For example, below strips is something which recently came up on BBC about wonder woman finally coming out as a bisexual. I really likes the eyes/looks of Diana in the 1st frame, which is sad but empathic and caring. I have usual complaint here about the blonde woman talking too long in one single frame. But my biggest complain is that this scene could be so much more.



Contrast the above strip with the below one spread (two-page) fanfiction of Doraemon
, which went viral in Japan.



Frame 1 Doraemon: “Nobita-kun”

Frame 2 Nobita: “What is it?” (Nobita in real comic is a boy in a primary school. In this fanfiction, he is a wrinkled grey haired adult.)

Frame 3 Doraemon: “We could still do stuffs. We could go anywhere, and fly everywhere, just like old days.” (Doraemon is a gadget bot, and his two main gadgets are teleportation door and flying helicopter cap, which come out of his subspace pocket located on his tummy, visible in this frame.)

Frame 4 Nobita: “I don’t need gadgets…. as long as you are here.” Doraemon: “Is it so……”.

Frame 5 Nobita: “Let talk instead, about old days until I fall asleep.” “Will you, please, Doraemon?”

The next page is



Frame 1 Dorami: Welcome home brother. (Dorami is Doraemon’s younger sister. She live in the future so we know that Doraemon is now back in the future. )

Frame 2 Dorami: “Have you said goodbye to him?” Doraemon: “Yep”.

Frame 3 Drami: “I see, so you are not going back to that time era”. Doraemon: “Nope”.

Frame 4 Draemon: “Nobita won’t be there”. Frame 5 Draemon: “He is gone forever……”

Now, at this point, everything in the first page make sense. Page 1 was in the hospital, and Nobita was in his deathbed. The strip could have started off by something looking like the fourth frame and repeats that camera shot with dialogue back and forth. That would be similar to Wonder Woman’s strips. Instead, viewers are introduced to 3 close up frames, which give unusual angle of Doraemon talking to Nobita while facing away from him and looking down at his own hand because Doraemon can’t bear to look at Nobita. And he is still trying to make adult Nobita happy like old days with his gadget because he doesn’t know what else to say in this situation. Nobita, on the other hand, has already accepted his fate. He can look directly at Doraemon and he is no longer concerned with gadgets. He still make a wish like he does in every episode but of different kind today.

In the Doraemon strip, impending death is implied but not mentioned. Awkwardness of two are also expressed by Doraemon looking away, and the whole frame sequence gently push viewers’ focus downward toward Doraemon’s hand which Nobita physically and emotionally touch at the last frame, with the signature one liner “Please, Doraemon” of this manga series. Just this time, it is the final wish. Also, notice that pencil drawing is deliberately rougher and shadow deeper in the last hand holding scene because, when Nobita say his signature one liner, the time froze for a brief moment for two of them. This is an effective comic writing despite being show in B&W toons.

Imagine, what is unsaid in the above is explicitly explained by dialogue. Doraemon: “Nobita-kun, Aren’t you afraid of dying?” Nobita: “I have accepted my fate. Let’s talk instead about old time.” Not only this version of dialogue mention the unmentionable “D” word, Doraemon ask directly to Nobita as if he actually doesn’t care. Similarly, the blonde one in Wonder woman strips says “And that would break my heart” out loud. So we know she actually doesn’t care. She is “disappointed’ for sure but obviously it is no big deal for her. Also, when she explicitly spelt out that “You sacrifice your place in paradise and everything that come with it”, Diana’s sacrifice actually doesn’t sound that bad. The wonder woman dialogue is flat and the scene has no emotional depth. The reader won’t feel the pain of separation.

It is Film Study 101. If something have to be explained to audience by words, then film maker is not doing a good job. Also, it is Creative Writing 101. If, for example, you are going to describe a scene where a beautiful woman walk into a room, then do not describe her as “beautiful”. Describe how her hairs shine or how long it is, depth of her stare, her eye brow/lash, her poise, or stunned reaction of people in the room, but don’t mention the B word, because that will kill the mood. American comic characters don’t usually have proper dialogue because they are too busy explaining what is going on to readers so to fill the gap between pictures.

Contrast this with collection of no-speech manga from around the world

セリフなし。絵と演出力で勝負するマンガコンテストが凄い - NAVER まとめ

Press Center
(Winners get their comic animated or transformed into short film. SMA01. SMA02. SMA03. SMA04. SMA Extra Round 2016. SMA05. SMA6. SMA Extra Round 2017
)

So to answer the original question, American comic has very high production value compared to manga. Characters’ body and face are anatomically accurate and sculpted like greek statue and background drawing is also grand, all in high details and in colour. Plots are often serious, real and art. Overall, American comic looks superb. Yet, characters don’t move, they don’t emote, dialogues are in-your-face awkward, camera works is terrible and editing has no sense of how the reader view the spread. This is all because American comic are essentially illustrated story book for adult.



Japanese manga, on the other hand, have terrible production value as illustrative art. It is essentially B&W drawing with Mickey mouse characters printed on recycled papers which get thrown away like old newspaper. Yet characters can properly emote, action are dynamic, drama have dialogue with proper subtlety (well at least good manga do), and crucially for comic, all story are narrated visually rather than by text. You feel sound, action and emotion in manga. And it is not just a knocked off version of a movie, but it can narrate story in a way only comic can.

And there is really no need for American comic to be stuck in its current paradigm as illustrative art. Current direction of making comic as collector’s item is making matter worse because more time and effort is spent on smaller number of illustrations to make illustration looks pretty, while texts had to be used liberally to fill in narrative gap. There is a huge gap in creative outlet for Westerners who aspire to be storyteller. You either write novel or write screenplay (direct). And filmed medium is generally prohibitively costly. In Japan, manga as a graphical story stand between written story (i.e. novel) and filmed story (i.e. TV/Movie/Animation). Comic can match any genere in novel or film yet the cost of producing a manga story is as cheap as writing a novel, especially with the advent of PC. Many manga author start making manga when they are in high school because anyone, including those who cannot draw well, can create manga.

American comic does not need to ape disney/manga/anime style of character to transform their medium to narrative art. Big eyes characters are secondary effect of weekly production deadline, and is not what manga (and comic) is about. The essence of comic is in its panelling (komawari
) and not the style of illustration. Also, American comic artists would have advantage of not being constrained by by b&w presentation of Japanese manga, which is tied to Japanese specific issue of being pulp fiction. Hopefully, someone find a way to fill the gap which exist between filmed and written narrative story in English media (and preferably do so in colour). Manga just means comic in Japanese.
This is the best post I read in any forum in all my life. Congrats 👏👏👏
 

Konnor

Member
Apr 29, 2021
83
133
200
If you take that seriously the jokes on you I guess?
It's another specially picked image by the anti-woke crowd to try and prove a point, like the image of Jane Foster Thor fighting Absorbing Man.

That above panel is from Angela: Queen of Hel, released in January of 2016. There were at least 239+ comics released that month. Comics generally have 20-24 pages each and each page has between 1 and 12 panels each. That's over 4,780 pages of comic content in a single month and god knows how many panels. You are showing 3 panels, that is not the vast majority of the comic industry.


Gee, there sure are a lot of "specially picked images" to choose from, it's as if this bullshit is everywhere or something.
 

sol_bad

Member
Jan 17, 2006
6,328
4,480
1,730
Gee, there sure are a lot of "specially picked images" to choose from, it's as if this bullshit is everywhere or something.

I've seen people choose about 4-5 panels from the core Marvel and DC books over the last 5 years. Then they'll bring up a few other books which have nothing to do with the main continuity and are either stand alone books or short events.

Some examples:
Angela (example used in this thread where people don't understand it's jokey).
Jane Foster Thor just cos she's female (some panels with Absorbing Man).
Riri Williams just cos she's female.
Kamala Khan just cos she's a minority?
Black Batman (two month event)
Bi-sexual Star Lord (a couple of panels)
The new She-Hulk image from Jason Aaron's book.
Starfires fat daughter (stand alone story that is only just coming out this month).

Am I missing anything?
 

Blade2.0

Member
Dec 3, 2018
1,691
1,787
475
I'll tell you what killed the industry, and pretty much every creative industry, and that's public domain becoming a thing of the past. Never have to make new characters if you can strong-arm the ones you've got perpetually.
 

luffie

Member
Mar 13, 2012
267
315
750
luffie.deviantart.com
What people associate as manga/anime style of drawing is not quite a stylistic preference but an economical one. American comic artist have a luxury to spend a week on a page. Japanese comic artist have to continuously produce about 20 pages a week for one title, while coming up with a story at the same time. Some do 80 pages a week for multiple titles but such output require use of assistants. Another related reason for cartoony look is because stylised face are much easier to emote than photo-realistic face. Manga artist have to cheat, skip and economise a lot to keep up with deadline. (Why do my art teachers hate it when I draw anime? What’s wrong with it?). On the other hand, American comic characters by large are no longer cartoony like below because both Marvel and DC franchise are now driven and defined by Hollywood.



So for many Westerners, this villan



is no match for



I, on the other hand, am opposite. I can read English. And I (and most Japanese) greatly appreciate Hollywood reincarnation of comic superheroes. Many Japanese get interested in American comic due to their exposure to films. Yet, I (and most Japanese) find American comic nearly unreadable. It is not that I’m blind to visual details of their illustration. I, personally, actually don’t like anime in general (with some exceptions) precisely because it is even more cartoony than manga, and anime are often mere deliberative of manga. I am also aware of Graphic novel genere. I liked the film version of Watchmen, and the plot of Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
read great. I can also see the artistic merit of Frank Miller’s Sin City. But I found American comic too painful to read.

Firstly, I have to READ Western comic while I VIEW manga. The term graphic NOVEL is quite apt. There are just too many text per frame in Western comic.



The above frame is an extreme but not so uncommon example. It has unbelievably dense amount of text for a single frame. I can appreciate illustration is very nice but I really don’t want to go through that amount of text for one single frame. Manga is other way round. It is frame heavy and text light.



Manga usually keep text at minimum unless author deliberately want viewers to fix their eyes on a specific frame. In such instance, scene is meant to be stationary for the length it takes to read text. For example, the below is where a character is having a monologue in his head. Then manga author want the viewers to feel as if they are mindreading the character. Lack of speech bubble further reinforce the impression that text is thought of the character.



Clever manga artist use technique like below to make viewer read large amount of text. An evil monologue by a villan is split into three panel to give a quiet sence of tempo.



But in the below comic for wonder women, there are more than an issue of dense text. It is a quick motion of punch up action scene with “CHUKK” “CHOK” “PAK” and “KRAMMMM”. So why is she conversing with the monster at the same time for a minute? Seriously, if I’m just viewing the page, my eye just zig (left to right then down) in few seconds. Action scene and conversation scene are completely out of sync.



Compare that with the below manga. Two pages illustrate a whole sequences of combat, while introducing another sequence in the next page with an imminent collision into a building. (Japanese comic read from top right to bottom left) Also notice how frames are cut diagonally and are in different size to punctuate the action as well as to indicate the correct direction of zig and zag.



The above dynamism in manga is credited to one person, Osamu Tezuka
, father of manga as we know it. He was a medical doctor by training but he only trained to become a doctor to avoid military draft. He also had hemophobia (he was afraid of blood). So he didn't want to practice as a doctor, and tried to make a living by what he actually liked, comic. He was an avid fan of Disney animation so he attempted to animate his comic by doing below in 1947.



In the above spread, there is not a text, not even onamatapea of brooom. But you can see the speed of car and hear the sound of engine and even feel the dust the car leave behind. He is widely regarded as someone who introduced “cinematic technique” in comic medium, but this statement is widely misunderstood in West. He did not invent cinematic “angle” (camera shot) in comic. Quite few comic artists were doing just that before him. What he did was to synchronise size, shape, placement and sequence of frames with reader’s eye movements to create a sense of dynamism and drama within sequence of static pictures.

Let me demonstrate this idea of “time syncing” by showing how not to do this in the below, which is another example of beautiful illustration from American comic with great cinematic angle.



Frame 1: So Superman is descending to the ground, and that the scene is captured from sideway camera in long distance.

Frame 2: Instead of the camera then closing in on the superman following him going down, the camera suddenly switch to the location below him, looking up at him. Not only that, instead of Superman’s head pointing 5 o’clock south east direction (which would indicate he is still descending), his head is, instead, pointing 2 o’clock north east, flying away from fire in the background, which give an impression that he is now either ascending or flying side way.

Frame 3: But oh, wait, the camera switch back to chasing mode. So he is still descending. Also, it seems that I missed the part where he flipped so that his leg is now pointing down ready to land. Also, I can’t see the other person who is speaking to superman. And lastly, text is bit too long up to this point because that give an impression that superman has been gliding down in leisurely pace but the red line in the first frame should mean that superman is going down really fast. This is another example of text and frame being out of sync.

Frame 4: Frame 1 and 3 gave me an impression that superman was descending diagonally from left to right, but now in this frame he descended from top right to bottom left because camera flipped again. I personally prefered that camera chased Superman, and then, as he land, the camera also land behind Superman and rotate and face sideway, capturing superman’s back on the left of the frame, closer to the camera and catching the batman on the right, further away from camera. Also, if the superman’s back is facing the camera while batman’s front is facing the camera directly, the sequence of scene would naturally shift viewer’s focus from Superman to Batman.

Frame 5: I’m nitpicking here but if one want to close up on Batman’s face from frame 4, then you should just rotate the camera to right, which continue well to the next frame where someone is entering from the right with the dialogue “nothing is simple”, where the camera can keep rotating to right. (Also, why is superman suddenly standing so close to batman, sticking his head like he is photobombing? )

Frame 6 (the main pic): Wow, did Batman just teleport to the left of superman? In the previously frame, Wonder woman entered the scene from the right. And the previous frame 3 appear to confirm that she is standing in the circle podium which is on right. So the camera hasn’t flipped like the last time. Now Bruce is located to the left of superman.

I still like how the centerpiece of this page look though. It is a grand entrance of another main character, Wonder woman, with a wide shot which also capture superman and batman with a sense of depth. And with this nice camera angle, all eyes (batman, superman and the readers) are focused on her, announcing her appearance with a line, “None of us do, Bruce”.

Wait, what? What does she means by that?

Oh, ok, I should have, instead, moved my eyes to the furthest side of where my attention was naturally directed to, where Bruce is saying “You don’t belong here Diana”. So not only Batman inexplicably teleported furthest from the position of where people’s eyes are focused, he force-rewind time backward for viewer, then make reader/viewer to look at his back on the opposite end of the frame to read his speech, effectively ruining the moment (and momentum) of Diana’s grand entrance. I never worked in Tinseltown but if I was a studio execs who see this, I would be like “Who the fuck did this scene? This is worse than a high school project!”.

In term of visual details, the above DC comic strips is superb but as a sequential visual scene, it is one big mess of visual mindfuck. Editing is really terrible. Camera flip too often without good explanation. Texts are out of sync with the direction of eye movement.

If I was to fix this, I would have made superman fly from sideway from left to right, instead of descending from top to down. So in the fourth frame where the camera is behind Batman, we should see superman glide down toward camera and Batman instead of coming down from right to left. In the main frame, Bruce should have kept his mouth shut and let Diana say something dramatic straight after “Nothing’s simple”. Then he should have used “You don’t belong here, Diana” line in Frame 7 at the bottom left, and Diana could have countered that in Frame 8 with “None of us do, Bruce”.

Compare the above with what Tezuka did in 1947 again. This time, the second half of strip is accompanied by the onamatapea of break being applied.



which has evolved into https
in 21 century. (Thanks to Geofanny B. Yohanes who provided this in his comment).







But Tezuka did more than making a comic into a graphical conversion of filmed entertainment. His bigger innovation was his radical use of paneling (komawari, lit: frame division).



In the above two pages spread by Tezuka (start from top right and end with bottom left for each page), a guy is looking down a crowd from a terrace, then he spot a lady. His eyes widen with suprise, but she is moving away, he shout out, “Hey!” at the end of the first page. Then in the second page, the conventional paneling break down. The man begins to run into the corner of triangle, down the stairs trying to catch the lady before she disappears. The left page is give impression of urgency and desperation, because the shape of panel make character stretch into narrower corner, where viewer feel squeeze into so-close-yet-so-far sensation. Tezuka’s synched not just time but shape, size and placement of frame as a part of dramatisation. This innovative experiment in paneling moved comic away from mere graphical conversion of filmed drama and made it stand on its own as a distinct narrative media.

For example, below is a spread from a very popular high school football/soccer comic in 1980s by another manga writer. There have been several baseball mangas before but this was the first soccer manga which was a mass hit. Baseball is a sport where two teams take turns batting and fielding. It has clear attacking and defending phase, making it easier to dramatise action. (like Charlie Sheen’s Major League). Soccer, on the other hand, is a very tricky sport to convert it into a drama because game don’t pause, no clear attacking/defending sides, and multiple things happen continuously and concurrently.



So let me explain what is happening with the soccer spread. The story so far is that the hero’s team is losing by a point near the end of the game, and the opposition switched to heavily defensive tactics, hoping to carry the game with 1 score advantage. The hero’s team is desperate to penetrate the opposition’s defensive line but are failing. And to top it off, their (our) striker hero, Tsubasa, has retreated from the front line to the mid field because he sustained injury on his left shoulder and left feet. The hero’s team is nearly at wit’s end.



1) The first 3 frames on top right is where offensive forwards of hero’s teammates are thinking “This is impenetrable”, “We gotta change the play”, and “Send the ball back to Tsubasa, the gamemaker”. While these texts are read sequentially, these are actually viewed concurrently as one single meta frame.

2) So one teammate pass back the ball to Tsubasa (the hero), with thought text saying “You are hurt but we still believe in you”, (this is the part where visual line move horizontally from left to right). The speech bubble on the right middle of the page, which have straight geometric shape rather than round bubble is a narrative speech by the commentator, “Wait, they passed the ball backward?!”

3) This is followed by the opponent team’s reaction at the bottom of the right page, being taken back by the move. “What!?”, “Oh, no!”, and the commentator’s narrative speech “Look, Defensive side left Tsubasa without a mark! He is moving in!!”, which is coupled with the camera shot from the above and the front of our hero moving into the ball.

The camera close up to the face of the hero at the top center of the spread. Motion lines
of this close up indicate he is moving forward at considerable speed. Hero’s mind is shouting “The Dive Shoot! There is an opening at top right of the goal!”.

4) The reader's eye then move from the peak to down left direction, this time capturing the full body of Tsubasa making the Dive shoot, his right striking leg almost invisible with speed, about to launch the final Hail-Mary attack with his super shot (it goes over the defence super fast yet just before the goal, the ball suddenly dive down, making it almost impossible for any goalie to intercept. Complete fictitious super shot but the main audience was pre-teen.) At the same time, there are two onomatopoeia placed on the left shoulder and his left foot indicating his injured body parts creaking and being almost at breaking point. Also, the commentator is screaming with two speech bubble around the hero’s legs, “HE IS GOING FOR THE GOAL!!” and “CAN HE DO IT?!”, Then the last frame point to the opponent’s goalie (sorta rival/villain in this comic) shouting “Bring it on!! My right hand will stop it.” which then lead to the next new spread.

In this spread, physical actions, psychological drama and dialogue and narrative commentary are presented concurrently in one single visual spread and characters are literally breaking out from their frames. Even though this spread contain 10 frames and packed with relatively large amount of text, there are actually only 3 meta frame separated by two blue lines shown below and four classical narrative phase, 1. Arising, 2 Movement, 3 Turning, and 4 Convergence (Kishōtenketsu
) shown by the red lines. This narrative presentation is no longer a pictorial presentation of filmed scene which are sequential in nature. Multiple thread of drama are presented simultaneously in one spread. I actually hated the animated version of this comic because character’s thought, dialogue, narrative commentary, once put in animated sequence were too long, and it killed the pacing of action. (I rarely like animated version of any manga.)



The above is no longer a sequential linear narrative typified by film. The comic, with its dynamic use of paneling, can pack multiple thread of dramatic development into one single spread. This make comic as an unique narrative medium separate from novel and from film. So when I see a panelling like the below, it is a real eye sore. It is painfully flat. It is as if a film was merely made by fixing a camera in front of a theatre stage. And the camera never move, no close up or long shot.



And to top it off, American comic usually show very little sense of dialogue (and emotion which come with it). For example, below strips is something which recently came up on BBC about wonder woman finally coming out as a bisexual. I really likes the eyes/looks of Diana in the 1st frame, which is sad but empathic and caring. I have usual complaint here about the blonde woman talking too long in one single frame. But my biggest complain is that this scene could be so much more.



Contrast the above strip with the below one spread (two-page) fanfiction of Doraemon
, which went viral in Japan.



Frame 1 Doraemon: “Nobita-kun”

Frame 2 Nobita: “What is it?” (Nobita in real comic is a boy in a primary school. In this fanfiction, he is a wrinkled grey haired adult.)

Frame 3 Doraemon: “We could still do stuffs. We could go anywhere, and fly everywhere, just like old days.” (Doraemon is a gadget bot, and his two main gadgets are teleportation door and flying helicopter cap, which come out of his subspace pocket located on his tummy, visible in this frame.)

Frame 4 Nobita: “I don’t need gadgets…. as long as you are here.” Doraemon: “Is it so……”.

Frame 5 Nobita: “Let talk instead, about old days until I fall asleep.” “Will you, please, Doraemon?”

The next page is



Frame 1 Dorami: Welcome home brother. (Dorami is Doraemon’s younger sister. She live in the future so we know that Doraemon is now back in the future. )

Frame 2 Dorami: “Have you said goodbye to him?” Doraemon: “Yep”.

Frame 3 Drami: “I see, so you are not going back to that time era”. Doraemon: “Nope”.

Frame 4 Draemon: “Nobita won’t be there”. Frame 5 Draemon: “He is gone forever……”

Now, at this point, everything in the first page make sense. Page 1 was in the hospital, and Nobita was in his deathbed. The strip could have started off by something looking like the fourth frame and repeats that camera shot with dialogue back and forth. That would be similar to Wonder Woman’s strips. Instead, viewers are introduced to 3 close up frames, which give unusual angle of Doraemon talking to Nobita while facing away from him and looking down at his own hand because Doraemon can’t bear to look at Nobita. And he is still trying to make adult Nobita happy like old days with his gadget because he doesn’t know what else to say in this situation. Nobita, on the other hand, has already accepted his fate. He can look directly at Doraemon and he is no longer concerned with gadgets. He still make a wish like he does in every episode but of different kind today.

In the Doraemon strip, impending death is implied but not mentioned. Awkwardness of two are also expressed by Doraemon looking away, and the whole frame sequence gently push viewers’ focus downward toward Doraemon’s hand which Nobita physically and emotionally touch at the last frame, with the signature one liner “Please, Doraemon” of this manga series. Just this time, it is the final wish. Also, notice that pencil drawing is deliberately rougher and shadow deeper in the last hand holding scene because, when Nobita say his signature one liner, the time froze for a brief moment for two of them. This is an effective comic writing despite being show in B&W toons.

Imagine, what is unsaid in the above is explicitly explained by dialogue. Doraemon: “Nobita-kun, Aren’t you afraid of dying?” Nobita: “I have accepted my fate. Let’s talk instead about old time.” Not only this version of dialogue mention the unmentionable “D” word, Doraemon ask directly to Nobita as if he actually doesn’t care. Similarly, the blonde one in Wonder woman strips says “And that would break my heart” out loud. So we know she actually doesn’t care. She is “disappointed’ for sure but obviously it is no big deal for her. Also, when she explicitly spelt out that “You sacrifice your place in paradise and everything that come with it”, Diana’s sacrifice actually doesn’t sound that bad. The wonder woman dialogue is flat and the scene has no emotional depth. The reader won’t feel the pain of separation.

It is Film Study 101. If something have to be explained to audience by words, then film maker is not doing a good job. Also, it is Creative Writing 101. If, for example, you are going to describe a scene where a beautiful woman walk into a room, then do not describe her as “beautiful”. Describe how her hairs shine or how long it is, depth of her stare, her eye brow/lash, her poise, or stunned reaction of people in the room, but don’t mention the B word, because that will kill the mood. American comic characters don’t usually have proper dialogue because they are too busy explaining what is going on to readers so to fill the gap between pictures.

Contrast this with collection of no-speech manga from around the world

セリフなし。絵と演出力で勝負するマンガコンテストが凄い - NAVER まとめ

Press Center
(Winners get their comic animated or transformed into short film. SMA01. SMA02. SMA03. SMA04. SMA Extra Round 2016. SMA05. SMA6. SMA Extra Round 2017
)

So to answer the original question, American comic has very high production value compared to manga. Characters’ body and face are anatomically accurate and sculpted like greek statue and background drawing is also grand, all in high details and in colour. Plots are often serious, real and art. Overall, American comic looks superb. Yet, characters don’t move, they don’t emote, dialogues are in-your-face awkward, camera works is terrible and editing has no sense of how the reader view the spread. This is all because American comic are essentially illustrated story book for adult.



Japanese manga, on the other hand, have terrible production value as illustrative art. It is essentially B&W drawing with Mickey mouse characters printed on recycled papers which get thrown away like old newspaper. Yet characters can properly emote, action are dynamic, drama have dialogue with proper subtlety (well at least good manga do), and crucially for comic, all story are narrated visually rather than by text. You feel sound, action and emotion in manga. And it is not just a knocked off version of a movie, but it can narrate story in a way only comic can.

And there is really no need for American comic to be stuck in its current paradigm as illustrative art. Current direction of making comic as collector’s item is making matter worse because more time and effort is spent on smaller number of illustrations to make illustration looks pretty, while texts had to be used liberally to fill in narrative gap. There is a huge gap in creative outlet for Westerners who aspire to be storyteller. You either write novel or write screenplay (direct). And filmed medium is generally prohibitively costly. In Japan, manga as a graphical story stand between written story (i.e. novel) and filmed story (i.e. TV/Movie/Animation). Comic can match any genere in novel or film yet the cost of producing a manga story is as cheap as writing a novel, especially with the advent of PC. Many manga author start making manga when they are in high school because anyone, including those who cannot draw well, can create manga.

American comic does not need to ape disney/manga/anime style of character to transform their medium to narrative art. Big eyes characters are secondary effect of weekly production deadline, and is not what manga (and comic) is about. The essence of comic is in its panelling (komawari
) and not the style of illustration. Also, American comic artists would have advantage of not being constrained by by b&w presentation of Japanese manga, which is tied to Japanese specific issue of being pulp fiction. Hopefully, someone find a way to fill the gap which exist between filmed and written narrative story in English media (and preferably do so in colour). Manga just means comic in Japanese.
Marvel/DC should just hire you as their editor.

I'd have a lot more to add as to why manga has overtaken comics (western comics, not just american) with additional takes, but what's the point, they aren't going to change anytime soon.

Animators are indeed mistreated and overworked. Most famous manga authors are making big bank like Rumiko Takahashi, Oda, and so on. Some are overworked due to their own work ethic and their desire to appease their communities, but then there's wildly successful authors like Yoshihiro Togashi who seems to draw and release new chapters whenever it suits him, which can be what seems like years apart.
This is arguably wrong, a lot of manga are also not making bank, the examples you listed are the top of the cream.
And it's even more erroneous to say that Togashi draws and release as he likes. Togashi works such a hefty schedule that he has a chronic illness and are most of the time bedridden most of the time, so much so that his wife is now learning how to draw his manga in order to take over it on the case he pass away. Please check your facts before saying such things.
 

luffie

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I'll tell you what killed the industry, and pretty much every creative industry, and that's public domain becoming a thing of the past. Never have to make new characters if you can strong-arm the ones you've got perpetually.
No, they just creatively bankrupt, and the hiring managers are talentless hack that cannot discern who is a talented hire, that's why they keep on hiring terrible scriptwriters.
Their whole point is to make money, make new franchise, if they could make more money making new characters and franchises, they would do so. But each time they tried making new characters, they fail miserably due to the crappy story, theme and concept.

Just look at their recent new & cancelled superheroes called Snowflake & Safespace, like who the hell even approve this?!! Even if you want to go woke trajectory, it is an extremely retarded idea to make such characters.
Consider that the managers, editors, scriptwriters & marketing look at this and say "Yup, it's good, greenlight", all of them should be fired for making that decision.

That's why more often than not they just stick to existing franchise that already has existing fanbase.
 

oagboghi2

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I've seen people choose about 4-5 panels from the core Marvel and DC books over the last 5 years. Then they'll bring up a few other books which have nothing to do with the main continuity and are either stand alone books or short events.

Some examples:
Angela (example used in this thread where people don't understand it's jokey).
Jane Foster Thor just cos she's female (some panels with Absorbing Man).
Riri Williams just cos she's female.
Kamala Khan just cos she's a minority?
Black Batman (two month event)
Bi-sexual Star Lord (a couple of panels)
The new She-Hulk image from Jason Aaron's book.
Starfires fat daughter (stand alone story that is only just coming out this month).

Am I missing anything?
So anytime someone criticizes a bad comic, you just slot them into your conspiracy theory about the anti-work crowd?
 

Cyberpunkd

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Manga for vast majority is thrash, same damn tropes as American superhero comics - power creep, endless new enemies, etc.

i invite everyone to try Incal, Thorgal, Metabaron, in general European comics.
 

Azurro

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I've seen people choose about 4-5 panels from the core Marvel and DC books over the last 5 years. Then they'll bring up a few other books which have nothing to do with the main continuity and are either stand alone books or short events.

Some examples:
Angela (example used in this thread where people don't understand it's jokey).
Jane Foster Thor just cos she's female (some panels with Absorbing Man).
Riri Williams just cos she's female.
Kamala Khan just cos she's a minority?
Black Batman (two month event)
Bi-sexual Star Lord (a couple of panels)
The new She-Hulk image from Jason Aaron's book.
Starfires fat daughter (stand alone story that is only just coming out this month).

Am I missing anything?

So, you are angry that people bring up proof of how fucked up comic books are nowadays? It's not like they are out of context images, what they depict wouldn't be there if they weren't 100% with their self destructive ideology.
 
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sol_bad

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So, you are angry that people bring up proof of how fucked up comic books are nowadays? It's not like they are out of context images, what they depict wouldn't be there if they weren't 100% with their self destructive ideology.

I'm not angry.
Just think it's pathetic that people try proving that American comics are "woke" by using 10-20 examples over a 10 year time frame when there are 200+ comics released per month.
 

tusharngf

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I started with naruto manga in 2007 and then moved to one piece bleach. Comics are really boring and had no continuity nor character development.

Anyways fast forward today. You guys should give it a try to SOLO LEVELLING.. MANHWA. The artwork is amazing and main lead is OP just like saitama from one punch man.









 
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Azurro

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I'm not angry.
Just think it's pathetic that people try proving that American comics are "woke" by using 10-20 examples over a 10 year time frame when there are 200+ comics released per month.

People use the most glaring examples of it, and it's not "trying", it's exactly what's happening. Comics have been hiring activists for a long time and tanked its own industry with their social justice charged storylines. It's not a debate, that's what happened, it's fait accompli.
 
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Amiga

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Manga for vast majority is thrash, same damn tropes as American superhero comics - power creep, endless new enemies, etc.

these are issues of Shonen(kids) Manga. and superhero comics started out for kids before doing adult themes for the same audience that grew up.

Seinen manga is for mature readers. there are unique works like 20th Century Boys, Uzumaki, Vagabond. few Seinen become popular because they are not suitable for Anime. most that do get Anime adaptation are heavy action thrillers. also, most are slower in publication.


i invite everyone to try Incal, Thorgal, Metabaron, in general European comics.

not enough production though. you need to wait a lifetime for new material. even GRRM is faster.

this was the most notorious..



and there were a few American/British comics that were done Euro style. like Hellboy, Planetary, Alan Moore's ABC.
 

Cyberpunkd

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Seinen manga is for mature readers. there are unique works like 20th Century Boys, Uzumaki, Vagabond. few Seinen become popular because they are not suitable for Anime. most that do get Anime adaptation are heavy action thrillers. also, most are slower in publication.
Ok, I’m intrigued - any recommendations? Preferably sci-fi or fantasy (think Lodoss)?
 

Amiga

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Ok, I’m intrigued - any recommendations? Preferably sci-fi or fantasy (think Lodoss)?

the ones I mentioned. 1st one is a mystery thriller, 2nd one is horror (still stuck in my head for 20 years). 3rd is a fictional historical drama of Musashi.

For Sci-Fi there is Gunnm (Battle Angel Alita, the movie was barley 5% of the story).
Gantz is a popcorn flick type with a great concept, surprised nobody stole the idea for a game yet.(has weird mix of shallow/good writing, probably the editor feeding the cheesecake artist).
Parasyte and Planetes. both have Anime adaptations.
 
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Blade2.0

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No, they just creatively bankrupt, and the hiring managers are talentless hack that cannot discern who is a talented hire, that's why they keep on hiring terrible scriptwriters.
Their whole point is to make money, make new franchise, if they could make more money making new characters and franchises, they would do so. But each time they tried making new characters, they fail miserably due to the crappy story, theme and concept.

Just look at their recent new & cancelled superheroes called Snowflake & Safespace, like who the hell even approve this?!! Even if you want to go woke trajectory, it is an extremely retarded idea to make such characters.
Consider that the managers, editors, scriptwriters & marketing look at this and say "Yup, it's good, greenlight", all of them should be fired for making that decision.

That's why more often than not they just stick to existing franchise that already has existing fanbase.
Yea, but my point is if these characters were in the public domain they'd be forced to come up with newer characters that actually meant something. Why come up with a new mascot when I can use Mickey for 2000 years (an exaggeration but maybe not...)
 

sol_bad

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People use the most glaring examples of it, and it's not "trying", it's exactly what's happening. Comics have been hiring activists for a long time and tanked its own industry with their social justice charged storylines. It's not a debate, that's what happened, it's fait accompli.

Stan Lee and Roy Thomas injected politics into their books as well. Nothing has changed. And the comic industry is growing, not failing., it's just that the market is moving away from singles and moving towards collected editions.
 

Azurro

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Stan Lee and Roy Thomas injected politics into their books as well. Nothing has changed. And the comic industry is growing, not failing., it's just that the market is moving away from singles and moving towards collected editions.

Everything I've seen is that sales are lower and lower every year, while getting demolished by manga, so that's wishful thinking. They have destroyed their industry themselves, Disney just doesn't bother to fix it since it isn't a high earning sector.

No, you tell yourself that because you consume whatever Marvel or DC tells you to consume and ask for seconds, and you get angry when anyone else dares to question them. I don't understand, do you have a podcast or something and hope to get their sponsorship?
 
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sol_bad

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Everything I've seen is that sales are lower and lower every year, while getting demolished by manga, so that's wishful thinking. They have destroyed their industry themselves, Disney just doesn't bother to fix it since it isn't a high earning sector.

No, you tell yourself that because you consume whatever Marvel or DC tells you to consume and ask for seconds, and you get angry when anyone else dares to question them. I don't understand, do you have a podcast or something and hope to get their sponsorship?

I'm just reading through Marvel using Marvel Reading Order website.





When it comes to publishers beyond Marvel and DC I just read what sounds interesting to me, I'll just see what the basic concept is and if it's interesting I'll read it and then decide if I liked it or not. I don't look up the authors or artists and see what way they align and I don't look up what politic themes will be involved if any. Same way as I've done things since I was a kid.

And please prove to me that collected edition sales have diminished. If sales were diminishing Marvel would release less and less omnibus and Epic Collections, but the number of books they sell yearly increases, the number of reprints every year increases and the speed at which they go out of print increases. And it's not just the fact that collected edition sales are growing, obviously people are moving away from the direct market stores and heading towards the book store market, this makes logical sense. Floppies are dying, collected market growing.

So you're right about floppies, they are dying and the comic industry needs to change how they do things.
 
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Amiga

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I'm just reading through Marvel using Marvel Reading Order website.
nice!
I've been looking for guide to help me jump back. been out of the loop for 10 years now.

(that you need a guide is the biggest problem for American comics).
 
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sol_bad

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nice!
I've been looking for guide to help me jump back. been out of the loop for 10 years now.

(that you need a guide is the biggest problem for American comics).

A guide isn't necessarily needed, I randomly jumped into comics back in 2004 and 2011, asked the guys at my local comic shop what to try reading. Sometimes I was lost and needed wikipedia but not always. Good comic writers can do good stories without needing to know 60+ years of history but other writers embrace that history as part of their story. I loved the Marvel Universe based on what I read between 2004 and 2008 and 2011 and 2015/16. I'd never read any of the golden or silver age stuff though (except X-Men) and was really curious about Marvels history as a whole.

So with Marvel Unlimited and Comixology I've been going through the 60's and 70's in order, re-reading stuff from 2011-2015 and reading what I missed after the end of the Secret Wars event. Majority of the stuff I've read from the 60's and 70's are getting 3/5 stars or lower but there is definitely some gold in there. Reading stuff from the silver age can be painful, especially with how Sue Storm is treated etc, she may as well not even be a part of the Fantastic Four most of the time. In saying that, Fantastic Four is still one of my favourite books of the 60's along with Spider-Man, Thor and Avengers. Books like X-Men, Iron-Man and Sub-Mariner are dreadful to read through though.

The Marvel reading order site is:

On PC on the right hand side you'll see a list of other reading orders. The DC order is still going through the golden age though which I have absolutely no patience for.

 
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Shouta

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People use the most glaring examples of it, and it's not "trying", it's exactly what's happening. Comics have been hiring activists for a long time and tanked its own industry with their social justice charged storylines. It's not a debate, that's what happened, it's fait accompli.

Comics (specifically DC and Marvel) have been have had those types of storylines since they were first introduced. The X-Men were an allegory for racism when they were introduced in the 1960s, for example.. So the industry didn't tank because of activists. They aren't really doing anything to help but they aren't the reason it's where it is now.
 
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Dacon

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Marvel/DC should just hire you as their editor.

I'd have a lot more to add as to why manga has overtaken comics (western comics, not just american) with additional takes, but what's the point, they aren't going to change anytime soon.


This is arguably wrong, a lot of manga are also not making bank, the examples you listed are the top of the cream.
And it's even more erroneous to say that Togashi draws and release as he likes. Togashi works such a hefty schedule that he has a chronic illness and are most of the time bedridden most of the time, so much so that his wife is now learning how to draw his manga in order to take over it on the case he pass away. Please check your facts before saying such things.

"Arguably". Any business has those who succeed and do better than others. No shit they are the "top of the cream". What do you think "most famous" means in this context?

The POINT of what I'm saying isn't that Togashi is somehow lazy(the phrase "when it suits him" doesn't have an inherently negative connotation), check your knees before you jerk. It's that he is seemingly given allowances because of the critical acclaim and love he's received. I can't imagine many other artists would be tolerated in a similar fashion by their consumers and editors.