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WillieHewes 04-04-2006 07:50 PM

Manga or Comics?
 
Here is something that's been on my mind for a while, I find it hard to decide whether I should call what I do "manga" or "comics".

Until fairly recently, I didn't even think of my stuff as manga, but, well, you guys haven't kicked me off yet, so I guess it can. :D I'm also moving more in that direction with regards to style, especially when it comes to figures and faces, I think.

To me, manga is Japanese (or eastern) comics, so it seems a bit strange to call my comics "manga", as it's not set in or drawn in Japan. But sometimes I think I could be losing out on viewers by not calling it manga, because the audience I'm going for, and the type of story I tell is a lot closer to manga than to stereotypical "comics" (superhero stuff, in other words.)

I think it would be really helpful if the meaning of the word "comics" would expand in the minds of "the public" (whoever they are) but it feels so frustrating doing it on my own. :p I'm designing a new webpage for myself, and I'm seriously considering throwing the word "manga" in there a little more. For Google's sake if nothing else.

Am I just worrying over nothing? Do people who read manga also read comics, as long as it's not boring superhero stuff? Can my comics even be called manga? It feels disingenious sometimes to use that word just for marketing purposes, but really, manga takes so many forms, it's hard to define the edge of it. And when I'm looking for a reference I tend to turn to manga before I turn to any other type of comic. I'm sure that shows.

I'm such a worrier...

Cin 04-04-2006 07:58 PM

As a wise man once said, "A rose by any other name will still wither and die" :P

I guess it's pretty much what you mention at the end about marketing purposes. If your comic is aimed at fans of Manga and your drawing style, however unique, is also influance by western styles then by all means feel free to advertise your comic as a Manga.

If however you want to distance yourself from such influances and have grown up as a marvel fanboy then by all means feel free to call it a comic.

At the end of the day people will probably judge it themselves but it's really more about how you feel about it and how you want to sell it.

Sonia Leong 04-04-2006 10:00 PM

Manga was used to refer to comics from Japan, but has now come to mean comics drawn in the style of Manga - and it's not just big eyes small mouth, but pacing and style of story telling, panel layout and abstraction. manga, for all of it's differences in style, has some common characteristics and it is these which can say whether or not something is in a manga style.

As a non-Japanese manga creator myself, I and many others use the term "OEL manga", Original English Language Manga, or refer to our stuff as "Manga-styled comics" or "Japanese-style comics". I also use the term "UK Manga" for UK-based creators.

Either way, whatever term is used will ruffle some people's feathers - if I say Manga, I get people starting these sorts of arguments... and if I avoid using the term Manga, some people say I'm not being true to myself and being so politically correct about it that it loses meaning...

And if somebody wants to be bolshy about it to me, hell, I'm ethnic Chinese, I'll just say I create Manhua :P Although Manhua and Manhwa (Korean) are different in style to Manga.... XD

Some threads here which might be of interest to you:

Derek Martinez hates Western Manga (although the real aim of the thread is more about use of the term Western Manga:) ):
http://www.sweatdrop.com/forum/showt...ht=manga+style

Are we second wave manga artists?:
http://www.sweatdrop.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3245

Emill Szynsky 05-04-2006 11:33 AM

Quote:

I think it would be really helpful if the meaning of the word "comics" would expand in the minds of "the public" (whoever they are) but it feels so frustrating doing it on my own.
I don't think you're alone in this! I think there are many individual artists and writers who want comics to be thought of better than as "mere comics" in the public imagination. Hopefully writing good comics and proudly calling them comics will help change the pejorative connotations that the word "comics" can have in the minds of some people.

I'm not against people calling their works "graphic novels" or "manga" or "sequential art" or "iconarrative" or "comix", but I think it's helpful towards the goal of exapnding the meaning of "comics" in the minds of the wider public if creators would take care and pride to call their works comics AND whatever other labels they think appropriate.

Laura 05-04-2006 12:23 PM

In Japanese bookshops, manga are always displayed under signs with the katakana, "Komikkusu".

denji 05-04-2006 02:15 PM

yeah, laura has a valid point :eek: i have a few japanese friends, and they all refer to manga as "komikksu" and then there;s the huge doujinshi market con in tokyo, which is called "comike! ^^~

ahhh, this is such a touchy subject, i can see why you would be worried about it ^^; personally i think we all do "UK manga". i think Manga is simply reffered to as a style, just like american-style comics or popart-style comics ^^ -- people these days seem tro worry about it all, and how to refer to stuff like this...like the whole wapanese thing too... @@; i guess...you should do what you do. if you want to give it a name, give it your own name~XD no-one should argue or complain about what you do...everyone is different after all :)

Laura 05-04-2006 02:59 PM

Comiket is short for "Comic Market", which indeed it is (me and Emma went to #66 in August 2004, luckies! X3).

I like the term "UK Manga". Short and nifty! In general I just say (to norms) "yup, I do a lot of comic work", then if I am lucky and the recipient gives me more than a smile and a nod with a vacant stare, I delve into more about manga style. :o

I think a lot of confusion is stil prevalent from back in the heady days of "Manga Video". :D

wyldflowa 05-04-2006 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laura
I think a lot of confusion is stil prevalent from back in the heady days of "Manga Video". :D

I generally steer away from the term "manga" if I'm talking to someone face-to-face because of the links people make along the lines of manga=anime=pervy Japanese animated smut. :/ I'll often say "Japanese style comics" but that still gets a similar "so you draw porn? hur hur" type reaction. But when I told someone I like comics they thought I meant stand up comediens! If I say I draw comics I *always* have to elaborate on the style as people always assume that I draw either Marvel stuff or Viz-esque stuff! :crazy: People seem particulary ignorant in Merseyside... :spin:

The vast majority of people who are interested in the sort of comics people make in this and similar communities understand that "manga" refers to a very broad style; not where you come from, what your comic is about, the setting of your comic, the nationality of your characters etc etc. Only a select few who aren't worth bothering about would be picky about it.

uriel 05-04-2006 04:35 PM

Manga style comic...that's what it is. Manga=Genre, Comic=Comic format. People tell me that I draw manga characters in my comics...make sense of that one.

WillieHewes 06-04-2006 08:37 PM

:sweat: I know this is kind of an old subject, and can at the same time be really touchy!

Thanks for those threads, Sonia, even if Skirmish's posts are not always equally clear in intent and tend to wear me out...

What struck me in those though is this from Dock: "If we dropped the term manga we would have a hell of a time targetting our demographic."

Yes, and that's exactly what I was worrying about. So, just to make sure, you don't claim the term "UK manga", do you? I like it, :meep: I'd like to use it on my webpage.

Sun Kitten 06-04-2006 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by uriel
Manga style comic...that's what it is. Manga=Genre, Comic=Comic format. People tell me that I draw manga characters in my comics...make sense of that one.

Manga's not a genre, I'm afraid. Science fiction is a genre. Fantasy is a genre. Western is a genre. Manga is not; manga - going by Japanese comics - can be any of those and more.

Comic, yes, format, seems about right. Manga seems to be used to describe art and storytelling style, which are quite different from Western comics (although it's not a perfect word because it just means comic).

So we tell stories, in any number of genres, in a comic format, using a manga style of art and storytelling :)

uriel 16-04-2006 07:12 PM

Manga embraces genres...that would make Manga a...style?

Haru 16-04-2006 09:29 PM

Personally I couldn't care less whether they called it comics or manga, I think Manga is a comic, I call manga comics manga, and other comics comics

[I know that last sentance must be pretty hard to read]

but what really gets on my nerves is people taking the eyes and the mouth putting it on US comics and calling it manga @_@

Kriffix 16-04-2006 09:50 PM

i think its only fair that 'manga style' comics should be called 'manga'. or else over time it could confuse the logics of the word manga, and it could be unfairly blended in with 'marvel' or 'dc' (which nowadays look suprisingly more like manga by the minute).
its like 'manga entertainment' the video company, lots of people went around calling 'anime' 'manga', which i found extremely annoying.
especially when hmv got a big old banner saying ''manga dvds!''
(u bet i bit their heads off for that one)

i say, that is you make a manga-comic, and then not call it 'manga', then you show disrespect to its original concept and culture.(then again thats just me)

Jonjo 'X3' 16-04-2006 09:59 PM

I had one of these manga/comic talks with a friend a while ago. He pwned me hardcore. So I'll keep my nose outta this one.

However, I also hate how people confuse anime and manga. As much as I hate how people confuse manga with "mango", "mana", "manya", "monga", "namga", "mangu", "pokemon", "comics" and "that japanese stuff"...

Kriffix 16-04-2006 10:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonjo 'X3'
I had one of these manga/comic talks with a friend a while ago. He pwned me hardcore. So I'll keep my nose outta this one.

However, I also hate how people confuse anime and manga. As much as I hate how people confuse manga with "mango", "mana", "manya", "monga", "namga", "mangu", "pokemon", "comics" and "that japanese stuff"...

i agree, and mistakes like this occur as a direct result of these kind of situations

jesse 24-04-2006 03:24 PM

I usually tell people I write comics, (I dunno, for simplicity and because unless you're talking to a fellow dj artist/otaku, calling it 'manga' sounds fangirly and pretentious) and when they see my work they get really suprised because they were expecting an american, comic book style, and my style is totally shoujo. But I still refer to my book as a comic becuase ultimately 'manga' is the word for 'comic', so I might as well say it in my own language, ne?!

However, if I am asked about my style, I do refer to it as shoujo, because there isn't a convenient equivalent name in English. What would you call it in English? 'art mainly aimed at girls and women with a big emphasis on aesthetics?'!

jesse 24-04-2006 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonjo 'X3'
I had one of these manga/comic talks with a friend a while ago. He pwned me hardcore. So I'll keep my nose outta this one.

However, I also hate how people confuse anime and manga. As much as I hate how people confuse manga with "mango", "mana", "manya", "monga", "namga", "mangu", "pokemon", "comics" and "that japanese stuff"...

BWA HA HA HA! Pokemon! HAHA! That really tickled me, everyone in the computer lab turned and looked at me cos I snort-laughed :meep:

Emill Szynsky 27-04-2006 09:38 AM

Quote:

I still refer to my book as a comic becuase ultimately 'manga' is the word for 'comic', so I might as well say it in my own language, ne?!
Simplicity gets a thumbs-up from me!

Quote:

i say, that is you make a manga-comic, and then not call it 'manga', then you show disrespect to its original concept and culture.(then again thats just me)
hmmm. Steady on. Should Japanese creators call their work "comics" because Osamu Tezuka drew big eyes influenced by Western animation, such as Betty Boop? If I read Asterix should I call my comics "bandes dessinee" in reverence to Goscinny and Uderzo?

Just a note as a tiny correction - Japanese bookstore comic / manga shelves are labelled "comikku" (Hepburn romanisation) - no "su" on the end there. (I was browsing in London recently.)

Saphire 27-04-2006 10:21 AM

Hmmm. I've never really thought too much about this - I mean I just use the word 'manga' to describe my drawing style. I think it just implies that I have a japanese art-style in my comic.

I am right in saying that it literally just means 'comic' in japanese? I think people have been thinking about this way too much.
It is slightly annoying when people get it wrong - but that all depends on whether they are being ignorant and are just trying to annoy you, or whether they are a newbie and are interested in the japanese style, but just don't know any better.

I think that all of the comic styles whether it be american, japanese or whatever are all take infulences from one another - I think that it all depends on what sells better at that time I guess. I have noticed that all of the new Marvel comics do have a manga-esque look to them (thats just marvel trying to sell more comics I think) but does it really matter who draws like what style? - all I'm bothered about is wether I actually like it visually (along with the story of course) to be honest.

Why try to divide it all up?


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