A saddening article on manga

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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited October 2007
    He can't really be 23, can he?

    Hooraydiation on
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  • KoshianKoshian __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    k_a should read some maus

    I don't know if that really counts, but it's a great graphic novel

    Koshian on
  • Katchem_ashKatchem_ash __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2007
    Incidentally, art without words (you know, the kind in museums) beats out sequential art hands down in every area.

    Not if it badly drawn art showing ugly faces with no prespective at all. Just to take up pages. You know because the main character only comes on the last two pages.

    What?

    I was describing Death Dealer.

    Katchem_ash on
  • WildcatWildcat Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    A pity, given that he was describing Picasso.

    Wildcat on
  • Vargas PrimeVargas Prime King of Nothing Just a ShowRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I don't even know why I'm doing this...

    Name me a single manga produced in the last decade that actually depicts Chinese/Japanese/Korean history without resorting to supernatural ninja, sorcery, Dragonball-type antics, or anything else that completely rips out any historical relevance that you claim to be looking for in Western comics, Katchem. The closest thing I can think of would be Blade of the Immortal, but even that book centers around a main character who can regenerate from almost any injury thanks to mystical bloodworms.

    At any rate, to indulge you, if you really want American comics that deal with Asian settings and subjects, you can track down the now-defunct Crossgen books Way of the Rat and The Path. Dark Horse's Samurai: Heaven and Earth is a particularly awesome book, but much of it takes place outside Japan, so you might not be interested in it.

    My suggestion? Broaden your horizons. If you're basing your opinions on Western comics based solely on 30- or 40-year-old Thor stories, then try something else. And if you simply can't bring yourself to care about anything that doesn't exist solely within the bounds of Asia, whether it's fictional or otherwise, then you probably shouldn't even be weighing in on a discussion comparing the value of manga vs. Western comics, because you're already biased, and you have no interest in being objective enough to change that bias.

    Vargas Prime on
  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    My suggestion? Broaden your horizons.
    I don't normally get into the personal here but you are essentially asking him to breath in space, and we all know there's only one guy that can do that.:P
    Anyway, you gotta remember that K_A here is the guy that tried/is trying to "chibify" Imperial Guard and would probably thing C'thulhu is "neat" on account of the tentacles. I'm not sure there is an argument in existence that will work on him without the backup of physical torture....

    Mr_Rose on
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  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Yeah, KA isn't worth reasoning with, as he is, by definition, not a reasonable person.

    It's funny. Most problems people have with American comics are from the stereotypes of Superhero comics (many of which are cliched, stagnant and clawed) while most problems people have with manga are from the stereotypes of shonen comics (which are aimed at 14 year old japanese boys).

    One thing I dislike in American comics is the way the tend to handle action scenes. Too few panels for my liking, they just don't flow right for me. But, I think this probably because I really like fighting games and have taken martial arts and therefore am fascinated with the intricacies of fighting.

    Inquisitor on
  • Katchem_ashKatchem_ash __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2007
    I don't even know why I'm doing this...

    Name me a single manga produced in the last decade that actually depicts Chinese/Japanese/Korean history without resorting to supernatural ninja, sorcery, Dragonball-type antics, or anything else that completely rips out any historical relevance that you claim to be looking for in Western comics, Katchem.

    Never said I wanted Historical, but Historical Fiction. My quote was:
    Then please show me where I can find comics about either a) Chinese Historical Fiction, b) Korean Historical fiction or even c) Central Asian Fiction?

    Fiction is the keyword here and ficton means anything with supernatural, dragonball style sword tricks.
    While Manga doesn't do option C or Crusades they do option A and B.

    Here I accept there are no historical manga.

    Katchem_ash on
  • Vargas PrimeVargas Prime King of Nothing Just a ShowRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Sigh... I know, that's why I prefaced my post the way I did.

    At any rate, the manga I currently read are Berserk, Blade of the Immortal, Full Metal Alchemist, Battle Angel Alita, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and Bleach. With Bleach being the guilty pleasure of the bunch, since the story is severely underpaced and basic, but I dig the way the action scenes are done (and that's really all there are...).

    All-time faves include Gunsmith Cats (no one draws a car chase like Kenichi Sonoda), Sanctuary, and just about anything by Katsuhiro Otomo. I also like some of Shirow's old stuff like Appleseed, Orion and the original Ghost in the Shell.

    Vargas Prime on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I don't even know why I'm doing this...

    Name me a single manga produced in the last decade that actually depicts Chinese/Japanese/Korean history without resorting to supernatural ninja, sorcery, Dragonball-type antics, or anything else that completely rips out any historical relevance that you claim to be looking for in Western comics, Katchem.

    Never said I wanted Historical, but Historical Fiction. My quote was:
    Then please show me where I can find comics about either a) Chinese Historical Fiction, b) Korean Historical fiction or even c) Central Asian Fiction?

    Fiction is the keyword here and ficton means anything with supernatural, dragonball style sword tricks.
    While Manga doesn't do option C or Crusades they do option A and B.

    Here I accept there are no historical manga.

    Wait, are you holding up pseudo-historical stories that primarily involve impossible swordfighting and DBZ type antics as superior? There's literally no end to the Kenshin/Bleach/DBZ/Naruto wannabe stories in the manga industry. And you're criticizing superhero comics for lack of originality?

    wwtMask on
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  • Vargas PrimeVargas Prime King of Nothing Just a ShowRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Never said I wanted Historical, but Historical Fiction. My quote was:
    Then please show me where I can find comics about either a) Chinese Historical Fiction, b) Korean Historical fiction or even c) Central Asian Fiction?

    Fiction is the keyword here and ficton means anything with supernatural, dragonball style sword tricks.

    Actually, "Historical Fiction" means a fictional representation of historic figures or events. The emphasis in the Historical Fiction genre is most definitely on the "Historic" and not so much on the "Fiction." It may be fiction in that it's not entirely based on factual events or people, but a work of historical fiction is traditionally supposed to adhere to the setting in which it takes place.

    So most manga probably doesn't qualify since everything is so exaggerated, and most of it doesn't deal with actual people or events.

    Vargas Prime on
  • SalmonOfDoubtSalmonOfDoubt Registered User regular
    edited October 2007

    So most manga probably doesn't qualify since everything is so exaggerated, and most of it doesn't deal with actual people or events.

    Also the dragons

    SalmonOfDoubt on
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  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I wonder if, while playing that lovely piece of historical fiction called Okami, Katchem_Ash was thinking how much more rad Japan was back in the day.

    wwtMask on
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  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I actually searched out American comics. Most recently the Thor Essentials and Death Dealer series. I found them to be frankly boring, waste of my money and terrible.

    What induced you to pick out total shit? I'm honestly stunned.

    august on
    Pac Man's character is difficult to explain even to the Japanese -- he is an innocent character. He hasn't been educated to discern between good and evil. He acts more like a small child than a grown-up person. Think of him as a child learning in the course of his daily activities. If someone tells him guns are evil, he would be the type to rush out and eat guns. But he would most probably eat any gun, even the pistols of policemen who need them.
  • hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2007
    Sars, what is up my doggg.

    In the last couple of weeks I have spent way too much money on comic books, and only most of it was manga. I bought an issue of Casanova too.

    Anyway, if anybody is serious for a good primer on decent manga, I wholeheartedly suggest Shaenon K. Garrity's Overlooked Manga Festival. Shaenon's a freelance editor for Viz, and (almost) every week she highlights a great, and usually underappriacted manga.

    I am working on a big huge post about good manga. Soon children soon.

    hughtron on
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  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Personally I'd do a new thread seeing as how this one is mostly about bitching, in one way or another.

    august on
    Pac Man's character is difficult to explain even to the Japanese -- he is an innocent character. He hasn't been educated to discern between good and evil. He acts more like a small child than a grown-up person. Think of him as a child learning in the course of his daily activities. If someone tells him guns are evil, he would be the type to rush out and eat guns. But he would most probably eat any gun, even the pistols of policemen who need them.
  • MORPHEUSMORPHEUS Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Ketchum Ash before you came to the conclusion that American comics were inferior, have you ever read Sandman?

    MORPHEUS on
  • Sars_BoySars_Boy Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Oh god.

    What have I done.

    PS- Looking forward to it hugh.

    Sars_Boy on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I'd certainly welcome an "All Good Manga" thread.

    wwtMask on
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  • Shazbot!Shazbot! __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2007
    wwtMask wrote: »
    I'd certainly welcome an "All Good Manga" thread.

    It'd be a pretty short thread. Ducks.

    Shazbot! on
  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    goddamnit, this thread was Katchem_Ashed

    just ignore him.

    The Lovely Bastard on
  • Bob The MonkeyBob The Monkey Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I prefer to think of KA as a malaise, rather than a human.

    The fact he sees me as a troll is one of my guilty pleasures.

    Bob The Monkey on
  • Katchem_ashKatchem_ash __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2007
    I prefer to think of KA as a malaise, rather than a human.

    The fact he sees me as a troll is one of my guilty pleasures.

    you think to highly of yourself.

    Katchem_ash on
  • hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2007
    First, to reiterate a few things others have already said:

    Believe it or not there is actually a lot of Japanese comics that are really great. One of the great things about Japan being so comics-centric is that there are comics about everything. If you need further proof check out this documentary about manga, especially the parts where the cute old man talks about his favorite fishing manga, or the genre of comics revolving solely around ‘dedicated low-ranking employee impresses his bosses!’

    So there are all of these fantastic comics out there, and the ones I read are still almost all the boy’s comics about fighting. What can I say? I am a simple man with simple pleasures.

    I’ve ordered this by how easy the books should be to find. There are a ton of older books out there that are out-of-print and the companies just can’t really afford to reprint them. Just like American comics there is a ton of really popular books that are crap and just like western comics the really great books never seem to sell as well as they should. Fortunately to a certain extent I think mega-properties like Naruto or Yu-Gi-Oh can help prop up the lower-selling titles and so we continue to get some wonderful and disparate series being released. Viz is putting out a ton of very high quality stuff in their ‘Signature’ line, selections from which make up the bulk of my suggestions. (As an aside, I do know that Viz survived for years before the manga boom really took off because they did gangbusters with their Pokemon comics.)

    So, without further ado, here are three manga Hughtron loves:

    I have tried to connect Matt Fraction in some way to every comic.

    Tekkon Kinkreet: This is actually a really old manga, but there was just a big-budget anime adaptation made, so Viz is capitalizing on it by re-releasing this in a gorgeous oversized omnibus format. In incredibly simplified terms, this is a comic about homeless kids beating the hell out of everyone in a magic little town in the future. But it’s so much more than that. It’s about gentrification and commercialization and brotherhood and love and truth and fighting and superheroes and it’s amazing. The art is sketchy and free and a strange mix of international influences. It’s ‘global manga’, Moebius meets Otomo, and it was all done seventeen years ago. (You can see some art examples here in a write-up on the book.) And you don’t have to take my word for it, let noted fan of awesome things Matt Fraction tell you all about it. Three! Different! Reviews!

    The recently released anime adaptation has a look all it’s own, and I highly recommend it as well, though I think most hoity-toity manga fans hate it or something.

    Sexy Voice and Robo: Another oversized Viz Signature book. The art here again looks nothing like the clean, polished linework that characterizes so much manga. The lines here are thick and messy. The story is about a 14-year-old girl who works for a telephone dating service. (I guess in Japan guys will pay to just talk?) She teams up with a nerdy shut-in robot collector to solve crimes, work for Yakuza and explore Tokyo. Fans of, uh, Nancy Drew or Veronica Mars would probably enjoy this, or anybody looking for some amazing art and a fun, resonating story.

    An interesting side-note about this is that Matt Fraction's wife wrote the english language script.

    The Drifting Classroom: Man, now things are gonna get crazy. You know how silver-age superhero comics are kind of crazy? Well the sixties and seventies in Japan were like that too, only everybody was also on angeldust or something. Drifting Classroom comes from that era and is about an elementary school that magically gets teleported into a barren wasteland full of giant man-eating bugs. All of the teachers go crazy and start to kill the kids and the story follows our Hero and his friends as they try to figure out what happened and why they can't trust any adults anymore. Also every balloon ends in an exclamation, so EVERYONE IS SHOUTING! ALL THE TIME! This comics is totally crazy. Kids get stabbed and crucified and eaten by bugs and oh man it is amazing also. If you like Lord of the Flies or Survival Horror games or just things that are crazy, you will love this book. Viz is reprinting this now, and I think every volume is still in print. I have no proof but I bet Matt Fraction loves this book.

    Okay, that's three for now. I've got some more, but I have to work at 6:30 AM tommorow, so they'll have to wait.

    hughtron on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Thank you Hughtron, I'm getting at least one of these.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Wait, are people arguing about which country produces better comics/graphic novels/manga/whatever the hell you want to call pictures with words?

    Seems a bit trite, why not just realize that we like what we like subjectively no matter where it's from?

    Oh wait, that would be the intelligent thing to do... Can't have that.

    Carry on then.




    P.S. I don't read much in the way of manga/comics, but I'm a big fan of Berserk.

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    Heartlash on
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  • GoatmonGoatmon Property of Amara_P Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Goatmon wrote: »
    I'm very happy Manga came along and got so popular; It taught American Publishers that a comic book can sell without having to be centered around Superheroes. One of the things I adore about it is that Manga, much like Anime, is allowed to do things that American publishers/animators couldn't dare get away with, or at least just aren't willing to try.

    I won't say that Manga, in of itself, is constantly pushing the envelope or anything, that's just not true; Every medium does what it can get away with and little else. But the character designs and writing style of a lot of Japanese comics are just such a fresh change from the stuff you see from American publishers. It makes it very easy to get into whereas most American comics just seem like more of the same stuff I've seen since I was little, and it's hard to care. Oh there's another spiderman series. Oh look, more Superman. Oh yay another Wolverine mini-series, lord knows he hasn't gotten enough coverage.

    I do like the New X-Men though.

    I don't think American Publishers learned anything. I mean, unless you're talking about companies that were already publishing comics, I don't think any new and high-profile publishers have emerged since the dawn of Manga.

    If you're talking about the mainstream media learning to take comic books seriously, I think you're better off looking at the success of the Frank Miller adaptations along with Ghost World and American Splendor, all of which did far more to legitimize graphic novels in the eyes of non-fans and prove that commercially and creatively successful properties can be spawned from a medium that's known for neither of these things.

    I didn't say that the publishers have actually taken that lesson and applied it somehow, only that Manga has proven that a comic book doesn't have to be about Superheroes in order to sell.

    There ARE a couple books popping up that are a bit more creative, but it'll be a while before we actually see many American-made comics emulating more of the Japanese style. Of course, it'll be even longer before we see a good number of them that actually imitate them the right way and not just superficially. >_>

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  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited October 2007
    Yeah, Penny Arcade is my favorite manga about Chinese historical fiction, too. :P


    Heartlash wrote: »
    Wait, are people arguing about which country produces better comics/graphic novels/manga/whatever the hell you want to call pictures with words?

    Seems a bit trite, why not just realize that we like what we like subjectively no matter where it's from?

    Word to this.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • RingoRingo HE KEEPS REPEATING THE LINE I'M GONNA CRY BLEASE LET HIM LIVE YOU MADE ME WATCH SO MUCH KISSING IN THIS FILM LET INIGO LIVERegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    But comics from Japan are BACKWARDS!

    Ringo on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited October 2007
    I just ordered Sexy Voice and Robo along with some novels. If I hate it, I'll hate all of Japan as well.

    But I'll hate Hughtron most of all.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • GreeperGreeper Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The reason I like manga.

    (I do im so sorry)

    is that comic books seem like too complicated to get into, I browse wikipedia articles like a fiend, and sure, I LOVE Sin City and Watchmen and V for Vendetta and Sandman but

    the real meat, the DC and Marvel, you need to buy like 600000shithousand issues to know waht's going on.

    Greeper on
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  • rchourchou Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Don't like superheroes? Fine, ignore those books, there are plenty left after that.

    Really? Then please show me where I can find comics about either a) Chinese Historical Fiction, b) Korean Historical fiction or even c) Central Asian Fiction? Cause I keep looking and looking and I can't find them. Or how about some comics about the Crusade? Or any sort of comics that focues on Central Asia/China/Korea?

    While Manga doesn't do option C or Crusades they do option A and B.

    While you won't find many American comics about the Crusades, there are plenty out there about the Old West. That's pretty congruous with how a lot of manhwa/manga deal with Chinese Historical Fiction/Korean Historical Fiction.


    Can we just agree that there is good and bad manga, just like there is good and bad comics? I don't understand why we have to make blanket generalizations about entire creative mediums; isn't that how comics got a reputation for being adolescent escapism in the first place?

    rchou on
  • WildcatWildcat Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Anyway, you gotta remember that K_A here is the guy that tried/is trying to "chibify" Imperial Guard
    Oh my life, honestly? Is that in Critical Failures?

    Wildcat on
  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Wildcat wrote: »
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Anyway, you gotta remember that K_A here is the guy that tried/is trying to "chibify" Imperial Guard
    Oh my life, honestly? Is that in Critical Failures?
    I wish I was making that up, since then it would be a jolly jape rather than mind-scarring reality. Also yes.

    Mr_Rose on
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  • Mr PinkMr Pink I got cats for youRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Greeper wrote: »
    The reason I like manga.

    (I do im so sorry)

    is that comic books seem like too complicated to get into, I browse wikipedia articles like a fiend, and sure, I LOVE Sin City and Watchmen and V for Vendetta and Sandman but

    the real meat, the DC and Marvel, you need to buy like 600000shithousand issues to know waht's going on.

    They are trying to fix that with the newest 'Crisis' I think, but you are right. Without prior knowledge of the characters, DC can be sort of a cluster. Marvel isn't as bad though, in my opinion, but I still like getting collections and graphic novels for this reason.

    My advice is if something looks interesting, look it up on Wikipedia to get an idea. Thats what I did with Booster Gold, and I'm loving it so far.

    Mr Pink on
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Yeah, getting into the superhero genre really requires you to more or less jump in at the deep end. There's far too much publishing history to ever remember every little storyline, but the beauty of it is that you generally don't need to know all those details to get something out of the current storyline. The most you usually have to know is for the previous few years worth of issues, and those are easily had in trade format. The main thing is to not be intimidated by the wealth of material about these characters. Browse around, flip through some books, and see what you might like.

    But if all that continuity is still too daunting for you, at least on the Marvel side you have the Ultimate line. You really can't go wrong there, and it's all collected in trades.

    wwtMask on
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  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The problem with me, is that for Super Hero comics, there tends not be enough character development. For example, while I bought and enjoyed the Ultimates, I was really disappointed with the static characters.

    This is more of a fault of Super Hero comics (not all, but alot) and not of American comics in general. For example, I'm loving the crap out of The Walking Dead, because it's pretty much all character development.

    Inquisitor on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Superhero books featuring new characters and creator-owned characters are generally free from the constraints that prohibit change in flagship characters.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Superhero books featuring new characters and creator-owned characters are generally free from the constraints that prohibit change in flagship characters.

    For example, Invincible is sweeeeeeeet.

    Inquisitor on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    Superhero books featuring new characters and creator-owned characters are generally free from the constraints that prohibit change in flagship characters.

    For example, Invincible is sweeeeeeeet.

    Except for when the panels are crammed with expository dialogue or teenagers sharing their feelings for one another.

    Hooraydiation on
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