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NEWS: Tokyopop To Move Away from OEL and World Manga Labels


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JTtheBrick



Joined: 21 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 2:48 pm Reply with quote
Well now that should atleast make everyone happy.
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 2:54 pm Reply with quote
Not quite. Smile

I strongly disapprove of Tokyopop's (highly effective) marketing technique of convincing non-Japanese creators that if they draw their comicbook in a certain fashion, then they can proclaim themselves a creator of "manga." Certainly, I understand why they did it. Not only does it sell a dream to their fanbase that they too can be a "manga" artist if they just learn to mimic the visual conventions of your average shonen and shojo title--certainly none of these "global manga" titles have art styles bearing similarities to say, Golgo 13--without necessarily adapting any of the underlying elements, it allows them to apply the marketable "manga" buzzword to a variety of other titles that may look similar to manga to the uninitiated (read: retailers) but actually are not. Why would they do that? Well, it's far cheaper to release those other titles than it is to actually license and localize real manga. Plus, they own the "manga style" comics lock, stock, and barrel.

Tokyopop and the other like-minded publishers (such as the various parties behind the barrage of different "How to Draw Manga" books), may have successfully convinced people that "manga" actually means "big eyes, sweatdrops, and speed lines," and folks can vehemently argue for the "evolution of the word" to their heart's desire, but I still say that the only way for "manga" to be a useful word among the English-speaking anime fan vernacular is for it to denote "Japanese comicbooks," end of story. Of course, the would-be "global manga" artist might want to say "but what MAKES a comicbook Japanese?" I personally consider a comicbook to be "Japanese" if it is first and foremost targeted towards a Japanese audience. The original language would therefore be Japanese and the creative forces behind it would almost assuredly also be Japanese. That's my criteria for being a "Japanese comicbook," or "manga." Nothing complex, no "but what about THIS?" cases. There is already a perfectly established and acceptable term for what Tokyopop is now calling "global manga."

"Comicbooks."


Practically a dirty word, particularly to retailers looking to stock shelves with something that sells (which "comicbooks" do not), but honestly folks, that's what "non-English language manga" is. This "Ameri-/Original English Language/World/Global" shell game needs to be recognized by fans for what it is: marketing hype targeted towards people who don't know any better.

We're smarter than that. Aren't we?

burzmali wrote:
Graphic Novel may be more correct in some cases, as comicbook suggests something fluffier than many manga artists aspire to.


Perhaps. I always find it amusing when comicbook fans fire off the "it's not a comicbook, it's a GRAPHIC NOVEL!" defense, particularly since I have certainly never encountered any US fans to date that get belligerent and say "it's not manga, it's GEKIGA!"


Last edited by Anime World Order on Fri May 05, 2006 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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burzmali



Joined: 21 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:05 pm Reply with quote
Graphic Novel may be more correct in some cases, as comicbook suggests something fluffier than many manga artists aspire to.
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Dargonxtc



Joined: 13 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:11 pm Reply with quote
Whats the difference between World Manga and Global manga. To me they seem the same. What is so offensive about world that they have to go with global?
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:14 pm Reply with quote
Different label, same declining sales. Laughing
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stagedive_25



Joined: 20 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:17 pm Reply with quote
You and other old-school otakus need to get over this "non-Japanese" comic bias. Accept the fact that you're biased to anything not Japanese.

Manga has evolved into a new level artform. It's not contained within Japan anymore and IT WILL NEVER BE! To many creators, publishers, and companies from across the globe work together to create manga properties.

Is it OLE if it's written by an American and a Japanese artist pencils it? Is it Japanese manga if it drawn by a Korean or Filipino artist and written by a Japanese creator? Or how about if a Chinese artists schooled in the Japanese style of manga artistry and story telling gets his work published for the Chinese market?

There happen to be American artists who lived in Japan for years and are apprentices for mangakas. So they come back to America, develop a manga, and you guys rip it to shreds just because they are't Japanese.

Point is that people don't call their work manga because of the big eyes. Manga has a distinct style of storytelling as opposed to American and European style. That makes a manga... well manga (to be nice call it OLE, manhwa, and the term the Chinese call their manga).

Rock and Hip Hop was created in American. Both music genres has evolved globally. No one negates or dissassociates J-Hip Hop or J-Rock from American stuff. Same goes for Spanish Rock.

Get out of your xenophobic bias and accept the fact that the artistry has evolved globally... this can inspire you to produce your own manga one day.
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JTtheBrick



Joined: 21 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:18 pm Reply with quote
Dargonxtc wrote:
Whats the difference between World Manga and Global manga. To me they seem the same. What is so offensive about world that they have to go with global?


I suppose "World" means the entire, while "Global" would be positional?
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jmays
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:19 pm Reply with quote
Finally. OEL is fine shorthand for reviews, but as an "official" category label, it's terribly thick and pretentious.
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The Xenos



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:22 pm Reply with quote
So, TokyoPop is calling their non-Japanese books 'Global Manga'. Cute. As they are collected in a novel size book, I think graphic novel does sound much better.

I too am still not happy with using the term manga. Manga means Japanese comics. Global manga? I guess if a Japanese book was published around the world the term fits or if a Japanese creator worked with someone in another country. A comic book from German is not manga. A comic book / graphic novel by Becky Cloonan, while awesome, is not manga.

Right now, I still see Tokyopop and other using the term manga against its defintition just to get more sales. It's a cheap marketing gimmick that often works. It also hurts the entire industry when, really, we need to get people to accept comics from all over the world and not try to waste time defining them.

I think pretty soon, the term manga or even comics will be rendered meaningless. Collaberation and readership between nations is happening an an amazing pace. Hell, what the hell do you do with some web comics out there. It's crazy and amazing.

I reread bits of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics again the other day. I suggest it for anyone interest in reading or creating comics, Japanese or otherwise. He says there's no real clear definition of what a comic book is. I think one of the best terms for them, one coined by Will Eisner, is sequential art. Within that you ahve the graaphic novel, all in one book, and the comic book, released in serial format.

So, I think this insitance on using the term manga is a joke.

Well, at least they're still not impoperly using ther term yaoi or using the questionable term otaku just to garner cheap marketing buzz. Oh.. wait..

Um.. Reaganomics!

-Xenos
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Patachu
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:35 pm Reply with quote
Before anyone starts on this again:



I think this field of discussion needs to go under the same moratorium as "sub vs dub" and "is downloading illegal."

I don't go for the "let's just call it comics / it's all comics / manga is comics / blah blah blah kitty eczema COMICS" argument because that's a cheap semantic bazooka that says I refuse to participate in your culture of word games. If you don't wanna play the word game, then fine, don't play, but please don't badger the other players. Imagine a world where you could only say you enjoyed "music" but weren't allowed to differentiate between rock, classical, jazz, punk, etc. That's why some people do like to separate comics into manga/superhero/indy/pumpkin pie/whatevar.

And a spade is still a spade.

Also: The real history of the birth of Global. "Marketing gimmick" my ass.


Last edited by Patachu on Fri May 05, 2006 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Oneiropolos



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:38 pm Reply with quote
I don't really care for the term "manga" to apply to non-Japanese works either. This is not to say that I find non-Japanese works inferior, because I bought Dramacon the first day it came out. If they really want to develop their own style of comics, then they can come up with a new word for it. I agree with those who are saying Tokyopop is just using 'manga' in order to increase sales, and I do think it's deceptive. That's like calling Korean works manga when they have their own name of manhwa.

To protest the use of the word 'manga' for non-Japanese works is not being elitist. To say all non-japanese works are inferior is. I just think they should have their own name and not use a word that has a different connotation.


Last edited by Oneiropolos on Fri May 05, 2006 4:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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minakichan



Joined: 12 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 4:00 pm Reply with quote
I've always said it like this:

The Japanese word pertaining to the comics we're talking about is "manga." Yes, this pertains to all comics, but, for example, while American comics can be called "Amecomi," the Japanese version has no counterpart.

The Korean word is "manhwa."

The Chinese word is "man hua."

The ENGLISH version of the same word, however, is "MANE-guh." Because that's how they pronounce it.

So TP should start calling their OEL "meinga!"

OK, all joking aside...

Scott McCloud traces three different threads of comics around the world: American, European, and Japanese, each generally with a loose similar style of art and more rigidly similar style of storytelling. If a Japanese creates a comics PREDOMINANTLY tracing the American style, it would be considered of an "American" comic, the term pertaining not to nation of origin, but the species itself. (Sort of like saying that an Bengal Tiger born and raised in an American zoo is... still a Bengal Tiger). If it's a "cheap knock off" manga that seems more like an American comic in story and art, then we could say it's a hybrid (read: bastard child), but if the predecessor is mostly Japanese, then that's its species.
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Patachu
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 4:02 pm Reply with quote
minakichan wrote:
Scott McCloud traces three different threads of comics around the world: American, European, and Japanese, each generally with a loose similar style of art and more rigidly similar style of storytelling. If a Japanese creates a comics PREDOMINANTLY tracing the American style, it would be considered of an "American" comic, the term pertaining not to nation of origin, but the species itself. (Sort of like saying that an Bengal Tiger born and raised in an American zoo is... still a Bengal Tiger). If it's a "cheap knock off" manga that seems more like an American comic in story and art, then we could say it's a hybrid (read: bastard child), but if the predecessor is mostly Japanese, then that's its species.


I like bastard comics. Laughing

Some very well-known art movements got their names from derogatory terminology (Impressionism; Fauvism).
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Fronzel



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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 4:06 pm Reply with quote
The real problem with OEL is that none of them are very good.
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darkhunter



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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Fronzel wrote:
The real problem with OEL is that none of them are very good.


Which one have you read? I'm assuming you've read all of them. Wink
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