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Dargonxtc



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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 11:05 am Reply with quote
So that last example at the bottom from the frenchy is now called manga? I think more appropriate is whimsical pictures of photography.
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The Xenos



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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 12:10 pm Reply with quote
Gosh dammit. As I've said before, this labeling of American made comics as simply manga is nothing more than marketing bullcrap.

Stu Levy can take his buzz words and interpretations and shove them up his butt. The guy comes across as a scam artist. He's all for calling American books 'manga' and hijacking the popular term for his own uses because he's the one in control of a major manga company. He has hijacked the comic book industry in this country and if you want to work in its newly found mainstream popularity, it seems you have to call your American made comics by a Japnese name.

Levy hasn't discovered manga. The guy just found the right format that gained his company heavy distribution in major book chains. Then huge markets, like teenage girls discovering shojo, caught onto this and it suddenly and finally became mainstream. He found a CHEAP way to get manga to an audience that would like it.

This Levy now has a monopoly on comic books in American and demands they be called manga? Should he have the power to define what manga is? Because I sure the hell know of many Japanese artists, including some favorites from Tokyopop which really don't look anything like the American books he's calling manga.

Also, let's not even get into how imporetant parts of the Japanese manga world like doujinshi amateur comics or manga anthology magazines aren't even being considered or that what he's selling is just the collected editions called takubon. You these many apects of the Japanese artform by Tokyopop's whitewashing and Americanizing of the term 'manga'.

Also, what about people like Paul Pope who worked for Japanese publishers on manga as well as American works. Would you call his wonderful 100% or current Batman Year 100 book from DC manga? The late Seth Fisher, mentioned in the article, is another example.

Let's not forget Range Murata's full color anthology by various manga artits. By Stu Levy's deinfition it doesn't seem to be manga, but by the (in my option) inteligent traditional definition of comics made in Japan, it is.

Hell, on the back of the wonderful East Coast Rising by Becky Cloonan, Tokyopop have the damn nerve to point out she was nominated for an Eisner award. What their little marketing gimmick fails to point out is that it was for an American comic book, which is what the Eisners are for. Though they have a category for imports and translated reprints from Japan and Europse and other countries. That Tokyopop uses Will Eisner's name on the back of their book while ignoring his entire legacy in American comics by dubbing everything as 'manga' sickens me. To me, I hold both the history of Eisner and Tezuka, both Japanese and American comics tradition, with equal revereance. Tokyopop is just jumping on the 'manga' bandwagon because it's a buzzword and helps them sell more books.

PLEASE, PEOPLE! Don't be sucked in by this guy's ignorant marketing scam campain redefining words and his attempt to control a market. This "Let's call everything we make manga!" is such a scam. It tricks retailers and new fans who don't know any better, who are ignoant to the history of both Japanese and American comics.

Heh. My roomate just mad a hilarious and brinlliant comment. The only way they could be sneakier would be to rename all these American creators with Japanese names or aliases.
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Dargonxtc



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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 12:37 pm Reply with quote
The Xenos wrote:
Heh. My roomate just mad a hilarious and brinlliant comment. The only way they could be sneakier would be to rename all these American creators with Japanese names or aliases.


Hilarious? Yes. Scary? Yes. Would I put it past them? No.


In fact I think something like assigning handles to better represent the manga image, has probably been in this dingleberrys brain many times.
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gingercrush



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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 5:01 pm Reply with quote
It doesn't help that magazines such as NEO in Great Britain proudly supporting the reviewing of such manga influenced works. And holding manga competitions when the last one didn't look very manga-like.

And to top it off in Issue 018 they had an article about some animation company that is calling their works anime. When any look at the screenshots, they just don't look at all anime.

Anime influenced is fine. But otherwise just leave it alone.
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minakichan



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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 5:44 pm Reply with quote
The Xenos:

Because the article addresses world "manga," not just American, I'd like to make this point.

OK, your comment solely attacks Western incarnations of "manga." What about Korean and Chinese works, many of which not only look and read exactly the same as manga (I can't tell the difference for some), but many of which are actually superior to Japanese manga? The creators mostly grew up on Japanese manga with little or no outside influence, so writing their own comics in a similar style is second nature. They use the word "manga" sometimes because that's all they know comics as. These works are good enough to be accepted by not only the "otaku" community, but also Asians and Japanese audiences themselves.

I can understand where you're coming from when you attack Levy; after all, most "American" manga today doesn't look, read, or feel a thing like the Japanese counterpart. But when there literally are no differences aside from languages and names (and orientation, in the case of the Koreans), can you really make a distinction? If and when American comics can match Chinese and Koreans with the similarity to Japanese, and if and when they are created not by seasoned DC veterans, but young people who have grown up on Japanese manga the way that the Japanese have, and are interested only in drawing manga, not making a profit (because profit and manga, which barely coexist in Japan, has practically no chance in the States), can you still draw that line so deeply?

And this time may be coming soon. Though America is far behind in the game, other European countries in which manga is far more popular (i.e. France, Germany) are catching up; there are some creations by German artists' (who are almost solely manga-influenced) that, though lacking quality, are almost indistinguishable to many of the more inferior Japanese comics (Yonen Buzz comes to mind). What then?
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red stranger



Joined: 26 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 8:08 pm Reply with quote
Oh, god this stupid argument again. Look, it's really simple:

Bollywood movies come from India
Britcoms come from the UK
CanCon comes from Canada
Manga & Anime come from Japan

Do you have that clear?

The word "manga" doesn't have anything to do with quality. It doesn't even have anything to do with art style or content. To believe such a thing is to buy into companies like Tokyopop's PR.
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Nagisa
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 8:39 pm Reply with quote
red stranger wrote:
Oh, god this stupid argument again. Look, it's really simple:

Bollywood movies come from India
Britcoms come from the UK
CanCon comes from Canada
Manga & Anime come from Japan

Do you have that clear?

The word "manga" doesn't have anything to do with quality. It doesn't even have anything to do with art style or content. To believe such a thing is to buy into companies like Tokyopop's PR.


For today, you are my favourite internet person. I couldn't have said it better myself.
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minakichan



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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 9:23 pm Reply with quote
I know, this argument is overdone. -_- But synthesis has never been a quick process.

Of course not. There's crappy Japanese manga and there are crappy American comics.

If we're going to talk definitions, that's totally different. When I use the word manga, I refer to the one of three general comic strains in the world (being "American" brand, "European" brand, and "Japanese" brand) as defined in Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. It has nothing to do with the work's nation of origin, but rather the style and trend's national origin. If you like, I can refer to the style itself as the "non-American brand/non-European brand" strain, or I could label them arbitrarily by colors or something. You really can't say that Ragnarok or certain others' works can belong to the "European" and "American" brands. Similarly, many American-made comics tend to lean more toward the "Japanese" brand, though most are more of hybrids. Japanese have written American brand manga and Americans have written European brand manga without anyone screaming bloody murder, so why can't others write Japanese brand (again, style, not nationality)?

Also, ever noticed that this argument comes more from Western manga purists than from the Japanese themselves?

As for your claim that I've fallen to TP's PR, well, let's just say this: In China, Taiwan and Korea, most call comics in general by the Chinese/Korean word for comics, but the "Japanese style," even if written by a local creator, is often called "manga." (yes, Japanese pronounciation!) Since this is something I've known as a child, before I knew that TP even existed, I can't say your accusation is correct.

If you really want to start a definition war, then we'll just say that the word "manga" means comics, not Japanese comics, so manga can come from anywhere. Or that since the word "anime" is derived from the English word "animation," then anime really comes from the States.
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hikaru004



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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 12:06 am Reply with quote
Personally, I think a semantics battle deters from a good discussion. Referring to the ever present ANN lexicon,
here are the definitions for anime, manga, manhwa/man hua, and world manga.
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Swissman



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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 3:56 am Reply with quote
minakichan wrote:
And this time may be coming soon. Though America is far behind in the game, other European countries in which manga is far more popular (i.e. France, Germany) are catching up; there are some creations by German artists' (who are almost solely manga-influenced) that, though lacking quality, are almost indistinguishable to many of the more inferior Japanese comics (Yonen Buzz comes to mind). What then?

From what I've seen and read of Yonen Buzz, it probably would have made a decent doujinshi for Comiket but never would have been published as a work of a pro in Japan.
I can't really explain the reasons for it, but somehow it just doesn't feel japanese to me. There seems to be too much focus on angsty feelings of teenagers and too little "real" story value with "lessons for life" which are common for professional manga published in Japan. In my opinion, the artwork isn't great or distinctive either. It's heavily influenced by BL manga and bishounen anime stable like Sayuki, and it has some common mistakes for non-professional artists, like drawing characters from the same angle more than once on the same page.
In short: I somehow can distinguish this comic from professional shoujo stuff coming from Japan.

As for the semantics game, I always have considered "manga" as sequential art drawn by japanese for the japanese (readers) market. This helps me a lot because it doesn't limit "manga" to any particular drawing style ("anime" style comes to mind, the style most often emulated in western countries by young non-professional artists) or to a particular narration style, nor does it exclude the demands of the japanese readership, the cultural traditions as its roots and the economical aspect of creating sequential art in Japan. [/i]
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minakichan



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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 8:50 am Reply with quote
I'll use an argument from the other side for this one:

"Manga" does not equal quality. Additionally, you may be used to reading the professional shoujo manga that gets released in America, which is (usually) much higher quality than the average manga; as such, you might not realize that outside of those "great" and "OK" manga, there are PLENTY of terribly mediocre published manga (usually small titles with small magazines) out there, many of which are (and not even intentionally) inferior to, say Yonen Buzz.

I won't argue that Yonen Buzz is "inferior" as manga goes, but it is reaching a quality level that many American manga and such can't reach, and a level that surpasses many of the Japanese manga out there.

Additionally, if you define manga as such, then I can't argue with you. I'm debating manga in terms of the style, not origin, so I'd definitely agree with you--that an American cannot magically become a Japanese. A debate is no good without the same parameters. Example, your definition means that Japanese Spiderman is manga, and that's not what I'm talking about. Your definition is perfectly fine, but isn't apart of the argument i'm in, if that makes any sense (sorry for being so uneloquent).
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mufurc



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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 8:56 am Reply with quote
minakichan wrote:
Also, ever noticed that this argument comes more from Western manga purists than from the Japanese themselves?

That's because Japanese fans couldn't care less and publishers will like any expression that makes their publications more popular in their shiny new market.

minakichan wrote:
Or that since the word "anime" is derived from the English word "animation," then anime really comes from the States.

...more like England, no? Rolling Eyes (Or even France, or Rome...)

Also, many people seem to think that manga is defined by the way it's drawn (this is the aspect of calling non-Japanese works "manga" that I dislike the most), conveniently ignoring the fact that there's no general "manga style." Emulating the style of one certain artist or subgenre (as in Yonen Buzz's case) doesn't make something manga. It makes it manga-influenced comics, at the very best.

As Swissman said, even if the art is the same, these comics can be easily distinguished from comics made in Japan. I myself think the difference is mostly a cultural one and that can't be easily emulated. Cultural traditions are part of what makes manga "manga", comics "comics", etc. The words may share the same meaning, but they don't refer to the same thing. (I hope I'm being clear here...)

I can't say I've read all foreign "manga," but I've seen my share of it - some were bad, some were decent, some were good, but it always bothered me how they all strived to be "manga," tried to emulate styles, tropes and cliches. Not just OEL - I can say the same about manhwa, etc. Frankly, most of them feel just too self-conscious. I think the artists would be better off (much better) if they weren't trying to draw "manga" but just drew comics.
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Zac
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 11:49 am Reply with quote
The Xenos wrote:

This Levy now has a monopoly on comic books in America


Whoa, someone better tell Marvel, DC and Viz about this!


You are aware that Viz books dominate bookscan almost completely and that none of Tokyopop's "global manga" titles have been consistant or even good sellers? How is that a "monopoly"? TP has one or two hit titles, that's it.
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The Xenos



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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 1:17 pm Reply with quote
Thank God Viz has stuff like Shonen Jump to compete with Tokyopop. They're like the new Marvel and DC. Of course, I argue that people shouldn't pay attention to only Marvel and DC and their style of comics (which seems to be mostly mega crossover superheros), so why would I be any different here.

Levy doesn't have a total monopoly, thankfully, but he certainly wants to edge out competition by redefining 'manga'. He's got the attention of mainstream fans and the media. Now he's using that to redefine a term and get tons of great books and puiblishers ignored.

minakichan wrote:
TOK, your comment solely attacks Western incarnations of "manga." What about Korean and Chinese works, many of which not only look and read exactly the same as manga (I can't tell the difference for some), but many of which are actually superior to Japanese manga? The creators mostly grew up on Japanese manga with little or no outside influence, so writing their own comics in a similar style is second nature. They use the word "manga" sometimes because that's all they know comics as. These works are good enough to be accepted by not only the "otaku" community, but also Asians and Japanese audiences themselves.


Koreans call their work 'Mahwa' and there's also a word for Chinese comics. I would want those terms to be used. Are we that simple that we can't deal with multiple terms? I'm sure Korea would want their national word used, not Japan's. I am very proud and happy for the strong market and work of comics in Japan, but they should not automatically be put on a pedestal. By Tokyopop insisting on the word 'manga' all the time, I think they are.

Go over to Korea, or (Lord help you) China, and call their work and industry Japanese. I think they'd smack you upside the head, because you should realize how insulting to nationality that is.

How insulting do you think it is to American comics creators when they hear all these idiot kids talking about making manga? It's damned instulting here too. You're ignoring decades of work by hundreds of artists just to jump on the newest trend.

Quote:

I can understand where you're coming from when you attack Levy; after all, most "American" manga today doesn't look, read, or feel a thing like the Japanese counterpart. But when there literally are no differences aside from languages and names (and orientation, in the case of the Koreans), can you really make a distinction? If and when American comics can match Chinese and Koreans with the similarity to Japanese, and if and when they are created not by seasoned DC veterans, but young people who have grown up on Japanese manga the way that the Japanese have, and are interested only in drawing manga, not making a profit (because profit and manga, which barely coexist in Japan, has practically no chance in the States), can you still draw that line so deeply?


Um... yeah... they are being created by young people who grew up on manga. Also, they're not drawing manga, dammit. They're making comics. Manga is the word for Japanese comics, get that into your damn head. You keep totally missing this point. There is NO SUCH THING AS AMERICAN MANGA. You are already assuming this and that you and Tokyopop have won your argument with your misdefined word. Don't get ahead of yourself.

Check out Oni Press, stuff like Blue Monday. It's a comic book inflienced heavily by Rumiko Takahasi.

Frank Miller's Ronin is inspired by manga, manga from the 70s that looks nothing like anything Stu Levy is marketing. You wanna tell Frank Miller he's making manga? He'd punch you in your face knowing him and tell tell you to go read his damn 'comic book' because you're in America.

There are many companies making American comic books, and I'm not talking about Marvel and DC. Stu Levy would like people to just ignore these (or rather ignore them more and never have them noticed) and just pay attention to his invented magical world of manga from both Japan and America as well as other countries that simply doesn't exist.

Also, why should America "match Chinese and Koreans with the similarity to Japanese"? Why should China and Korea? Is Japan superior? Get out of your Japan worshiping dream world, pal. Look around your own country or others. I like Japan and Japanese comics, but I reconize there's a whole other world besides them. Go outside and take a walk in your country own for your sake and ours.

Also, you're making a self fulfiling prophecy in you're saying it has no chance in the States. Actually, your wording is confusing. I'm not sure what you're saying doesn't have a chance. Not calling it manga or calling it manga?

Quote:

And this time may be coming soon. Though America is far behind in the game, other European countries in which manga is far more popular (i.e. France, Germany) are catching up; there are some creations by German artists' (who are almost solely manga-influenced) that, though lacking quality, are almost indistinguishable to many of the more inferior Japanese comics (Yonen Buzz comes to mind). What then?


Again. Why call it manga? Why conform to Japanese standards? It's from Germany? It's manga influenced, but why use a Japanese term. Shouldn't people be proud of their own natonal and artistic heritage?

Also, there's a long history of comics in Europe without Japanese heavy influence too. Stop ignoring it. Right now, every country is influence every other. I know of Japanese comics influenced by European ones too yet I call them manga. In particular I'm thinking of Blame! whose art I think was influenced by Moebius. Also, I'm pretty sure Berserk was influenced by German artist MC Escher. The mangaka tosses in some awesome homages.

Wake up, you Japan-o-holics. If you really want to make manga that much GO TO FREAKING JAPAN! I know a number of great artists who have. Paul Pope, as I said, comes to mind. He worked for a publisher in Japan and made manga.

You know, why does this even have to be manga influcenced? Oh yeah, manga is a cheap form of comics from Japan, for good or bad, and bookstores and consumers would rather buy them. I'm just annoyed when people just assume this artform of words and images has to be done one certain way. Why does Stu Levy get to dictate this?

Draw how ever you want to. Find a Japanese artist you like, a specific one or an American or a French. Again, even the idea that all manga has one style is a damned marketing LIE.

Also, you ignored how I pointed out that Tokyopop is only selling the takubon (collected) form of manga, and no other form. If Tokyopop was really interested in "100% authentic manga" as their marketing gimmick claims, then they'd be releasing it in weekly or monthly anthologies printed on cheap paper.

Also, let's see how Marvel's Halo hardcover comic book does. It has Japanese, European and American artists working on it.

Also, let's not forget the name for one of the largest Japanese manga and doujin fesivals, Comiket or Comic Market.
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Swissman



Joined: 11 May 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:01 am Reply with quote
minakichan wrote:
"Manga" does not equal quality. Additionally, you may be used to reading the professional shoujo manga that gets released in America, which is (usually) much higher quality than the average manga; as such, you might not realize that outside of those "great" and "OK" manga, there are PLENTY of terribly mediocre published manga (usually small titles with small magazines) out there, many of which are (and not even intentionally) inferior to, say Yonen Buzz.

I'm used to a lot of "manga", good and crappy ones. I know there are a lot of .... let's say more "bizarre" shoujo manga out there which wouldn't win an award for most overwhelming and exquisite art-work ;)
For example, I own a funny shoujo series from the mid-eighties called Otousan ha Shimpaishou. See here for a small example of it's art.

I wasn't objectioning to your comparison between "american manga" and a title like Yonen Buzz, but rather to your claim that the title in question, Yonen Buzz, would be almost indistinguishable from (inferior) japanese manga per se. If you look closely, you'll discover many details which betrays it's non-japanese origin.

I also can't agree about it's quality level surpassing many japanese manga out there because, even when many japanese (shoujo) manga seem to have crappy artwork or bad stories on first glance, they still have been created by professionals for the biggest comic market of the world with it's market standarts (weekly to monthly magazines; adapting to readers tastes and so on), whereas – strictly my opinion – I'd call a "manga" like Yonen Buzz a rather well-made amateur comic which is inspired by a certain type of anime and manga genre and which mostly appeals to a fanbase accustomed to a small fraction of the real diversity of comics in Japan.

Still, I think a title like Yonen Buzz tries too hard to imitate and to be indistinguishable from what the autor and the fanbase believes to be "manga" and likes from japanese (bishounen/boys love) manga, instead of striving for it's own art/narration style and content. It's the first step of creating comics which Scott McCloud has described in chapter 7 of his book "understanding comics". But then again, I've got to admit that Yonen Buzz is definitely one of the better "manga lookalike"-amateur comics out there.

Sorry for this Off Topic.

Quote:
Additionally, if you define manga as such, then I can't argue with you. I'm debating manga in terms of the style, not origin, so I'd definitely agree with you--that an American cannot magically become a Japanese. A debate is no good without the same parameters. Example, your definition means that Japanese Spiderman is manga, and that's not what I'm talking about. Your definition is perfectly fine, but isn't apart of the argument i'm in, if that makes any sense (sorry for being so uneloquent).

No problem, I'm not really eloquent in english either (german is my first language).

You guessed right. I don't define "manga" by a certain art style or even by a certain narration style. I rather define it by the origin (culture and history) and the targeted readership, as well as by market requirements.
There are just plenty more of (drawing/narration) styles within the medium of japanese comics as what many manga and anime fans believe to be "manga" outside of Japan. Take advantgarde comics from the now extinct GARO magazine as example. They usually don't have artwork which appeals to manga/anime fans outside Japan or which would be called "manga", as they ressemble more to european autor comics in general. Nevertheless, they are "manga". They' re part of the history of comics in Japan and can't be neglected when playing the definition game of what makes "manga".
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