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"Do you read Western comics?"


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Do you read Western comics?
No/Never, I don't even read manga (only watch anime)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
No/Never, I only read manga
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
Rarely/Once in a Blue Moon
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
Every once in a while
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
No, but I do read Western webcomics
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
Yes, but only for American cartoons I watch (ex MLP:FiM, Adventure Time, Avatar, etc)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Yes, often, only superhero comics though
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Yes, often, only non-superhero comics though
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
Yes, often, both superhero and non-superhero
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 9

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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1698
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:22 am Reply with quote
nobahn wrote:
Jose Cruz wrote:
My post was a reaction to the ignorant generalizations made in regards to manga.


OK, I'll bite: Where have you read such generalizations?


Parachomp made a very strong and nonsensical generalization.

Anyway, its pretty stupid to even compare Japanese comics with comics from a Western country. Simply because Japanese comics are well, enormously more developed as a medium and a cultural artifact than in western countries: Japanese culture has been enormously more affected by comics than Western culture: according to Miyazaki, even Japanese live action film today is heavily influenced by the aesthetics of manga, which had become the cornerstone of modern Japanese culture. Japanese intellectuals even defend comics on the grounds of it being an inherent Japanese medium as opposed to the Western mediums of live action film and novels.

To even get an idea of the difference in size between Japanese comics and Western is that the number of pages of comics sold per capita in Japan in the 1990's (before the internet biased any statistics of sales) was about a thousand times greater than in the US. Yes, one thousand times since each Japanese manga magazine is about 20-40 times the size of an American comic book and per capita sales of manga magazines in Japan were about 40 times higher than comic book sales in the US.

In terms of scale, comparing Japanese comics to comics from the US is like comparing the literature of Europe with the literature of Guatemala. Obviously, the variety of European literature is much greater than Guatemala due to simply the difference in scale, also one would expect many more masterpieces to exist in European literature than in Guatemala's literature just as a reflection of scale.

Now, because comics are enormously more developed in Japan than in any Western country, the quality of its art and the level of refinement in the comic language is much greater in Japanese comics. For example, the high level of stylization achieved in manga is a consequence of its maturity and complexity as a medium while US comics are still obsessed with reproducing photographic realism, which I think is a symptom of comics being still a marginal niche in the west relative to more developed mediums in western culture like live action film.

Also the dynamism of manga that I talked about before is the following: when reading manga I noticed that the transition from panel to panel occurs in much more natural and harmonious way than in western comics. My reading of manga usually flows while in western comics its a more discontinuous and slower reading, even when the volume of text in the pages is similar. I guess this is because manga artists have refined the language of comics to a much greater extent and they slow down the speed in which they tell a story, taking more pages to tell a similar narrative, allowing for greater immersion.

Summing up, to say that Japan leads the world in comics is a severe understatement. Japan is the only country in the world that has developed comics to their potential as an artistic medium. The quality of the art and wrtiting in Japanese animation is just a reflection of the art in Japanese comics. Japanese animation is also much more developed and influenced by comics than Western animation, both facts are due to the enormous impact of comics in Japanese culture

Although, due to the expansion of comics across East Asia from the Japanese epicenter, in the near future its possible that other countries might have developed comics to the same degree as Japan. Japan has a Nobel prize for foreign comics that they award every year and 90% of the awards so far have been in neighboring Asian countries while only a couple of Western countries got awarded.
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:35 am Reply with quote
@Jose Cruz

You are still dealing in vague generalities. Regardless of their relative size both industries are too large to characterize all of either with single pronouncements. Just as Shonen Jump does not represent all of manga, DC and Marvel do not represent all of US comics. At this point you haven't even told us just what US comics you are comparing to what manga.

Quote:
I read newspaper comic strips. As well as webcomics, recently I read Watchmen as well, pretty great comic that one.


Newspaper comics are a separate industry in the US. They have different outlets and are distributed differently. It is in fact a dying industry as the newspapers they appear in are dying. Webcomics are by definition outside the comic book industry, they are created by people who cannot, or prefer to not be published traditionally. "Watchmen" is, well, thirty years old. This is a fairly slim sample on which to base sweeping generalizations.

ParaChomp was wrong in attempting to characterize all of US comics and all of manga in a couple of brief sentences, however, where does that leave you? You are still trying to imply that all of US comics and all of manga can be thrown in separate piles and compared. You are just using a lot more words.

Sure the size of the Japanese industry is much larger, and manga has much more cultural influence. However, what does that have to do with either the diversity or quality of individual series? Both countries have bestselling series that are riddled with clichés. Both have artists that are good, some that are bad and some that are downright ugly. The thing about the art work is that it is hard to get people to agree on what is good and what is bad.

I personally prefer manga. However, I have the good sense to know that I'm seeing a distorted view of the Japanese industry since I'm limited to what is translated into English. Even with that limitation, I know there is enough diversity too make it impossible to say it is all good or all bad. The same can be said of the US comic industry. The main difference is that I can see most of what is available and what is most popular.

The question here was "Do you read Western Comics" not "Which is better". I feel the first has an answer, the second does not.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1698
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:33 pm Reply with quote
Ok. I was being too "competitive" in my statements, its a tendency I have. Still I never said manga was "better" than comics from a Western country (like the US). It just happens to be a fact that comics are much more developed artform in Japan than anywhere else.

I do indeed believe that it's generally true that manga tends to be more stylized and Western drama comics attempt to be more realistic and that manga is more imersive because the way the narrative is told using the panels and the art tends to be of higher standards of quality. These are generalizations that I believe are true in most cases and I don't think they are hard to understand.
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:33 pm Reply with quote
Since what you are saying now comes down to a matter of your personal opinion, I'll let it ride.

My take is that it is wrong to try to use generalizations to compare the output of Japan to any other country. Further, it serves no useful purpose. Any series from any country should be judged on its own merits and the personal preferences of the reader.

Generalizations don't tell you anything about the individual series. After all, you can only read one series at a time.
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Psycho 101
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:38 pm Reply with quote
Jose Cruz wrote:

I do indeed believe that it's generally true that manga tends to be more stylized and Western drama comics attempt to be more realistic and that manga is more imersive because the way the narrative is told using the panels and the art tends to be of higher standards of quality. These are generalizations that I believe are true in most cases and I don't think they are hard to understand.

I would once again disagree. As Alan said though since you're stating this as a matter of opinion rather than fact I won't tear into it. I will simply say, as I said before, I think you're painting an idea of American comics with a wide brush just like those people who judge all of anime or manga by a handful of shonen jump shows. Or the people who judge all visual novels or light novels based on the handful of popular titles they may have seen. It's not fair nor adequate. I fully admit there are some badly drawn western comics with bland stories, cliche characters, and tired overdone cliche's. Just as the manga industry has such titles as well.

As far as immersion goes and the way the art itself is portrayed, as in the panel slides manga uses vs western "traditional" style, that's totally a personal preference so you're entitled to that. As the song goes some like it hot and some sweat when the heat is on. I again simply think if you really delved into the American comic book industry and got past the surface you'd see you are wayyyy off base and there is a vast range of stories, art styles, and depth that you won't see just starring at the fish that come to the surface.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1698
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:57 pm Reply with quote
Well, I read Sandman, the several different stories by many authors in the Matrix Comics, Watchmen, a relatively recent version of Seven Soldiers of Victory (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Soldiers), besides dozens of artists who worked for magazines, newspapers, webcomics and amateur stuff in sites like DeviantArt, are among the English language titles I read. I notice that only among the stuff I know that there is indeed great variety in English language comics and it's a medium that is more developed and complex than English language animation (not much of a great feat though).

None of these, however, attain the same degree of refinement of the art of comic storytelling and sheer entertainment factor as mainstream shounen mangas like Assassination Classroom and Food Wars. It's very apparent to me the difference in development of the artform, a difference that reminds me of the difference in the quality of the cinematography and refinement between Brazilian movies and Hollywood movies. The wide utilization of the distortions of space and time in manga to communicate emotions, something that is not widely developed in western comics, testify to the high level of development of the comics language achieved in Japan.

Of course, a masterpiece does not need to be "refined" in that sense and incorporate the latest aesthetic developments of manga. Mangas like Nausicaa and Lone Wolf and Cub are not as refined as modern mainstream mangas or even current niche mangas as well, but they are my top 2 favorite comics of all time. I found Watchmen to be also a great comic anx a powerful experience despite its relatively underdeveloped use of the comics language.

I feel that English language comics and western comics in general are more literary while Japanese, Korean and Chinese comics are more cinematic. I think that English language comic artists should learn more about manga and incorporate more Japanese influence in their work (there is already some manga influence that I felt between Watchmen from 1986 and Seven Soldiers from 2005, but still it's much smaller than the degree of Manga influence over Chinese, Korean or Brazilian comics).
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Spastic Minnow
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Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 3969
Location: Central Florida
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:06 am Reply with quote
The new development for me is that I signed up for DC Universe last year. I did it almost exclusively for reading their curated comics collections. The problem with it being that they don't make many Vertigo titles available. No Sandman, No (Vertigo's) Hellblazer, No Transmetropolitan, Preacher, Y the Last Man, etc. and what I'd really like to see is some of the new Sandman related comics they've been trying to use as a springboard to get the imprint off the ground again. But, it is a family friendly platform- so I guess it is to be expected. Still annoying.
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:46 am Reply with quote
@Spastic Minnow

I assume you are talking about an online site, since the trades of the Vertigo titles are readily available. I think I would call the DC Universe "teen friendly" instead of family friendly as there are very few DC titles intended for pre-teens.

I'm fairly sure that when they created the Vertigo label back in the late 1980s it was with the intention of making a hard distinction between their traditional titles and such things as Sandman and Swampthing. The new Sandman Universe titles seem to be doing OK. All four of the original titles have produced a couple of trades and they have recently added a version of Hellblazer as a fifth title. Their attempt to restart the Wildstorm Universe appears to have died. The Wildstorm title has ended with 24 issues and four trades. A new version of Wildcats that was to follow has been cancelled.
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Spastic Minnow
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Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 3969
Location: Central Florida
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:30 am Reply with quote
Yes, an Online service. https://www.dcuniverse.com/join/ A Yearly price ($75, and I got an extra 6 months because I pre-ordered). You get a "curated" collection of 20k comics or so to read online or through an app, with a limited ability to download. You also get all of their TV shows that were made exclusively for the service (Teen Titans, Outsiders, Doom Patrol, etc.) and a smaller but significant amount of the wider DC movies, shows, and cartoons.

I think they've maybe put a very few Vertigo titles on but they've mainly avoided "Mature Title" comics... I do think I've seen Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters on there though- and that was definitely "mature" with GA going after a prostitute killer, Black Canary being captured and tortured (and GA straight up killing the torturer when he discovers her). The classic 80's post-DK "mature" graphic novel of sex and violence.

I've actually really dropped off since getting on a manga kick- and I find it more effective to read a paper hardcover than a glowing screen before going to sleep, so I probably won't renew at the end of my term. Plus, since being bought by AT&T, there are rumors they may want to fold it into another streaming service... Because, Oh God, AT&T really has no idea what they're doing with their streaming programs
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