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Brain Diving: Manga Futures


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tuxedocat



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 2183
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:36 am Reply with quote
I could see something like 4-panel manga working on digital readers, but the nature of needing to scroll around for more artisically dynamic pages really defeats the purpose, IMO.

One of the things I like about manga artists is how they can flow the story over an entire page, or two page spread. You have two choices on a digital reader when viewing pages like this: Too small with unreadable text, or enlarged forcing you to scroll around. There is no way to view the entire composition, with discernible text, so the intended impact is lost.

Even with a computer browser on a laptop, you have to scroll. Getting a large monitor works o.k., but that is not always convenient. So sign me up for print. I would rather look at the thing the way the author/artist intended.

Maybe some enterprising company would create a special reader that would handle comic, manga, and graphic novel pages specifically, but right now, that would probably cost as much as a iPad. Too expensive.

Yes digital is a good idea, it just needs an alternative affordable technology to make it work.
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edzieba



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 704
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:15 am Reply with quote
Quote:
As a consumer, I prefer printed manga because you can do more with it and the interface is better. If I buy a paper manga tankoubon, I can lend it out to whoever I want to, I can mark the pages, and I have complete control over what happens to the physical object. However, if I buy an electronic version of the same comic, I can't really do any of those things.
These problems fall under "stupid methods of delivery" such as awkward web-based flash apps, DRM encrusted downloads or proprietary reader software, rather than a problem with the concept of downloaded images itself.

Quote:
Maybe some enterprising company would create a special reader that would handle comic, manga, and graphic novel pages specifically, but right now, that would probably cost as much as a iPad.
The Kindle DX is pretty close. Unlike pretty much every other e-ink based reader still available (including Amazon's regular Kindle, the Nook, Sony's Librie, etc) or the apple ipad, it does have sufficient resolution to view a full unzoomed manga page and still have legible text. With any luck, the next generation of e-ink displays (and possibly similar colour displays such as electrophoretic and electrowetting displays, Mirasol, etc) will bring this resolution to smaller displays to provide a higher PPI.
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DQBunny



Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 35
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:52 am Reply with quote
I read the first issue of Hetalia on my iPad, and you get the full page there. I tried reading stuff on my iPhone, but it's just too small. The Kindle is the smallest I would give a digital manga reader, but the larger Kindle DX and the iPad are both far nicer.
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Maryohki



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 526
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:07 am Reply with quote
ngl, I'm a bit tired of seeing people say Hetalia isn't funny and use "the joke is that Italy says pasta!" from the world meeting chapter as their main example. That really isn't even what most of Hetalia's humor is like, so why is that always what's cited? Yes, it's one of the first things you see in both the anime and manga, but you see other things pretty quick in both cases.

Otherwise, excellent column, Brian! I think I'll be enjoying this one quite a bit.
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yamiangie



Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 465
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:55 am Reply with quote
Koushika had sound that's interesting. I wonder how long before motion comic catch on in japan and we get voice acting and limited motion along with music.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:21 am Reply with quote
edzieba wrote:
These problems fall under "stupid methods of delivery" such as awkward web-based flash apps, DRM encrusted downloads or proprietary reader software, rather than a problem with the concept of downloaded images itself.


And these are interacting PITA. Given an open format, web-based flash apps could be developed independent of a specific proprietor, and something better than the laughably bad UI design would fairly quickly win out.

Given an open format, people could pick their poison on reader software based on their preferences and the gear being used to read the manga.

Indeed, given an open format, a direct channel into Print on Demand for titles not available in a regular print run becomes far more viable.
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Hardgear



Joined: 27 Mar 2009
Posts: 432
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:58 am Reply with quote
Maryohki wrote:
ngl, I'm a bit tired of seeing people say Hetalia isn't funny and use "the joke is that Italy says pasta!" from the world meeting chapter as their main example. That really isn't even what most of Hetalia's humor is like, so why is that always what's cited? Yes, it's one of the first things you see in both the anime and manga, but you see other things pretty quick in both cases.


Probably because that chapter is all that is legally available for free (I think so anyway, I haven't found any others) so the droves of people who look at it to get a sample see only that.

This is a perfect example as to why they should do what movie previews do and just jam some of the best parts into a "sampler" to make you want to watch/read the whole thing. I can't think of very many movies that would seem very exciting if all you had to judge them on was their first 5 minutes.

Perhaps you would see a lot less of what Brian said if the sampler chapter was one that fans voted on as being the best?
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edzieba



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:11 am Reply with quote
Hardgear wrote:
I can't think of very many movies that would seem very exciting if all you had to judge them on was their first 5 minutes.
Never seen a James Bond movie?
agila61 wrote:
Given an open format, web-based flash apps could be developed independent of a specific proprietor, and something better than the laughably bad UI design would fairly quickly win out.

Given an open format, people could pick their poison on reader software based on their preferences and the gear being used to read the manga.

Indeed, given an open format, a direct channel into Print on Demand for titles not available in a regular print run becomes far more viable.
And the wonderful thing is, an open format already exists, and is pretty much standardised!
It's called "a zip full of numbered images".
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Hardgear



Joined: 27 Mar 2009
Posts: 432
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:24 pm Reply with quote
edzieba wrote:
Hardgear wrote:
I can't think of very many movies that would seem very exciting if all you had to judge them on was their first 5 minutes.
Never seen a James Bond movie?


That is precisely why I use terms like "very many" as opposed to "any". Someone out there will make it their life's goal to find the exception otherwise.
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silver_deeds



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 61
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:23 pm Reply with quote
You mean kind of like how Go! Comi did little flash previews of all their manga? I guess Del Rey and a few others have done the same thing. I like it when they do this, though. You get a good idea of what the art looks like and what to expect for a story. It's not a full on digital copy like most want but at least it can draw the interest of people just browing online. Right now that's the best I could hope for, with digital manga still in the experamental stage. For now I'll also stick with hard copies until we have a more defined digital viewing world.
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Hardgear



Joined: 27 Mar 2009
Posts: 432
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:44 pm Reply with quote
Something like that, or even if the sample chapter were not just the first chapter in the series, but one of the ones ranked the best. The purpose of free samples is to convince people that they should buy your stuff so they need to put some effort into that, cause sadly most manga don't have good first chapters when compared to the rest of the series.

And that's the beauty of at least putting out free digital samples, you can look at it whether you want to buy it digitally or physically. Unless you subscribe to manga magazines there basically is no other legal way to get free samples.
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ABCBTom



Joined: 10 Sep 2009
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:42 pm Reply with quote
edzieba wrote:
These problems fall under "stupid methods of delivery" such as awkward web-based flash apps, DRM encrusted downloads or proprietary reader software, rather than a problem with the concept of downloaded images itself.


Print books don't run out of batteries, require updates, or internet connections. In a weeklong blackout, I can still read a book while a Kindle or iPad becomes a brick.

I can also stack books, drop them, throw them across the room, and while they may get bruised, their functionality remains unchanged.

While spilling water on a print book isn't pleasant, it doesn't void the warranty and necessitate a new $500 purchase. Depending on the severity of the spill, it can be fixed and dried, or at worst, you may just have to re-purchase one title. Not a bad thing when living on a planet where water falls from the sky.

While it is true that paper books do use a lot of resources, paper can still be recycled. I'm not sure what the environmental impact of a machine that needs to be constantly recharged and can't really be recycled yet, despite using rare earth elements in its LCD screen and other components, but it would be interesting to find out.
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edzieba



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 704
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:10 pm Reply with quote
You're mixing 'device' with 'file'. A file can be stored in whatever you want, either locally or remotely, and read on any device (barring aforementioned DRM or proprietary formats) including e-readers, a regular monitor, or even a physical copy. Once you damage a physical book, it's damaged, and even the highest quality acid-free paper will degrade over time unless kept in hermetic conditions. A file can be backed up with no loss.

Devices however, do still have problems. Dedicated e-reader devices may not have infinite battery lives or be waterproof yet (unless you pot the electronics in epoxy for a weight penalty), but e-ink displays are steadily increasing in efficiency, li-poly batteries are increasing in storage density, and NAND-flash is already dense enough to store several libraries of books or images in a few cm^2, obviating the need for constant data streaming.
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Paploo



Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1875
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:10 pm Reply with quote
Computer waste is a severe problem in 3rd world countries, since a lot of it can be toxic when it's outside the shell.

The problem with downloaded images is that there's nothing stopping you from uploading it and pirating it- publishers mostly leapt onto Kindle and Ipad because both have systems in place that make it harder to bootleg their content, and easier for people just to buy ebooks. If you don't want to deal with E-reader software, read some webcomics on an Ipad, and pay for them via viewing ads.

The Matsumomo manga sounds interesting, as does ComicLoud- it's nice to see more digital manga offerings. So many of them aren't as publicized as well as they could be, so I'm glad Brian posted about it.

Another overlooked digital manga offering-
http://www.astroboymagazine.com/ offering Tezuka manga in english in several territories, as a weekly digital magazine. High profile creator/properties, and a fairly low price at 99 cents for assorted chapters of Tezuka's manga.
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Maryohki



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 526
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:48 pm Reply with quote
Hardgear wrote:
Maryohki wrote:
ngl, I'm a bit tired of seeing people say Hetalia isn't funny and use "the joke is that Italy says pasta!" from the world meeting chapter as their main example. That really isn't even what most of Hetalia's humor is like, so why is that always what's cited? Yes, it's one of the first things you see in both the anime and manga, but you see other things pretty quick in both cases.


Probably because that chapter is all that is legally available for free (I think so anyway, I haven't found any others) so the droves of people who look at it to get a sample see only that.

This is a perfect example as to why they should do what movie previews do and just jam some of the best parts into a "sampler" to make you want to watch/read the whole thing. I can't think of very many movies that would seem very exciting if all you had to judge them on was their first 5 minutes.

Perhaps you would see a lot less of what Brian said if the sampler chapter was one that fans voted on as being the best?


....What. Did they seriously only give that World Meeting prologue thing that was in color at the front of the volume as the sampler? Why would they do that?

I wasn't aware of this, since I bought the manga first thing, having been a fan of this since 2008 after all.

So you get a free pass on that in this case, Brian. I have seen people pull this when more than that particular scene was available to them, however, and that is absurd. I know most people here are highly pro-industry and don't want to use scanlations, which I understand and agree with, but in this case I'd recommend seeking out some of the scans. A lot of what's out there is stuff that Himaruya put on his blog for free that fans translated, and I don't see the harm in reading those to get a feel for what the series is like.
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