Comic Books and Manga

As I write this, DC Universe is in the process of going free to play. In the time that I’m anxiously waiting for it to go live, I’m going to pontificate on my thoughts concerning comic books and manga.

For those familiar with the blog, I’m clearly more into manga than I am comic books. When I was younger, I didn’t know about manga or anime, but I knew comic books. During late elementary school and on into my mid teen years, I was a huge comic book nerd. But like the comic book market, I fell out of it as prices went up and dedicated comic book shops closed down. This was before American tankobons became the rage, of course. Now, I can easily go and buy or check out collected issues with less hassle.

I will be the first to admit that my reading is, for me at least, woefully incomplete. There are so many series, especially manga, that I haven’t read that I know I want to check out (like Beserk, One Piece, Toriko, etc.) This also expands to comic books as I’m desperately wanting to check out Kirkman’s The Walking Dead and some of the non-superhero comics out there.

The thing is, my reading is almost exclusively limited to shonen manga (with only limited seinen and shojo examples) and superhero comics (with Sin City being the rather lone exception in comic books). So, any readers out there with recommendations, let me have it!

Anyway, when I think of manga and comic books, I can’t help but to compare the two forms. Is it really so easy to say that this is stereotypical of comic books and that is stereotypical of manga? No. Each artist and writer has their own style unique to their work. But I think there are some commonalities.

Personally, I much prefer the story telling possibilities within manga (not to say that comic books don’t have that potential- look at The Walking Dead as an example). But I prefer a single author/artist’s vision of a series rather than the jumbled mess that is Marvel and DC’s continuities. How many continuity reboots and revisions has DC had? Four? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what Grant Morrison has done with Batman and Robin, but I have to give manga the edge here.

The art is a little trickier. I would say that I prefer American comic art, but Hiro Mashima and Tite Kubo are fantastic artists. So maybe this should be a toss up.

Thinking about this makes me realize that the potential of literature is not just limited to short stories and novels. Excellent and amazing things are happening in manga, comic books, movies, video games, etc. To not see the potential for great things is, I think, the height of snobbery.



Posted on November 1, 2011, in Manga, Video games and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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