Danielle Leigh has written two interesting columns for Comics Should Be Good outlining her take on the state of manga in America, suggesting that the import simply won't survive without expanding to include more adult subject matter that doesn't include pornography. She makes a couple of very valid points -- there's manga targeting virtually every age group in every manner available for import, and though many fans may disagree, comics and manga need not be mutually exclusive -- but she definitely steps on a few toes in the process.
Regardless of how you feel about manga, this is a really interesting read. And if you're not familiar with manga, her columns (along with the comments they draw) might help explain the genre a bit.
Of course, our friends over at Wired put together a kick-ass introduction to manga which served as the cover story of issue 15.11. Anyone interested in jumping into this great art form should grab a back issue, or at least check out the sweet manga they created that explains the art -- with art. It's a downloadable PDF, and it's free.
(Thanks, bluemodern, for the great CC-licensed photo.)
Manga Before Flowers, Part 1 [Comics Should Be Good]
Manga Before Flowers, Part 2 [Comics Should Be Good]
I love to read historical samurai manga like Lone Wolf and Cub, about a samurai seeking revenge traveling the countryside as an assassin. There are some great stories out there.
Over the last couple of months I’ve fallen into more manga than my usual comic reads (DC you damned jerks, this is what happens when you KILL or otherwise corrupt ALL MY FAVORITE HEROS!) ((John Rogers is singularly exempt from all blasphemy though…))
Anyway, what’s interesting is the parallel rise between Japanese manga and American television and the resulting view on the material these days. The good stuff always seems the least kid-friendly thing ever. My favorite is the Lupin III which has a nice MAD Magazine vibe, (not to mention some really great anime going hand-in-hand). Problem with reading stuff like Lupin is that I was flying in December reading some, and kinda felt like a pervert, because pretty much every Lupin story begins, ends or otherwise somehow significantly incorporates teh nekkid ladies. And not like tiny panels or anything. Which I guess is something akin to a tradition you end up having to embrace if you get into the manga. But once you’re past that you’ve got an ocean of great art and storytelling in front of you and it’s good stuff.
((…meant to say the rise of both media post-WWII as popular entertainment started to affect both Japanese and American culture.))