Manga and Comics: Knowing the Difference
While the term manga means ‘comic’, there are many significant differences and
similarities between Western graphic novels (comics) and Eastern graphic novels (manga) that make them different despite the fact they are told through the same medium. Panels in manga are more traditionally in black and white, compared to comic books where they use color. Comics have more of a slower read, whereas manga is more of a fast paced read due to the low amount of dialogue. Majority of the time with some exceptions (Blade of the Immortal as an example) manga also has a lot simpler art style than comics. Other aspects that play into this difference is the themes more commonly used, thematic and production differences, and so on.
Now let’s start with the origins of Western and Eastern graphic novels., American comics became mass medium with the spread of newspaper comic strips following the success of Outcault's The Yellow Kid.(Comics, Wiki) After word full pages and colored comics with sequential movements and speech bubbles became known in sunday comics. However it was in the 1930’s that comics marked it’s golden age with the birth of superheroes (Superman). Manga has a long history rooting back to scrolls dating to the 12th century(the history of manga, wiki), but modern day manga didn’t start forming till the Occupation and post Occupation years (1945 to early 1952’s/1960’s). The most influential being Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, and Machiko Hasegawa’s Sazae-san. Osamu Tezuka being the equivalent to our Walt Disney in japan, created large eyes for his characters (inspired by Disney) which became one of the instinctual characteristics for the manga and anime characters we have today.
First of all, it’s important to know japanese manga and american comics are produced differently. Let’s use Alan Moore’s Watchmen for Western Graphic Novels, and Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira for Eastern as...
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