Dearest Panel Bound readers. First and foremost I apologize deeply for missing Manga Mondays last monday. I was under much stress from school, and manga had to wait. I read a lot for school and adding manga— you guys don’t care. Here’s the post:
I have had some deep thought, and considered much of why I love manga, and why I think other comic/graphic novel readers should read it as well. I did not pick up a western graphic novel for 10 years until I met Matt and he introduced me to them, and I would like to maybe do the opposite for some of you. Introduce you all to why manga is great.
I will be conducting this in list form.
5. Learn a new way to read something.
Many mangas are read right to left. I think it’s a fun challenge for your brain to learn how to read a different way. Any way to challenge your brain makes it stronger.
4. They are often longer than their western cousins.
I prefer this SO much to the western comics. Although they come out much faster than manga does, when manga volumes or chapters do come out, it is generally longer.
3. You don’t have to spend money to support your habit.
As much as you should buy the manga volumes and support your favorite artist, there are many many people who put in a lot of time and effort to scan and translate (or as is known in the world of online manga, scanlations), newly released manga chapters for your enjoyment.
You can offer your own services if you have the time and really want to brush up on your japanese, or you can just really appreciate the amount of work that goes into what they are doing for free that many people at VIZ media and tokyo pop do for money.
And it’s free.
2. A new style of drawing.
One thing I always loved about manga is the amount of detail that goes into it, without the same amount of… detail? I’m not quite sure how to explain. Many mangas don’t over work the line work, shading or the color in any of their stories. It is kept fairly simple.
They reserve a lot of the flair for the front covers or larger action scenes. I know a lot of western comics employ something similar, but not to the same extent. You don’t see any chibi characters running around in western comics, that is certain.
It’s always a great thing to do as an artist to really explore different fields. Maybe there is something you can take from it.
1. Introduce yourself to a new culture.
You cannot read a manga without being introduced in some way to the Japanese culture. Read a manga that takes place in Japan (a high school! My favorite), or one that is about the work place. You can really learn a lot about their history, the way they live and what is popular at that time.
They make references to everything surrounding them in their mangas, and it’s always fun (at least for me) to sit down and research what is going on. Some translations of mangas will have a few pages dedicated to small cultural differences being explained at the end or beginning of the manga.
So get to reading, kids!