I would like to welcome Christopher Austin back to NAG today. He is here to share some info about a very interesting writing topic: American Comics vs. Japanese Manga. Whether you are just curious about how one differs from the other or interested in writing comics, this is the post for you. Enjoy!
Japanese manga (comics) and American comics though made to entertain their readers, but they vastly differ from each other. The big difference in is their art style: Manga is much more stylized where American Comics are more realistic. Besides this, there are many other differences like cost, genres, creation, presentation, size, and diverse audience.
Difference #1 Presentation
The creation and presentation of manga are quite different from that of American comics. Manga is presented in black & white color and are printed on cheap paper like newsprint, where the majority of American comics come in full color. It does not matter if most of the comics are available in cheap and ephemeral packages, but there are several, which deserves a nice treatment that manga does not offer.
Difference #2 Size
When we see their sizes, the manga is often smaller than comic books, usually one-third or half the size of American comics. They are generally published in 15-page chapters that come in phonebook-sized magazine. But, when we consider about the length, manga books are thick and can be a hundred pages long such as Lone Wolf & Cub and Dragon Ball, where American comics are thin having around 30-40 pages. Most of the manga books are available online and you can read free manga online on Readpanda.net. Manga books are quite similar to graphic novels when it comes to page count, which are often just collection of American comics. American novels are a collection of monthly comics, where manga books are bigger, and an entire manga may contain thousands of pages.
Difference #3 Creation
Another difference between American comics and Japanese manga is the way they are created. Generally, American comics created in assembly-line fashion, where the writer first writes the story, a letterer adds the dialog, then a sketcher would draw sketches with a pencil, an inker inks the sketch and colorist would fill the color in the sketches. Scott Snyder’s American Vampire and Batman are simply superb examples. Some American comics do not have enough visual consistency, but most people do not care if the comic book has their favorite superhero in it. While manga on the other side, is created by a single person who does all these chores. Japanese writers may have assistants, but they hardly do any other work than inking pages.
Difference #4 Storyline and Price
The storyline of manga moves at a faster pace because of the high page count. Manga books have lesser dialogue per page and fewer panels than American comics do. The price of the manga is quite more than that of the standard paperback novel and the average comic book.
Japanese manga are not considered something just for children like that of American comics, but manga books are made in three genres: boy’s comic (Shonen manga), girl’s comic (Shojo manga), and adult’s comic (Hentai). Shonen manga books are generally filled with action and adventure, while Shojo manga contains pretty much about love and relationships. But, it does not mean that they are limited to their respective audience, in fact, they are interesting for anyone who reads it. Hentai manga books are mostly adult-themed containing risqué stories. It is strictly for adults, so do not buy a Hentai for your child.
Finally, it is difficult to say which one is better. We can argue the virtues of one against another whole day, but at last, it does not matter. We can simply enjoy each of them and pick out the elements we like and blend it with another.