What Comic Creators Can Learn From The Manga Boom

The Manga Boom has surprised retailers and comic book professionals alike with new manga series outselling Superhero mainstays. There’s been a lot of rumor, speculation, and hyperbole surrounding this phenomenon. The only thing we can say for certain is that manga is selling and it’s anyone’s guess as to why. If you think the Manga Boom is a fluke or a fad, then this article isn’t for you. However, If you think Manga is the future or if you’re curious about a different type of storytelling, then read on.

If you just write the kinds of stories you think others will want to read, you’ll be competing with cartoonists who are far more enthusiastic for that kind of comic than you are, and they’ll kick your ass every time.

Scott McCloud

This sentiment applies to the Manga Boom. There will no doubt be those who just look at the surface details of Japanese comics and try to make their comic “look like anime” to make it sell. Anime and manga fans will see through this very quickly and that comic will fall on its face. But those who are able to apply what works in Manga and transcend the ideas or iconography that’s insular to that fan base will be rewarded. Scott Pilgrim is one of many great examples of a successful blend between indie comics and action manga. If indie comic creators can understand why Manga is outselling superhero titles and apply those principals to their own work then there is a possibility that they can also outsell superhero titles.

 

Manga outselling American superhero comics is no accident. Manga’s success lies in addressing the problems that have been stifling many American comics. Manga has shown the ability to explore any subject matter, from Scifi high concepts to low stakes intimate dramas and make them engaging to young people.

There’s also a greater variety of representation across the gender and sexual spectrum without coming across as saccharine or didactic. Through over half a century of trial and error, Manga has proven to take the creative freedom of an indie comic and marry it perfectly with the mass appeal of a blockbuster sensation. I hope that those working in comics old and new take this as a sign that now is the time for creator-owned comics to become the new face of American comics.

 

The Manga Boom has surprised retailers and comic book professionals alike with new manga series outselling Superhero mainstays. There’s beenCOMICONRead More

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