Same thoughts as here, but differently presented. First time around I tried being sprightly and provocative, like a British op-ed columnist fussing about how actually the French can’t cook or TV game shows teach you about life or some other bogus, dumbass lifestyle issue. This time I’ll be straightforward.
Manga: What Is the Point? — Do Over
by Tom Crippen
So here we go:
I don’t get manga. I look at a page and want to look away. Reason: the stylization of figures appears to me to be highly uniform, and it’s not a particular stylization I like. Solid black hair, googly eyes, the kids who look like adults, the adults who look like kids, etc. The look turns me off. Further, its kindergarten feel makes it hard for me to believe worthwhile stories could be told using this stylization, or at least told to their advantage.
Because my aversion to manga is so sharp and immediate, I have never given the comics a chance. If you ask me about pistachio ice cream, all I can say is I don’t like the taste. But manga ain’t just an ice cream flavor (title of my forthcoming Young Adult novel). Manga’s look is what I react to, but there’s more to manga than its look.
Which is the missing piece from this post’s old version. I should have asked straight out: What am I missing?
Noah has already started to answer the unasked question. Point one: the googly eyes, etc., belong to just one style of manga. The girls’ stuff, apparently. There are lots more out there. Other looks.
One observation I’ll stand by: manga emphasizes high-speed, all-out forward movement of the reader’s eye. US superhero comics have also started to do so, but manga does it more and seems to lack any other approach to word-picture combination. Pleasant as the effect can be, having just one item on the menu seems like a drag. Noah says US superhero stuff is wordy — well, sometimes, because every flaw on earth can be found there except overerudition. But at least a few different verbal-visual gears are available. In manga it seems like there’s just the one.
But hey, maybe not. The fellows will tell me.
All right, I guess that’s it. Xavier, thanks for the links and info. You too, Anonymous — you’re ok. Richard, thanks for the joke. Bill, thanks very much for laughing at my jokes, because somebody’s got to. Blackasthenight, thanks just for being you.