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American Newspapers to Begin Carrying Manga 304

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-just-for-kids-anymore dept.
jonerik writes to tell us The Associated press is running an article stating that several American newspapers are going to start carrying manga with their normal arsenal of comics. The papers feel that this will help boost their readership amongst a younger audience. The two strips that made the cut are Van Von Hunter, and Peach Fuzz which are both created by American writer/illustrators and are being distributed by Universal Press Syndicate.
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American Newspapers to Begin Carrying Manga

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  • Not news (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:49PM (#13993185)
    Now, it if was hentai...
    • Re:Not news (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Golias (176380)
      More to the point: ...which are both created by American writer/illustrators...

      I'm sorry. I thought the headline said "Manga" was being added to the newspapers.

      Illustrated stories by Americans are called "comics."

      And no, it doesn't matter if they are not joke-based. Ever hear of "Prince Valliant", "Sally Forth" or "Spider Man"? This is just more of the same.
      • Illustrated stories by Americans are called "comics."

        No. If an American makes a comic with chicks with eyes the size of saucers and mouths the size of lake Michigan, then it is "manga"!
        • Manga produced by American artists is about as realistic as the Hollywod versions of "punks", "drug addicts" and "street kids" they put in family movies.
      • Re:Not news (Score:3, Insightful)

        Illustrated stories by Americans are called "comics."

        I don't see why illustrated stories by anyone shouldn't be called "comics". Why do we need a loanword when we already have a perfectly good word?

        -Stephen
      • Re:Not news (Score:3, Informative)

        by Liam Slider (908600)
        It's "Manga" ever since the English language adopted the term to mean that particular style of comics.
        • It's "Manga" ever since the English language adopted the term to mean that particular style of comics.

          Even by this rather dodgy definition (wtf do you call comics from Japan then???), the two strips mentioned in the article hardly seem to qualify -- other than a few details of the way eyes are drawn, they look/feel much more like traditional american comics than real manga.

          [And in the grand tradition of most newspaper comics, they also appear to suck.]
      • Re:Not news (Score:3, Funny)

        by Guuge (719028)
        Heh. A newspaper promising manga is like a pet store that starts selling neko food instead of cat food. On the other hand, "manga" often refers to a specific style developed by the Japanese but based in part on western techniques. The latter is probably what the headline refers to.
    • Yep, because there's nothing like tentacle Porn at 6 in the 'morn with a coffee! Right besides the Dilbert and Far Side comics.
  • by Ithika (703697) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:49PM (#13993188) Homepage
    Where does the line between manga and comic art exist then, if not by country of origin?
    • by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:55PM (#13993234)
      The pane progression will be right to left
    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:56PM (#13993248)
      Where does the line between manga and comic art exist then, if not by country of origin?

      It's obviously more than just the big eyes. If that were the only qualification, we'd have seen Dragonball Orphan Annie Z! a long time ago.
      • You don't get Dragonball Orphan Annie Z in your country? Man, America is really behind the times!
        • The Japanese content was simply replaced or toned down during the translation process... You may be surprised to know that Daddy Warbucks was created in Japan as Mister Mephistopheles.

          Annie? She was Thong, the dog was Bananahammock, and Miss Ashtma was known as Aunt Grannypanties.
    • Style.

      The Japanis comic art style is distinctly different from traditional (pre-Japanese-influence) American-style comic art.

      I prefer American comic art, myself. I can't recall ever seeing any manga that looks like something I'd want framed and hanging on my wall, but there's tons of American comic art that'd look great up there. Anything by Alex Ross, for example.

      The "Manga-ized" American comics are awful. It's like they took the worst elements from both and stuck them together. Ugly as hell.
      • by Golias (176380) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:03PM (#13993318)
        But what is the "Japanese style" of comics???

        The "big eyes" look that people seem to associate with Manga (even though it's not always used) is something that Osamu Tezuka stole from Disney's "Snow White."

        When I see must American attempts to make things "look Japanese" (such as the Teen Titan series currently on cable), it looks more like a parody of the oddest quirks of japanese anime than anything else.
        • But what is the "Japanese style" of comics???


          Hi. I'm John Q. Public. Japanese style, manga, anime, japanimation, or whatever everyone wants to call it this week, to me, is big eyes, small mouth and no nose. There are other aspect that make it that style, but visually, that is what it is to me, John Q. Public.
          ------

          Now, I'm not a "real" or "hardcore" anime fan. I've seen some series here and there, and it's ok, but not really my interest. But as someone who was on the outside and who gave it a real chanc
        • Well in Anime, there's the doe eyes, the circle mouths, the economy of frames (two cells are apparently all you need to animate ANYTHING), the lack of individual style between titles (i.e., they all look like they were drawn by the same artist) and the terrible voice acting that gives it away.

          In Manga, I guess you'd basically look for the same things minus the voice acting. (Unless you do your own voice acting.)
          • the lack of individual style between titles (i.e., they all look like they were drawn by the same artist)

            Uhh... Just by grabbing three hugely popular series... "Cowboy Bebop", "Sailor Moon" and "FLCL" don't even look like they were all drawn by the same species, let alone the same artist.

            I don't see how you could possibly come to that conclusion, unless you somehow think that seeing "Pokemon" and "Yu-Gi-Oh" has exposed you to the full range of Japanese anime styles.

            and the terrible voice acting

            Setting asi
      • I can't recall ever seeing any manga that looks like something I'd want framed and hanging on my wall, but there's tons of American comic art that'd look great up there. Anything by Alex Ross, for example.

        I'm not sure if this link will withstand the slashdotting, but I'd suggest that stuff like this [ssw.net] holds up with just about anything from Alex Ross.


      • It's like they took the worst elements from both and stuck them together. Ugly as hell.


        No, if you want "ugly as hell", look at the style used in DC and Marvel comic books.

        Someone went on a contagious, permanent acid trip years ago and ruined what was once a fine American institution.

        They might as well turn all of the superheroes into manga. It couldn't make them any worse.


    • by badasscat (563442) <`basscadet75' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:01PM (#13993292)
      Where does the line between manga and comic art exist then, if not by country of origin?

      I was thinking the same thing when I read that last sentence in the submission. "Manga" is not a style, it specifically refers to Japanese graphic storytelling. Otherwise there'd be no reason to even use that word. We use that word to refer to their comics/graphic novels because they use that word to refer to the same material. (It is the same with "anime".)

      Anything that is created outside of Japan is not manga, at least not if you're using that word to differentiate something from a standard comic (i.e. you are speaking English and not Japanese). It may be "manga-inspired", but it is not manga.

      People do get into arguments about this sort of thing, and yes, there can be questions of degree... a lot of anime, for example, is written and designed in Japan but drawn in Korea. Is it really anime? Probably. Same is true of some manga. But if you're talking about comics written by Americans, drawn by Americans, in America, that's just a comic. That's got nothing to do with manga, however its visual style may look.
      • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:11PM (#13993386) Journal
        Not to get into a "is" "isn't" flap...

        But I was under the impression that one large distinction was the set of graphic conventions used. (For instance: lightbulb-over-head versus laserbeam into head for idea, smoking head versus bulging veins for anger, etc.)

        I suspect when an american comic syndicate executive says "manga" he undersands it to mean a comic that uses the stylistic and graphic-linguistic convention set of manga, rather than whatever the "real" definition is.
        • by Ithika (703697) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:14PM (#13993416) Homepage
          Despite the fact that this is the most sensible reasoning I've seen so far for using "manga" instead of "comic", it seems a bit daft to make a product full of cultural references and market it exclusively to people outside that culture.
          • Despite the fact that this is the most sensible reasoning I've seen so far for using "manga" instead of "comic", it seems a bit daft to make a product full of cultural references and market it exclusively to people outside that culture.

            Its a graphical novel, not a comic you insensitive clod!
            • Its a graphical novel, not a comic you insensitive clod!

              Not until it's collected and published as a book or installments it's not. As long as it's on the "comics" page of a newspaper it's a "comic" - regardless of its humor value. (See Alley Oop, among many others, for a strip-serialized adventure story.)

              And last I heard the term was "graphic novel", not "graphICAL ...".

              How about we settle on "sequential art" for now, eh?

              B-)
          • You can take something that is specifiv to one culture, and if you market it right, a different culture will adapt it.

            Take wedding rings in Japan as an example. Japanese women did not get diamond rings for a marriage until after a large diamond organization marketed it to Japanese women, post WWII.

            Now, Manga has been targeted at young kids in America for some time, and the newspapers are just leveraging that marketing in hope of increasing readership base. It is well know that is you get kids to buy someth
        • by MosesJones (55544) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:14PM (#13993849) Homepage

          And yet if Japan was to release films claiming to be "Hollywood Films", music that was "New Orleans Jazz" or selling "Texas BBQ Steak Mix" there would be little question of them cynically ripping off an American idea just to make a quick buck...

          Manga is Japanese, in the same was as Champagne is French, you can make it the same way, it might even taste the same... but no matter what you do its not the real thing.

          Pepsi ain't Coke folks...
          • Champagne is French because there's a place in France called Champagne. Champagne is in essence a brand name, not a product type. There are still excellent sparkling wines produced in other parts of the world, possibly including Japan.

            If Japan was selling Hollywood films, New Orleans jazz, or Texas BBQ steak mix, then that would be questionable, as you say. But if they sold Japanese variations on film, jazz, and BBQ steak mix, that would be more intriguing. Manga is a type of product, not something that
      • "Manga" is not a style, it specifically refers to Japanese graphic storytelling. Otherwise there'd be no reason to even use that word. We use that word to refer to their comics/graphic novels because they use that word to refer to the same material. (It is the same with "anime".)

        This assertion doesn't hold up under scrutiny. Why don't we use a French term for French comics? Why don't we use a Japanese term for Japanese movies?

        Yes, in the English lexicon "manga" refers to a style. This style's associa
    • Who cares! What I want is for someone to pay Bill Waterson a billion dollars to bring back Calvin and Hobbes, or to resurrect Charles M. Schulz and get him back to the 1967-1980 period of Peanuts. Everything else is just plain shit.
    • For what it's worth, Piro, the artist behind the online comic MegaTokyo [megatokyo.com], wrote an extensive rant [megatokyo.com] on the problem of what to call this type of art. I don't think it really answers the question, but it certainly adds some food for thought. If not manga, what is it?
    • The more important question is, is where does the line between manga and hentai exist. I've seen some comics that could fall into either one of those categories.
  • Manga has nothing on Ziggy
    • You meant Zippy [zippythepinhead.com], didn't you?
  • Blasphemy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cryptochrome (303529) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:52PM (#13993218) Journal
    If it ain't Japanese it ain't manga. They should have picked up Azumanga Daioh [amazon.com].
    • Re:Blasphemy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Guppy06 (410832)
      "If it ain't Japanese it ain't manga."

      If it ain't American it ain't rock-and-roll?

      • If it ain't American it ain't rock-and-roll?

        Americans already have a word for stylized picture-panel drawings. That word is comics. I see no need to borrow a word to replace what we already have. I see using "manga" on an American comic is simply a lame marketing attempt to latch onto something that's "hip" or "cool", despite being neither, all while diluting a loan word that fans have used to mean "japanese comics" as a short hand to identify what they like, same with "anime". Technically, in Japanese
        • "Americans already have a word for stylized picture-panel drawings."

          Americans already had a name for what Buddy Holly and the Crickets were doing: country music.

          "I see no need to borrow a word to replace what we already have."

          You don't believe that the artistic style is different and distinct enough to set it apart from all the other genres? What other than manga uses such exaggerated facial features on human characters to convey emotion?

          "I see using "manga" on an American comic is simply a lame marketing
      • "If it ain't British it ain't rock-and-roll?"

        Fixed that typo.

    • They should have picked up Azumanga Daioh.

      lol, that would have been a coup. Mind-numbing, inane, and utterly mindless, yet something that keeps you going back for more and more (and wanting more!).

      It certainly would have been a great fit for the American daily comic format.

    • Except that Azumanga Daioh in English is not funny.

  • by teutonic_leech (596265) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:52PM (#13993220)
    Aaaah - manga to the rescue! If nothing else this shows how corrupt and clueless the American media landscape has become. After the obvious abandonment of objective reporting we experienced in the last three years, mixed with fabricated reports, a myopic coverage of world affairs, etc. it is manga that will get me to buy the paper now? Give me a break! If I want manga I either buy a printed copy dedicated to that genre, or buy a DVD, or if I'm really broke resort to eMule and co.
    I frankly wonder what PR company issued that one - must be the one that constantly claims that 'suits are back!' - LOL


  • commic strips haven't changed much in genre since I was a kid (i'm 30). With the exception of boon docks every comic is double digit years old. Only being retired when the artists have passed on.
    • Re:about damn time (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amliebsch (724858)
      Though I was pissed at the time, as time as passed, I have more and more begun to think that Bill Watterston (Calvin and Hobbes) did the right thing, in quitting as soon as he felt like it had become work, not fun. As a result, they are all good.
  • Seriously, how many people subscribe to a newspaper for the cartoons. How many of those people would still subscribe if there were NO cartoons in the paper? Finally, how many people would subscribe or unsubscribe from a newspaper based on the availability of 2 comics. I would guess no more than 1 out of every 1000 for that last one, with 1 out of 10000 being more likely.

    While this is a cool thing, since I'll take a look at any new comic in the paper, I don't see it making any noticable impact on readers
    • In the 1980s and 1990s Belo bought newspapers across the country.

      To quash competition in two-newspaper towns, they paid rediculous amounts for exclusive rights to features like comics and Dear Abby and Ann Landers.

      People quit buying the competition and now we have a lot fewer two-newspaper cities.
    • I've got troubling news for you.

      Dilbert, the horoscopes, and the NYT crossword are vastly more important to newspaper circulation than actual news coverage.

      People who subscribe to newspapers don't care if it's a perfect source of accurate information regarding world events. They just want something to thumb through over their Special K before going to work, or read on the shitter once they get to work.
    • There are 3 or 4 things that I read in the paper (in order), the comics, the editorial page, the police reports, and maybe, maybe, the front page. Comics /do/ sell the paper and thankfully my paper publisher listened to the complaints of many and cut the likes of Cathy (UGH!) out and put Dilbert (finally!) in. Were there no comics, I'd probably not ever read their newspaper.
    • It's not that people are going to start buying a newspaper just for the cartoons. It's that kids now might start reading the comics in the paper that their parent's get every day. As they get older they might start reading some regular articles in the paper (be they dear abby or editorials, or real stories). The kids see getting a newspaper as a normal thing. Something that has stuff in it that they like. Those kids are porbably much more likely to subscribe to a newspaper than they grow up than ones w
    • While this is a cool thing, since I'll take a look at any new comic in the paper, I don't see it making any noticable impact on readership

      But the reverse isn't necessarily true. Having manga/anime in newspapers might introduce more to a general market allowing it to become more popular as an indepenant medium. Also, while comics aren't generally the whole reason for reading a newspaper, I do know some where people would buy a paper to catch the new few cells if they're following a particular plotline...
  • Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pHatidic (163975) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @05:59PM (#13993270)
    How about filling their newspapers with informative and well written articles that don't contain glaring factual errors? It seems like almost every article on a subject I know something about has blatant factual errors in it.

    How about publishing the news as it happens? It seems like most of the articles in the New York Times cover things I knew about a week earlier.

    How about not using anonymous sources, or at the very least outing the sources if they are proved to have been lying?

    How about not pretending there is such a thing as unbiased reporting? Saying "one is lead to believe" instead of "I believe" is just another form of lying.
    • While we're at it:

      How about carrying all major sides to every divisive issue (rather than carrying only one to the left of Joe Stalin and mentioning others, if at all, only to deride them)?

      How about giving an unbiased view of probabilities, rather than focusing on a few rare occurrences and ignoring commoner ones - without even mentioning in the reportage of the rarer events that they're the exception rather than the rule? (For instance: Covering every offensive firearm use or firearm accident as a nation
    • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kphrak (230261)

      Saying "one is lead to believe" instead of "I believe" is just another form of lying.

      I don't know about you, but in several of my high school English classes, using a personal pronoun for anything nonfiction, short of an autobiography, was considered poor style. In one of my college science classes, using a personal pronoun in a lab journal entry resulted in losing 10% of your grade on that lab. I'm guessing that saying "I believe" violates some stylistic rule of journalism.

      Of course, I'm replying to a

      • No I was there. And my college science class had the same policy. And it's still wrong. The fact is that passing your personal observations off as being the observations of a neutral and omnicient third party is a form of academic fraud, regardless of what the policy says.
  • Where can I download it? 'nuff said.

    • It a new way of getting information. You can get 100's of stories, carry it with you, Fold it up, recyle it, and the ads don't flash or move around! and it cost anywhere from 35cents to couple of bucks!
      Also, if someone hacks it and changes the information, it's usually really easy to tell!
      Wait, it gets better: NO DRM! once you get one, you can share it with anybody else, and it is completly legal!
      You can also reply to discuss about article, but the moderater is really stern and you have to get there approv
  • Trendsetter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by czarangelus (805501) <iapetus&gmail,com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:00PM (#13993282)
    You know, this might be one of the smartest things anyone in the media has done recently. Even if it turns out to be an enormous flop (and I think it might have a chance of succeeding,) at least it's a new direction. They are at least trying to get out of their rut.
  • Are they going to post instructions to read it right to left?
  • and I've become a fan of it. It has very good jokes, and tries to imitate the japanese narrative style (altho not completely, but that's not a defect). It reminds me a bit of the Slayers series, and also has (very funny) references to anime videogames.

    In comparison with american anime-like cartoons like Martin Mystery or Totally Spies (ack! Choke! Cough), VVH is much more anime-like, relatively speaking. And having seen garbage like digimon (eew) or DBZ (ugh), I say VVH has much more quality than them.

    So no
  • Americans take what is brilliant, run it through a lamifying filter and end up with Fitz US style, Nikita US style. End result: lame, politically correct bullshit.
    • Come on man, most Magna is inane soap opera mass-produced crap anyway. The stuff is disposable pulp entertainment dumped onto newstands by the truckfull in Japan. Complaining about the Americanization of Magna would be like complaining about the Francoization of "The Nanny Diaries"... or complaining that "Baywatch" loses it's charm when translated to German. If you enjoy Magna, that is fine, I have met some intelligent people whome I respect that enjoy the sitcom "Friends" and I don't hold it against them..
  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:31PM (#13993568) Homepage
    Newspaper? Aren't newspapers dead already? I thought that with inventions of Slashdot, Fark, and The Daily Show that everyone born after 1970 gets all the daily information they can use. Even old-school broadcast television is moving to the web. As of yesterday, you can now download NBC nightly news on the web.

    For those of you still reading newspapers, STOP KILLING THE TREES already. We need the wood to rebuild Florida, Texas, and Lousiana before next hurricane season.
  • Van Von Hunter got syndicated?! That one is silly, but it is getting hard to follow. Why not other comics, such as Dominic Deegan [dominic-deegan.com], which actually has a semi-coherent plotline? Or do User Friendly [userfriendly.org] for the geek crowd, if Iliad will allow it.
  • by Sleeping Kirby (919817) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:11PM (#13993824)
    Well, it's hard to say where do you draw the line at what is manga what isn't. Manga is really just the japanese (and chinese) word for comics and isn't really confined to one style or another. But there are a certain type of styles that american artists, (including these two mentioned in this article) to a certain degree, haven't adopted/understand. I know a lot of those deviant art people will like to call themselves manga artists and will argue to the end of time that they are, but whether their comic is good or not is another matter altogether. To put things into perspective. I was reading ranma 1/2 while I was reading Batman:Knight's End and in my eyes, they're both just comics. The difference is really in the story line and how the artists perceives the world (i.e. how the shots are set up and the panels). But what a lot of younger readers have found is that the story lines of mangas (comics from japan) are, a lot of times, a lot more intriquiging, engaging and more emotional than say your x-men or spiderman where you find out, yet again, that the spiderman you thought was spiderman was yet another clone. And because, at that time, there was no comics outside japan that had that style (ragnarok comes to mind. Yes, the manga that Ragnarok Online was based on was korean. *gasp*), they've come to associate the manga style with the more engaging and better stories. Of course, this being America, a lot of people have tried to encroach on that space by putting out shotty story lines with manga-like art, hoping that people will read their stuff and associate their comic to the style that associates with good story lines. (Kevin Bacon, anyone?) So, in the end, it's all about the storyline, not the style. That's why I've stayed away from the American authors. Usually the authors that try to associate themselves with the style... that's all they have going for them. And for those artists that say Japanese artist can't draw... you should see the ground work and side work that a lot of these artists do. The infamous Hojo Tsukasa (surname, first name) who did Cat's Eye, City Hunter, F. Compo and Angel Heart, has a really great book out filled with his life drawings. I only wish I could draw that well. Oh yeah, my title. If they wanted a 4 panel manga, they should have just licensed azumanga daiou.
  • Well it's nice to see the cutepet.org guys have made the leap from drawing furry video game porn to doing weekly Sunday comics. The Chugworth dude must be jealous as hell.
  • by mad.frog (525085) <stevenNO@SPAMcrinklink.com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @08:08PM (#13994258)
    Okay, so first of all, my head would have to be a little bean. With real, real big eyes. Get rid of my thumbs, make me all shiny {clean noise that sounds like a harp, or bells, or both} ...my boots would be a whole lot cooler. Like robot boots. {robotic 'shooo' noise} And for some reason, I got blue hair. You gotta have blue hair. Then there's my mouth. Real tiny when it's closed; ridiculously huge when it's open. And then you basically just put me in space and let me fly around in cool poses!
  • ...but he comes back to haunt me [eonline.com]. I cannot resist his lure...
  • by echocharlie (715022) on Thursday November 10, 2005 @01:08AM (#13995728) Homepage
    Just wanted to clarify a few things:

    Tokyopop [animenext.org] is one of the companies that started the whole manga boom. They weren't the first, but they definitely contributed to the market. They started out being called Mixx, and originally published the Sailor Moon manga in english. They started releasing other Shoujo manga (manga for girls) and did well initially.

    Eventually, they saturated the market with a lot of titles and started seeing diminishing returns on their profits. Naturally, they looked at other markets to expand into. One of the things they did was to run a regular "Rising Stars of Manga" contest where they encouraged artists to submit material to them in the manga style, with the winner being offered a publishing deal.

    I've been told that terms of the contract heavily favor the company, and that they own the rights to all the material that gets published. They've been calling this product OEL manga, or "original english language manga" and are trying to differentiate it from the so-called "ameri-manga" that is published in the comics industry.

    There's really no difference between OEL manga and Amerimanga, and it's basically a marketing tactic. Make no mistake, this is OEL manga, not the stuff published in Japan. But like manga, it's very free in it's layout of the various panels. Moving to the standard 4-panel (or 4-koma in Japan, which is published vertically as opposed to horizontally) format will be difficult. It'll be interesting to see how they accomplish this.

    Even though they refer to it as manga, Japanese people make a distinction between the stuff published domestically and abroad. American Comics are usually referred to as AmeComi, and OEL manga probably falls under that umbrella. So while it's nice for the marketing folks to say that manga is being published in newspapers now, it really shouldn't be considered manga.

That does not compute.

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