Thursday, December 3, 2009

Musing about comics and manga

I love superhero comics.  I also love manga.  This makes me wonder: how many comics fans are also manga fans?  Manga is unlike American comics in many ways, the most prominent being that American comics tend to limit themselves to the niche of superhero comics.  But there is manga in pretty much any genre you can name.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that a fan of superhero comics would like manga.  If you like seeing superheroes, you aren't going to find many Japanese comics with American-style superheroes . . . or very many with Japanese-style superheroes, since the superhero genre is a tiny percentage of the manga market.

I'm a fan of both American comics and manga, but it isn't because they're so similar.  It's because they're so different. Manga and American comics both appeal to me in different ways.  I love superheroes, and American comics are loaded with them.  I like manga because of the huge variety that it offers.  I've read manga in the genre of martial arts, detective fiction, sports, romantic comedy, fantasy . . .  Which one I'm reading at any given moment is dependent on my mood.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a fairly big crossover between the American comics and manga audience.  I also wouldn't be at all surprised if there were big chunks of both audiences that think the other genre is inherently inferior to their beloved genre.

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