American comics are largely in the tank – with a few notable exceptions such as these items here*, here*, here,* and here*. Manga is making a killing in the market because of this, outselling American comics by the veritable ton. Given the Japanese writers’ commitment to storycraft, that’s not surprising.
Does this mean the comic book market is saved? No, I do not think so. Manga deserves its place in the sun, and you will never hear me say otherwise. But the fact is that each market is separate and nothing lasts forever. One day, for a wider American audience at least, manga will likely lose its appeal.
We need to step up with our own stories to fill the void. To that end, studying Japanese writers’ work is helpful due to the fact that it reminds us how to tell good stories. Reading and studying our own culture’s fiction will work as well. One doesn’t need to go all the way back to The Aeneid* and The Odyssey* (though if you can, why not?) to learn the job, but that would certainly be of service. Checking out A Princess of Mars* and/or early Marvel comics* (as well as Doc Savage* and The Shadow* comics) will be a good way to remember how to put the “American” back in American entertainment.
In preparation for that I recommend listening to Literature Devil’s video on Comics vs. Manga. He goes into details that are very important and which will be good to memorize for when you study Western canon. East and West are different but the art of storytelling, like mathematics and music, has universal constants. That is why it is a universal language. 😉
Enjoy the video, readers!
Woke American Comics vs Manga
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If you liked this article, friend Caroline Furlong on Facebook or follow her here at www.carolinefurlong.wordpress.com. Her stories have been published in Cirsova’s Summer Special and Unbound III: Goodbye, Earth, while her poetry appeared in Organic Ink, Vol. 2. She has also had stories published in Planetary Anthologies Luna, Uranus, and Sol. Another story was released in Cirsova Magazine’s Summer Issue in 2020, and she recently had a story published in Storyhack Magazine’s 7th Issue and Cirsova Magazine’s 2021 Summer Issue. Order them today!
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