1. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Can an American make a manga?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Flying Geese, Oct 17, 2014.

    This has been a question on my mind since i was about 18.

    Im an african-american, but I grew up reading my friend's manga's when he got finished with them. I would also draw my favorite frames from the manga. What I am saying is that manga is a language that I understand a lot better than novels.

    I genuinely enjoy writing "novel style" but I can't help but think that I would be a better artist if I made something that I completely understood.

    I actually don't know of any mangas or animes that were made by Americans. Is this even acceptable? Or is manga a part of asian culture or something?
     
  2. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    You could, but it wouldn't be genuine. Like Champagne vs Sparkling Wine. Look up Amerimanga or OEL Manga.
     
  3. jonahmann
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    jonahmann Active Member

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    Yes.
     
  4. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Wouldn't be genuine? What exactly does that mean? I guess I just have to create a whole new medium while Im at it?
     
  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Flying Geese,

    If you just google Amerimanga, you'll see that you're not being asked to create a whole new medium, you're following a path that's been trodden 80 years ago.

    My daughter is a Japanophile (she's in Kyoto right now) and gets irritated by fangirls who say "I love Japan, I've just read some manga." There's a lot more to writing "authentic" Japanese manga than copying it...it's a bit like a Russian pop-group learning Beatles songs from listening to them on the radio, although they don't speak a word of English...the rendition may be syllable-perfect, but they won't understand the meaning behind the song, so they will miss nuances. In the same way, without an understanding of Japanese culture (I'm not saying that you need a lifetime, although some might) your manga would be an obvious Western imitation.
     
  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    That means if it isn't Japanese then it isn't bonafide Japanese Manga. It's an imitation. An American cannot make manga, no matter how well versed they are, because the very act means it isn't manga, it's a copy... an imitation. Which is all fine, it just has a different name. And that's not my opinion, it's how that art is viewed. Personally I can't stand manga so don't really care.

    As I said, it's like Champagne. You can make the finest sparkling wine in the world and call it Champagne all you like, but if it doesn't come from the Champagne region in France, it simply isn't Champagne. It's a sparkling wine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    According to the wiki entry of 'Amerimanga', it's a comic written and drawn by Americans (or the people of the North American region of the world) to the style of Japanese manga. So your comics would be considered part of the Amerimanga genre.

    Is it possible? Sure, absolutely. Feel free to draw comics in the Japanese style. Mind, it wouldn't be officially manga as most would understand it simply because it was written by a non-Japanese person. But feel free to write it, though. :D
     
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  8. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    Well, anime called Avatar (not the one with Smurf looking people) was made mostly by Americans.
     
  9. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you call your Oregon sparkler by the name "Champagne" (although certain Californian producers are still entitled to include "Champagne" on their bottle label, but only if they include "Californian" as well - it varies from state to state), you'll find yourself in court toute-suite - the name has had legal protection since as long ago as 1891.

    I don't think that manga is protected in the same way.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It wouldn't be a new medium because there are plenty of non-Asian artists producing manga-esque work. Go check deviantart. The manga fandom is a scrutinous and outrageously pedantic population. I made a thread just last week concerning the unusual expectations they have concerning translations of manga (scanlation) and how what the fandom wants is rather different to what trained professional translators (like myself) are accustomed to giving as an end product.

    The fandom may well love your work, but as soon as they discover that you yourself aren't a genuine Japanese person sitting somewhere in Kyoto or Tokyo creating your art, one camp will separate away and call your work amerimanga, OEL, manga-style comics, etc.

    The real question is whether or not you actually care, because you will have no control over what the audience thinks.
     
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  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Go to a mangacentric forum and post "Avatar: The Last Airbender is my favorite anime show ever!"

    Out of fairness to you as a valuable member of this forum, I advise you to borrow flame retardant gear from your local fire department that they have shown you how to properly put on and use. ;)
     
  12. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    haha. one of the finest answers I've received on this forum, Wreybies. thank you.

    I don't really care what people think except that I hope they enjoy what I give them. At the same time, it is difficult knowing that some people won't receive it well simply because of my nationality. But then again, as a black, I am getting used to this.
     
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  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, then, there you go. :) Also, I totally feel you. Little gay Puerto Rican dudes aren't supposed to love science fiction either, but here I am doing just that. ;)
     
  14. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    If you're going to ignore the answer and start touting 'I don't care what people think' then what was the point of asking the question?

    You can make manga style art all you like and many Americans do. There's a huge market for it. You seem to know very little about something you claim to know so well.
     
  15. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Oh come on, please. Nowhere does it say black Americans can't like manga or create manga style art and no-one would claim otherwise. The accepted definiton of manga, which does change in dictionaries but remains constant in the comic industry, is that manga simple means it's made by Japanese artists and originates in the Japanese language. It's a way of signifying origin.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, "come on" yourself, Selbbin. You're digging deeper into my statement than the strata would support or than anyone intended.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Is manga still very popular? How many people still read it? I honestly don't know.
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    It may be based in the anime style, but it isn't really anime. ;) It's more of an imitation of Japanese anime.

    The show's good, though. :D
     
  19. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Anyone can do a manga, as long as the story and art is good. Whatever feels right for you, just do it. Or do both.
     
  20. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    Here in Finland it has gone, especially with children, downhill. Still, small minority is very passionate about it. Kinda like those goth people:)
    About anime (maybe other word would be better like some have suggested) as a style I feel that anybody can do it just like Japanese person can write western poetry.
    Also animes Disney roots are quite interesting.
     
  21. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    I was asking because it was something I might do, Sebblin.

    However, now I have a different question.

    What is the route one would take to get started working on an animated television series. I just want to do the work now. We can label it whatever later
     
  22. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    You should do it if it's your passion. Anyway, I'm not sure how to break in to animation scriptwriting.
     
  23. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    No

    It would be a comic book

    If you lived in Japan and made it then it would be a manga

    I think you a lot of people are partially confused on this subject. Manga and comics are the same thing they....they are all comics but what you call them has to do with placement. They call it manga and anime in Japan but here we just call it cartoons and comics.

    If you live in America and create a comic with a manga style then it would be called a comic book by logic since you lived in America.

    Avatar is a cartoon but say something like DBZ is called anime.

    It has to come from Japan to be called 'true' manga or anime but I don't think it matters. Its just a different word for comics and cartoons.
     
  24. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    But mangas and comics look completely different to me. To me, it seems to be more to it than just the country it was made in that makes it a manga or comic
     
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  25. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That's not entirely true. If you ever looked at manga, you'll see that the storytelling style is entirely different to that of a graphic novel or comic. It's not just the style of art, but also in the way the frames are separated and the way certain things are portrayed.

    I think the difference is probably a bit like the difference between a novel and a short story - in essence they're the same, they're both prose, both telling a story using only words. But the way you achieve that is entirely different and takes a different skillset, and the end product is also different, even though they're both stories written in prose.

    Now to the OP's question - it would be far harder to publish something in manga style in America than it would be to do so in Japan. As I said above, the storytelling style is different - take it as a different genre, if you like - and thus the American audience and publishers might not necessarily understand what your pictures and frames are trying to say when a Japanese audience would understand right away. I've had experience with this, having to explain something that expressed itself so clearly to me, to someone European, because to them, those same visual symbols didn't mean anything. There's a lot of culture involved in the interpretation. If you've not been exposed to that style of storytelling, you might not get it. All this means it would be harder for manga to be accepted by an American publisher.

    However, if you wanna publish in Japan, you'll have to write in Japanese lol. I'm reading a manga called Bakuman now, about two high school kids trying to become a manga artist (written and drawn by the same author and artist as Deathnote, but this is a romantic comedy lol) - anyway, reading it is giving me quite a bit of insight into becoming a manga artist in Japan. And it sounds pretty tough. It's also not just the drawing - you'll need the right papers that create the effects in a manga and the right ink etc.

    Having said all this, I think you should give it a go. Do what you love :) it's the only guaranteed reward we'll ever have as writers - our own satisfaction. So do what gives you the most joy and the rest of it be damned.

    And who knows, maybe you would be able to publish manga in America :p it's an ever-growing niche market.
     
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