October 26, 2004

What is new mainstream?

Seven Seas Entertainment has officially launched their site, putting up a preview of their NYC-meets-Japan title Blade for Barter and, more interestingly, having an article by Tokyopop editor Jake Forbes on "What is Manga?"

Yes, manga is USUALLY faster paced than US comics*. Yes, manga layouts don't adhere to grids to the degree that Western layouts do. But for each point there are countless exceptions-and countless Western comics which have the same qualities. And can manga be boiled down into a formula? "If you have X, Y, and Z you're manga, but if the amount of Q is greater than P, then it's not..." Definitions like these are a little too cut and dry for my taste. It's like reading a dictionary entry for Impressionist painting--Sure you can catalog the qualities, but it doesn't really get across what makes it art!

*By which I think he means "faster to read." Pacing is entirely a matter of the artist's style.


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