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Manga. What is it?

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1 Manga. What is it? on Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:45 am

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Manga (kanji: 漫画; hiragana: まんが; katakana: マンガ; listen (help·info)) (English: /ˈmɑːŋɡə/) consist of comics and print cartoons (sometimes also called komikku コミック), in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 20th century. In their modern form, manga date from shortly after World War II ,but they have a long, complex pre-history in earlier Japanese art.
In Japan, people of all ages read manga. The genre includes a broad
range of subjects: action-adventure, romance, sports and games,
historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror,
sexuality, and business and commerce, among others. Since the 1950s, manga have steadily become a major part of the Japanese publishing industry, representing a 406 billion yen market in Japan in 2007 (approximately $3.6 billion). Manga have also become increasingly popular worldwide. In 2008, the U.S. and Canadian manga market was $175 million. Manga are typically printed in black-and-white, although some full-color manga exist (e.g. Colorful).
In Japan, manga are usually serialized in telephone book-size manga
magazines, often containing many stories, each presented in a single
episode to be continued in the next issue. If the series is successful,
collected chapters may be republished in paperback books called tankōbon. A manga artist (mangaka
in Japanese) typically works with a few assistants in a small studio
and is associated with a creative editor from a commercial publishing
company. If a manga series is popular enough, it may be animated after or even during its run, although sometimes manga are drawn centering on previously existing live-action or animated films (e.g. Star Wars).
"Manga" as a term used outside Japan refers specifically to comics originally published in Japan. However, manga-influenced comics, among original works, exist in other parts of the world, particularly in Taiwan ("manhua"), South Korea ("manhwa"), and the People's Republic of China, notably Hong Kong ("manhua"). In France, "la nouvelle manga" has developed as a form of bande dessinée (literally drawn strip)
drawn in styles influenced by Japanese manga. In the United States,
people refer to manga-like comics as Amerimanga, world manga, or original English-language manga (OEL manga).


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2 Re: Manga. What is it? on Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:53 am

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Historians and writers on manga history have described two broad and
complementary processes shaping modern manga. Their views differ in the
relative importance they attribute to the role of cultural and
historical events following World War II versus the role of pre-War, Meiji, and pre-Meiji Japanese culture and art.
One view emphasizes events occurring during and after the U.S. Occupation of Japan (1945–1952), and stresses that manga strongly reflect U.S. cultural influences, including U.S. comics (brought to Japan by the GIs) and images and themes from U.S. television, film, and cartoons (especially Disney).Alternately, other writers such as Frederik L. Schodt,
Kinko Ito, and Adam L. Kern stress continuity of Japanese cultural and
aesthetic traditions as central to the history of manga.
Modern manga originated in the Occupation (1945–1952) and
post-Occupation years (1952–early 1960s), while a previously
militaristic and ultra-nationalist Japan rebuilt its political and
economic infrastructure. An explosion of artistic creativity occurred
in this period, involving manga artists such as Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy) and Machiko Hasegawa (Sazae-san).
Boys and young men became some of the earliest readers of manga after World War II. From the 1950s on, shōnen
manga focused on topics thought to interest the archetypal boy,
including subjects like robots, space-travel, and heroic
action-adventure.[33] Popular themes include science fiction, technology, sports, and supernatural settings. Manga with solitary costumed superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man generally did not become as popular.
The role of girls and women in manga produced for male readers has
evolved considerably over time to include those featuring single pretty
girls (bishōjo) such as Belldandy from Oh My Goddess!, stories where such girls and women surround the hero, as in Negima and Hanaukyo Maid Team, or groups of heavily armed female warriors (sentō bishōjo) .



The gekiga
style of drawing—emotionally dark, often starkly realistic, sometimes
very violent—focuses on the day-in, day-out grim realities of life,
often drawn in gritty and unpretty fashions. Gekiga such as Sampei Shirato's 1959–1962 Chronicles of a Ninja's Military Accomplishments (Ninja Bugeichō) arose in the late 1950s and 1960s partly from left-wing student and working-class political activism and partly from the aesthetic dissatisfaction of young manga artists like Yoshihiro Tatsumi with existing manga.


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