Re: RARA-AVIS: Comics opinion

From: Stewart Wilson (
Date: 04 May 2008

 It seems to me you are narrowly defining "manga" based on the vast pre-dominance of the stuff that is published in translation in North America for a mostly juvenile audience. Your descriptions ring true for much of the stuff my daughter reads (she reads Manga comedies about teenage girls mostly), and for scads of stuff she doesn't which I run across at the library and comic book store and which I can happily characterize as cheaply made crap. However, I have read quite a few mangas that were noir which used appropriate artwork for the subject. Drawn & Quarterly published some anthologies last year and the year before, and I've also ready some French-published (in English) anthologies of non-noir manga which had exquisite (and by that I don't mean pornographic) artwork. All of which is to say, I agree with you that the artwork has to fit the genre, but disagree with labeling manga as a non-viable medium for noir stories. Cheers,

On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 12:34 PM, Rick Ollerman <> wrote:
> When I said that the manga style in comics was "crap," I said that it
> was "my opinion." The assertion I was trying to make was that aside
> from the story, aside from the subject, the characters, and the
> pacing, the art in and of itself can be affect the enjoyment of
> reading a graphic novel.
> A black and white or color movie is still a movie where people look
> like people. A surprised expression isn't portrayed by suddenly
> expanding eyes to the size of dinner plates or mouths big enough to
> store bowling balls. In comics, the art can keep one from enjoying
> the story and indeed, as many people have told me, has been the
> primary reason they've given up on certain books in the past. When
> people don't look like people, even idealized ones, it's often
> difficult to stay in a serious story, especially a crime one.

Stewart Wilson
Toronto, ON

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