Manga vs. Comics

Inspirations Making it happen Richard Sakai Works of Stan Sakai His method Influence as a youth Manga vs. Comics Reading all sorts of comics Family’s acceptance Styles and influences Culture as a child Cultural influences

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It’s hard to describe the difference between manga and Western comic books, but one of the most apparent is probably the pacing of the story. In Western comics, the pacing is very, very fast, but in Japanese comics the pacing is very slow. You could drink tea for pages and pages, whereas in American comics, you just don’t have the luxury because you’re limited by the amount of pages that you have. With the manga, the pacing is very different, very slower. There’s usually a lot more dialogue in Western comics. Not only to drive the story, but also just to talk. In Japanese comics, there seems to be very little dialogue, but they have the coolest sound effects. In American comics, you shoot a gun, it’s pretty much “Bang, bang,” or “Pow, pow,” or “Boom boom boom.” In Japanese, they have sound effects for everything. They have sound effects for the sound the milk makes when it’s poured into coffee. And we don’t have those things here. So Usagi [Yojimbo] may be about Japanese history and culture, but it’s totally from a distinctly Western perspective.

Date: September 28, 2010
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Lynn Yamasaki, Maria Kwong
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

comics manga

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