Custom Batman shoes
60 F
New York

Why I’m Reading More Manga and Indie Comics These Days


Share this

The nice thing about manga is that it’s typically not a company-owned property.

Manga is creator owned, and so it has all the benefits of most independent comics: a singular vision for the book and no eternal resetting of the clock to keep a character at one age forever.

Also, while manga doesn’t have a lot of typical superheroes, it’s obviously inspired a lot by them, and it seems to more embrace the genre than try to pull the old “we’re not your basic Capes book!”

See the source image
SO DRAMATIC! I don’t yell at people enough.

Especially in the realm of Shonen Jump manga series, you will find a ton of titles that are clearly about super-powered folks and their struggles, with the powers and responsibilities thereof representing something different from book to book.

There’s Dragon Ball, obviously, Bleach, Naruto, Rurouni Kenshin, and more. These are great hero-inspired tales. These are books that either have a short, definitive run OR take place over time with one vision for where the book goes.

And as you branch out from there, manga is just like U.S. indie comics; there are plenty of stories out there that have nothing to do with powers. There are down-to-earth romance titles. There are off-the-wall comedy series. There are gloriously intense action books. Manga is really the genre of something-for-everyone, and has been for years!

And you know where these titles consistently win out against American comics? PRICE! A typical volume of manga, however, clocks in at about 200-ish pages, and it carries a cover price of $8-$13 dollars. 

A lower-priced, $4 comic book is 5.5 pages of entertainment per dollar. Even a higher end manga–let’s go with $13 for 180 pages–is 13.8 pages per dollar.

Obviously a lot of that has to do with quality of the book. American comics are obsessed with flashy, high-sheen pages, while manga is still perfectly content to be printed in black and white and on newsprint pages.

But I’m not reading books for the thick, shiny pages; I’m reading them for the STORY. I don’t care nearly as much about the format on which it comes. If you told me that comics would go back to being printed on pulp, but they would cost $1.50 per issue again, I’d be on that in a heartbeat.

I do often lament that I never got AS into manga as I would like. When I was in college, I worked in a bookstore where I spent a lot of time on breaks discovering these zany Japanese funnybooks. But after I left, I fell almost entirely out of them.

What are some of the biggest series from the past few years? Sword Art OnlineAttack on TitanMy Hero Academia? I’ve read a combined nothing from any of those.

I’m trying to put that behind me. I endeavor to get more into manga again (as well as more independent comics, but again… value per page! People keep telling me about Something Is Killing The Children, and I’LL GET THERE, I’LL GET THERE). I know there were some Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney books I never got around to reading; I should start there.

As I start anew in my manga journey, I will be sure to keep you up to date on how it all goes. And, you know, I am still not done with this thought process.

Until next time… take care!

Related articles

Spider-Man and Mary Jane Maquette by Sideshow Collectibles

Recent articles

The Gambit Maquette