1. #1
    Stood in the Fire Texan Penguin's Avatar
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    [Comics] I love Western comics, but like to read manga more- weird preference?

    Like the title says, I absolutely love Western comic books. I admit I don't know about DC, but as far as Marvel goes Del Mundo/Ottley are my favorite artists, and Cates/Spenser/Ewing are my favorite writers.

    But after reading plenty of both, I grew to prefer manga. It has nothing to do with the content. Both sides have excellent stories. But there are two main reasons I prefer manga:

    a. Crossovers. I fucking hate crossovers- I abandoned most of my Marvel stuff because of War of the Realms, and my remaining two series- Amazing Spider-Man and Venom, because of Absolute Carnage. One of the neat things about manga, despite it being a pain in the ass financially to catch up with longer series, especially with stuff like One Piece, is that most of their material is self-contained and you don't need to do any external reading. In general, most comic book universes criss-cross so much it's impossible to stick to one series like I'd prefer- because at some point it's going to cross over and you're going to miss something because you don't follow three other series.

    b. I don't need to backtrack through 40+ years of material to fully understand what the hell is going on. Again, some of the manga tends to be long, but for the most part they're short enough you can realistically go back to the beginning and still find them in print- and Viz started putting out omnibus editions of their big titles, which have three volumes for a decent price.

    I feel like people are extemely judgmental about anything anime/manga, but I've delved into both sides and I simply wound up preferring manga more. Both sides have amazing artists and writers, and I wish I had the talent to draw like any of them do.

    I'd love to see a new Western comic book series come along that's self-contained- if I find one I'll definitely give it a read, especially if it's an indie publisher. Marvel and DC are just too bloated for comfort for me, and I wish one of them would nuke their universe and start over so I can fully enjoy it as a new reader.
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  2. #2
    Titan Daemos daemonium's Avatar
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    As some one who reads both a ton I tend to enjoy manga a bit more due to them putting more effort into the art most of the time and the story’s being more self contained as you said. The biggest problem I have with manga is finding new things to read once I’ve finished a series which isn’t ever really a problem with western comics as they aren’t ever gonna stop making bank off there cash cow characters.

    As far as self contained western comics go you should really read reaver by image it’s fairly new And an absolutely amazing fantasy series with it being the first comic I’ve bought physically in over like over 5 years as I adore the art and characters.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Daemos daemonium View Post
    As some one who reads both a ton I tend to enjoy manga a bit more due to them putting more effort into the art most of the time and the story’s being more self contained as you said. The biggest problem I have with manga is finding new things to read once I’ve finished a series which isn’t ever really a problem with western comics as they aren’t ever gonna stop making bank off there cash cow characters.

    As far as self contained western comics go you should really read reaver by image it’s fairly new And an absolutely amazing fantasy series with it being the first comic I’ve bought physically in over like over 5 years as I adore the art and characters.
    I've always found american comics a bit puzzling, with a (relative) few characters being interpreted into a myriad of declination by as many authors.

    While I did come across a few in my youth, the latter was imbued by Franco-belgian comics, aka Bande dessinée, which is more into self-contained stories within a character's universe, although now long-spanning sagas are becoming more common. Art is usually top notch and with a very wide variety, but outside of self contained stories, one needs to be patient.

    Manga is amazing for the sheer variety of genre, styles and stories, not to mention the volume available.

    Might be a personal preference, but I really enjoy the exquisite backgrounds and mecha-design which are standards in Franco-belgian comics and Manga, whereas too many times in american comics I've been put off by the characters surroundings.
    "Learn to overcome the crass demands of flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we perceive the world. Extend your awareness outwards, beyond the self of body, to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and the greater race are transcendent, and to embrace them is to achieve enlightenment."

    ~ Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang on Essays on Mind and Matter

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Texan Penguin View Post
    I'd love to see a new Western comic book series come along that's self-contained- if I find one I'll definitely give it a read, especially if it's an indie publisher.
    Animosity(Aftershock Comics), Monstress(Image), Kill or Be Killed(Image), Unbelievable Gwenpool(Marvel), and Seven to Eternity(Image) are all recent series that are pretty much self contained. Animosity has a spinoff miniseries(Animosity Evolution) but it's telling a different story of it's own in the same universe. The 2 series do have a few references to each other but you don't need to read Evolution(though it's only a 10 issue run, and worth reading as well) to follow the main Animosity storyline. DC's Injustice series isn't really new but it's self contained and is quite good as well.

  5. #5
    Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have a new "Western" coming out through Image called Pulp. Technically its about a 30s Pulp writer who writes Westerns but it should do. Its a single graphic novel.

    East of West by Hickman and Dragotta is a Sci-fi Western Distopia from Image. Its 9 volumes long but its complete.

    Bouncer by Jodorowsky and Boucq from Humanoids. I think you can get all the stories in a single volume now. Its pretty straight ahead Western and less blatantly insane than most of Jodo's works. If you need the full-bore batshit insanity the Jodo usually brings there's Son of the Gun and El Topo.

    Jonah Hex by Lansdale and Truman from Vertigo. Joe Lansdale had this incorrect memory that the old Jonah Hex comics had a supernatural horror element to them. This wasn't true but he gave the world three Jonah Hex Horror Westerns that are excellent. I don't know how avaiable these are right now.

    Manifest Destiny from Image is apparently very good but I haven't read it. Its about Lewis and Clark although its somewhat more fantastical.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Texan Penguin View Post
    I don't need to backtrack through 40+ years of material to fully understand what the hell is going on.
    That is a storytelling flaw, remember the old Marvel comic, Stan Lee did tell the writer "remember this comic can be a persons first comic" So it was common to have a few palnels of the super heros orgin, and the dialog did helpe explaine the "past" Its Green Goblin my old enemy.

  7. #7
    I can't read DC/Marvel stuff, it's just too out there for me in terms of their story structure, background, themes, etc.

    The more hardcore graphic novel stuff like Frank Miller and whatnot, that I can get behind more. I still don't like the way it's written, usually. It's like a novel with illustrations tacked on, it doesn't flow as nicely as most manga do.

    I also don't like colored comics, it's too visually confusing for me. That's why I'm not a big fan of the Franco-Belgian stuff.

    But in the end, I prefer novels over everything anyway :P

  8. #8
    One Franco-belgian self-contained story I can recommend is Universal War One / UW1 by author Denis Bajram, it ran from 1998 to 2006 and has been long collected and translated into English.

    Another one that got me hooked and made me a fan of the original novel, is The Forever War, written by American science-fiction author Joe Haldeman and drawn by Belgian Artist Marvano. Its an even older serie that ran from 1988 to 1988, and which has also been collected and translated.

    Totally different and not yet completed, I can recommend the The Arab of the Future, which is a graphic memoir from Riad Sattouf.
    Last edited by Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang; 2020-05-01 at 07:55 AM.
    "Learn to overcome the crass demands of flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we perceive the world. Extend your awareness outwards, beyond the self of body, to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and the greater race are transcendent, and to embrace them is to achieve enlightenment."

    ~ Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang on Essays on Mind and Matter

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