American Manga: Wired's downloadable mini-comic explains the history of the form

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12 Responses to “American Manga: Wired's downloadable mini-comic explains the history of the form”

  1. grotund says:

    I’m confused by the reading order you suggest in the article. The comic should be read by going to the last page, reading from top right to bottom left of the page, going back ONE page and then repeating until done.

    If you’re skipping back two pages when you read the story then in western reading style it’d be the equivalent of turning a page, reading the right page and then the left page – i.e. it’d make no sense. If you’re reading Japanese style, then it’s fully – both in layout and in page ordering.

  2. grotund says:

    I’m confused by the reading order you suggest in the article. The comic should be read by going to the last page, reading from top right to bottom left, going back ONE page and then repeating until done.

    If you’re skipping back two pages when you read the story then in western reading style it’d be the equivalent of turning a page, reading the right page and then the left page – i.e. it’d make no sense. If you’re reading Japanese style, then it’s fully – both in layout and in page ordering.

  3. Maggie Leber says:

    Translating a manga written in Japanese to English, there are some problems of flow that can’t be solved without preserving the right-to-left orientation of flow.

    But producing a written-in-English manga in that form isn’t “preserving an esthetic”. It’s just pretentious.

  4. Cory Doctorow says:

    Grotund, download the PDF. The layouts are two-page spreads, so the “first” page is #11 (the cover), the “second” is #9 (the right-hand side of the first spread), the “third” is #10 (the left hand side of the spread), the “fourth” is #7 (the right hand side of the second spread) and so on.

  5. Made in DNA says:

    Brng.

  6. Mingross says:

    Ack! I’ve been reading manga for over ten years, but I’ve [I]never[/I] been able to get used to reading “unflipped” manga right-to-left. I agree with Maggie that doing a “manga” that was originally written in English is pretentious. If I can’t tell where the hell I’m supposed to start reading, that’s a problem.

    Come to think of it, I remember reading a Comics Journal article that argued pretty convincingly that presenting manga “unflipped” really doesn’t make them more “authentic.”

  7. A New Challenger says:

    I used the Flash version on the site. Turning pages was cute.

    That Pikachu pic may just be my new avatar on some message board.

  8. Mingross says:

    I meant “left-to-right,” not “right-to-left.”

  9. applecurry says:

    Actually, the reason that it laid out backwards is because Japanese printed media generally is oriented this way. The creators were trying to match the aesthetics of manga.

  10. Yaruki Zero says:

    “But producing a written-in-English manga in that form isn’t “preserving an esthetic”. It’s just pretentious.”

    Maybe, but at this point I’m so used to right-to-left comics that I’ll occasionally catch myself trying to start with the rightmost panel of a Dilbert comic strip, so seeing that in, say, Aoi House, doesn’t faze me at all.

  11. theRat says:

    In a pdf it sure it’s hard to read that way. Internet manga readers usually use CDisplay, that already comes with reading backwards support.
    You wouldn’t believe how hard this gets ingrained into your system, I open my books the wrong way almost every time

  12. Cory Doctorow says:

    Yes, but this fails in the case of a PDF, where you don’t read left to right OR right to left, but by clicking “NEXT PAGE.”

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