March 16, 2008

Star Wars manga

A side-by-side comparison of Star Wars as done by Marvel Comics and done in Japan for the licensed manga version. As the commentary points out, the manga artists had the advantage of working with several more years of perspective, and thus had more material to work with.

However, the article illustrates the inherent superiority of B&W line drawing over (low quality) four-color offset. For one, page length becomes less of a financial constraint. Hence manga's use of "decompression," stretching out reaction shots and action sequences over several panels and even pages.

Also obvious is the greater tolerance in Y/A (shounen) manga for violence, and showing a bit more of Leia as she offs Jabba. American comics working under the Comics Code Authority are bound by tighter constraints. Manga manages to be both more explicit and more minimalistic.

Manga characters tend towards "types" (hence no need to make them look just like the actors), while background detail is often excruciatingly precise.

You may also spot a subtle shift in artistic styles in the manga from Star Wars to Return of the Jedi, reflecting a change in artists. Watch anime from this era (say, from Ranma through Ghost in the Shell), and you will observe similar stylistic trends.


# posted by Blogger Joe
3/16/2008 5:37 PM   
But what if the US version were done by Frank Miller?

(The US version was also clearly dumbed down toward 8 to 10 year olds, because its still not acceptable for older kids to read comic books. And since the comic book are dumbed down an older kid wouldn't read them and so on.)