dimanche, août 14, 2005

Sayonnara Monsieur Kreuzführer!

In my new series "7 Blog entries that will give you shit" we come to issue 2:

Sometimes, I get the impression that Americans are sorry to be the winners WW2.
No kidding. Or how can you explain this strange
fascination that especially Comic artists seem to have for Japanese and German culture?
First of all, we are drown under an avalanche of Mangas and Ninjas.
No harm being into that, even if I can't really see what is so thrilling in the attempt to draw EXACTLY as hundred other Manga-Wannabies.

But it doesn't stop at the drawing-style mimikry. Every seccond aspiring comic artist apparently found out that he was a japanese in his former life and therefore still can't bareley speak English and seeds countless japanese words in his comics.

At Webcomicsnation I counted three comics with German titles and I am not including the Comics of Donna Barr, because I would not throw these in the same basket as the ones I am talking about here.

Don't get me wrong:
I don't have anything against portraying a foreign culture in a comic. But when you do so, please do it right. I cannot tell about the japanese ones, but the German expressions that are fashionably used here and there are up to 90% wrong.
And I assure you: That's not fancy, that's just plain embarassing.

Yes, I know that my English isn't any better. I ask you to let me get away with it in Forums and on blogs. But I do care for proper English in the comics and giove away texts for proofreading. So if you really feel the urge to use occasional foreign terms, take the time and care and submitt it to a native speaker before you put it into your work. And don't forget footnotes.

Always remember WHO your readers are. Your main purpose should be to give them a read that is imediatly understandable. If you prefer to impress them with your so called knowledge of foreign terminology, at least GET that knowledge!

3 commentaires:

mauser*girl a dit…

I don't think it has anything to do with being embarrassed over World War II, but rather with the fact that people think foreign cultures are cool. It's much more the case with Asian cultures, particularly Japanese, than with European cultures, though. Actually, Donna's is the only art I'm aware of that frequently uses German. Unless you want to count the bad 1950s and 1960s comics that featured evil Nazis. Though they're still fun, even if they're just plain wrong. ;)

As for manga, I'll be the first to admit that I read and love manga. It's not so much about the art with those as it is about the story. They're often lengthy series and each book is about 100 pages or so. It's more like watching a movie - you go see it for the story even if the actors are the same you've seen in 100 other films. Most real manga artists in Japan don't write the stories, they get stories that they are drawing for. And then they have assistants who do the coloring, and other people who do the lettering. It's an entirely different comics system than most comics out there. (And the morons who draw "manga style" because it's cool don't know the first thing about manga.)

Kyle Miller a dit…

I think a lot of kids imitate the manga style simply because it's easy to imitate. The find that they can put pencil to paper and actually come up with something that looks recognizable. Then everyone would "ooh and ahh" and tell them what a great artist they were. When I was a kid, most of my classmates would imitate Mad cartoonist Don Martin for these very reasons (not me, BTW).

I don't particularly think this is a good thing. After all, if I'm a publisher and I want to hire a Manga artist, do I want to go with the original or a "wannabe?" I think it is much better for an artist to develop their own style. Then when a publisher is looking for the original, they'll come to you.

Darc a dit…

Hello. *waves* I hope I haven't offended with my comic. I'm not sure why I chose to set the story in Britain except I've always been interested in British history and really wanted to avoid having the characters in the US to cut down on any X Files comparisons. We still get some now and then but not as much as we probably would have if they were Americans. Though that would have made drawing things a lot easier. I spend so much time trying to make sure I get things at least somewhat close to how they're suppose to look. I still make mistakes though. Luckily a number of our readers are from the UK so I'm sure they'll let us know if we've messed up. :D

Still, though I try to do research I know I make mistakes. Hopefully they don't detract too much from the story. More importantly I hope they don't offend anyone.

As to the fascination with Japan lately I'm wondering if it may be a result of all the Japanese animation and manga that's been coming over. It seems to be the cool thing right now and a number of people wish to be cool. Honestly, I go into Borders bookstore and see two solid rows of manga with only a mini section of western made titles (most of them being from DC or Marvel). The bubble will pop eventually but until then it's going to be pretty predominant. The fact that the comic Megatokyo is so popular probably helps add to the abundance of webcomic manga. *shrug*