Comic vs Manga Art


Selecting from American comics or Japanese comics, AKA manga, and stating that one is better from the other on the basis of art, story-telling, etc. are completely subjective. But one thing is for sure - Japanese and American comics are not the same. As a matter of fact, there is a considerable number of differences between the two.

People who enjoy American comics generally do not like Japanese manga and vice versa. Why? Because they are different! While it is generally believed that they are both the same and just comics, let’s have a look at some of the striking dissimilarities between the two:

  1. Cultural Difference

It is not difficult to see that the culture of Japan and America is very different and so is their comics. For instance, let us consider the length of these comics. While American comics are generally published independently as a monthly issue, mangas are generally published in several anthology titles. It is very common for manga to just have a single chapter in a comic and the next chapter is published in another comic.

As a result, manga comics are generally slower when it comes to storytelling as compared to American comics. But this doesn’t mean that these comics are short on entertainment or action. A lot happens between the pages but overall, the story moves at a slower pace.

  1. Information Flow

The next major difference between the two is the flow of information. American comics are generally read from left to right and from top to bottom of the page. However, manga requires the readers to follow art and the speech bubbles before following a right to left, top to bottom rule. This is the biggest difference between the American comics and Japanese comics.

American comics have a pretty direct approach and generally provide information at the very beginning or the end of the page, followed by the image. But manga generally tries to guide the readers throughout the pages and effectively guides them to where they should look. This is the reason due to which reading a manga backward often seems very natural. However, this is not possible with American comics.

  1. Cinematic Approach

Last but not least, the cinematic approach of both types of comics is different. Comics generally are very direct and majorly have panels full of action. While manga too can have several action-filled panels, they also have many other types of panels which are generally not found in other types of comics. For instance, aspect-to-aspect panels which mostly focus on different elements of the same surrounding or different emotions at a given instance.

It is also very common in manga that the subject-to-subject and aspect-to-aspect panels have little or no dialog’s at all. This is generally done to prevent crowding when a lot of things are happening simultaneously.

As you can see, there are several obvious differences between comics and manga arts. Both types of comics require different types of art along with the excellent art of storytelling. Preferring one over the other just depends on the personal opinion of the readers.


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