Comics, Mangas, And Graphic Novels Are The Same
Start writing a post
Arts Entertainment

Comics, Mangas, and Graphic Novels Are the Same

So relax and enjoy them for what they are.

318
https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/12/28/03/45/ice-sculptures-1935352_960_720.jpg
Mariamichelle | Pixabay

Chances are you've heard of the terms "comic books," "mangas," and "graphic novels." Will Eisner, responsible for popularizing the term "graphic novels," made a goal for comics to be seen as literature with critically acclaimed stories like "A Contact With God." Since then, writers like Art Spiegelman who wrote the classic "Maus," adopted the term to refer allegedly to a more mature form of comics.

Manga is important to Japanese art culture—many will be familiar with the original comics or anime adaptations of "Dragon Ball," "Sailor Moon," and "One Piece." It doesn't change the fact that calling these comics is still correct.

A comic is a story often told with visuals in multiple panels. Comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and Mangas all have this, making them comics.

Take Charles Schulz's "Peanuts," one of the world's most popular four panels consisting of Charlie Brown and his friends' misadventures. Through decades of change within the characters and numerous re-releases of books, including the fantastic Fantagraphics Books, one could argue that these are comic books, graphic novels, or even manga if you read a Japanese translation.

It does not change the fact that "Peanuts" tells its stories through visuals, accompanied by speech bubbles and panels.

As for Manga—remember that the English translation of Manga (漫画 in Japanese using Kanji characters) is "comics." That means if someone reads Superman, an American creation in a Japanese translation, especially in Japan, they are reading a Manga. That doesn't mean they are wrong for calling Superman a comic, certainly not more so than reading a Dragon Ball comic in English oversea and calling it a comic book. There are no art styles exclusive to Japan, America or any other nations.

It's like arguing that anime is a different media from animation, when the only difference is that anime animation made in Japan.

Further confusing is the false assumption that comic books and graphic novels are somehow different. Doing so implies that comic books is inherently juvenile while graphic novels is the sophisticated medium made for adults. Despite this, nothing stops a comic book from being mature or a graphic novel from being childish.

It certainly hasn't stopped the Japanese comic industry from categorizing their comics into five different sections, kodomo (children), shonen (teenage males), shojo (teenage females), seinen (adult male), and josei (adult women), and still calling all of it comics.

Had Eisner not distributed "A Contract With God" through bookstores instead of comic shops that were popping up (granted not without justifications), there would be no doubt that graphic novels are comics.

There's no shame in calling a comic a comic. Either way, it's the medium that follows the most beloved gang of children being mean to each other like in "Peanuts," or follows the journey of a middle-aged man who lost his parents at a young age and now fights crime against Gotham's worst enemies like in Batman. It's the search for seven mystical Dragon Balls to grant a wish like in "Dragon Ball," or provide thoughtful commentary on the decline of superheroes in "The Watchmen."

So relax and enjoy them for what they are.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

77218
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

146851
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments