Creating an Idea

The word “manga,” when translated, roughly means “whimsical drawings.” When you think about it, that’s just another way of trying to express the foggy idea that pops up in our heads when dealing with “comics.”  I could go on for several blog posts about why this is so, and what exactly is so unique about comics as an art, but that’s best left in the hands of Scott McCloud, and his three works Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics, all of which I highly recommend.  As much as this project is about understanding comics as a distinct art, it is about developing this understanding through the art, rather than trying to force it into words.  So, without further ado, I got cracking on the project.

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The Artist Post 1: The Drawing Process

The project is split between a writer (Skyler) and an artist (me) so each role may have a different perspective on the process and outcome, so one of the most enjoyable aspects of the project (at least for me) is the interaction between the two. For now I’ll focus on my own process/part of the project.

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Skyler Garrison and I are working together to create a Manga one-shot: a short, beginning chapter that can lead to a longer series. Skyler is the writer, while I am the artist. The world of comics is a rising form of art, and it can create intricate characters and portray unique worlds. Skyler and I will be creating a comic in the Japanese form called Manga. We want to help prove that comics can be serious literary works, full of real characters with complex emotions, themes and ideas. Books written by Scott McCloud and other comic theorists provide insight into the different aspects of comics. Other graphic novels can help us with inspiration, technique, and pacing, like the Pulitzer prize winning Maus and the highly successful manga series Bakuman. With these tools and creativity, we hope to show the true potential of Manga and comics.

Abstract – “Researching Manga: The Interaction of Image and Language”

Mark Zuschlag and I are collaborating to create a one-shot manga.  Mark will illustrate the work, and I will write it.  Manga is a word for Japanese comics, the graphic novel form in the style of Manga/Anime.  A one-shot is a short story in Manga form, and is sometimes used as the basis for a Manga series, but often stand alone.  Like art theorist Scott McCloud asserts about comics in general, I assert that Manga is a rich art form that contains as much nuance as is contained in classical arts, and I intend to write a work that reflects the subtlety and power possible in this form.  Much of the ability of the Manga rests in the interaction of language and images, just as it depends on the interaction of a writer and artist.  Mark and I intend to study these interactions while referring to the work of great manga artists, art theorists, writers, and artists.