What is Manga comics?
Learn all essential facts about manga comic books
Manga comic definition
Manga are comics and print cartoons. It is a Japanese word that literally translates as “whimsical pictures”.
While Westerners see comics as purely intended for children, the Japanese thinks otherwise.
In Japan, people of all ages read manga, making it a steady and major part of Japanese publishing, not to mention its increasing popularity worldwide.
Manga comprise a broad range of subjects; action, adventure, sports, romance, games, history, drama, comedy, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, sexuality, business, and many others ranging from children’s to the more restricted story plots.
Japanese manga contains many stories typically done in black and white, although there are also full color manga. A manga artist or a managaka works with a few assistants in a small studio and is associated with a creative editor from a commercial publishing company.
History of manga
Manga was first developed in Japan in the late 1900s and became widely popular in the 20th century after the laws that prohibit their publication were lifted.
The tradition of narrative art or telling stories with the use of sequential images has long been part of the Japanese culture.
Earliest forms of pre-manga artwork inspired and influenced the development of modern Japanese comics.
Historians and writers cite 2 broad and complementary processes that shaped today’s manga comics. Their views summed up to focus the importance on the role of cultural and historical events of World War II versus the role of pre-war Mejii and pre Meiji Japanese culture and art.
The first manga magazine Eshinbun Nipponchi, was created by Kanagaki Robun and Kawanabe Kyosai in 1984.
Best Manga comics
• Astro Boy – this manga comics remains immensely popular worldwide. Astro boy was created by Osamu Tezuka and was first published in 1952, its story follows the adventures of the titular character, a robot that lives in a futuristic world and co-exists with humans.
• Ghost in the Shell – a Japanese sci-fi manga by Massamune Shirow. It is a story of Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg on a hunt for the cyber criminal, The Puppeteer.
• Akira – a chaotic saga set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo. A black and white serialized manga by Katsuhiro Otomo, Akira served as a breakthrough in manga comics and inspired later works, including Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto.
• Lone Wolf and Cub – a wrongly accused Ogami Itto seeks revenge with his 3 year old son, forced to take the path of an assassin.
Created by Kazuo Kioke and Goseiki Kijoma, Lone Wolf and Cub is a widely recognized and influential work that inspired several famous titles; Frank Miiller’s Ronin and Sin City and Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins.
• Nausicaa – Nausicaa of the valley of the wind tells the story of the titular character, a princess of a small kingdom trapped in a war between great empires that threatens mankind’s survival.
Written and illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki, an acclaimed anime director, Nausicaa serialized from 1982 until 1994.
• Dragon ball – follow the adventures of Son Goku as he explores the world in search of the 7 dragon balls which can summon a wish-granting dragon.
Since its release, Dragon Ball became one of the most popular manga series of its time, not only in Japan but worldwide selling millions of copies. Dragon Ball is written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama.
• Naruto – an ongoing Japanese manga that follows the story of Naruo Uzumaki, a young ninja who aspires to be a Hokage.
Written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto is among today’s famous Japanese manga, spanning to several other media; video games, tv series and films.
• Full Metal Alchemist – a story of 2 alchemist brother, Edward and Alphonse Elric in search for a legendary catalyst, the Philosopher’s Stone.
Written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa, this Japanese manga spanned a multitude of merchandise making it one of the most popular serialized manga worldwide.
Value of manga comic books
Like most comic collectibles, manga comic books serve as priced additions to a comic collection. Many comic collectors are willing to pay hefty sums for a classic and rare manga issue.
A manga comics value takes in important considerations that determines its price and worth; condition, age, creator, and popularity among others.
Comic book grading and appraisal would be helpful if you want to know the worth of your manga. Just make sure to have it graded by trusted comic graders or learn how to pre-asses your Japanese comics to save time and money.
However, the worth of Japanese comics is truly determined depending on how much a collector or a buyer is willing to pay for it.