I was not expecting much of a response from my last post, but I ended up getting some good feedback thanks to Johanna over at Comics Worth Reading responding to what I wrote. I realized I forgot to mention something important in my last post. That being that Deb Aoki’s Manga Blog is the most helpful site I found in trying to find manga to read. I recommend anyone new to manga to check out her site.
I’m finding out I’m not alone in having trouble making the jump from comics to manga. As I have learned the manga that I enjoy falls into the Seinen genre which is geared towards adults much like US comics are now. I believe most anyone who reads popular US comics can relate to the feeling that most of the translated manga is a drastic jump from what we are used to. The common complaint is the art style. That was my view going in and I was surprised to find how diverse manga is artistically.
I’m going to start keeping a list of manga that I believe is well suited for fans that grew up on American comics. It is not meant to be definitive just what I believe to be the easiest transition from comics to manga. I will add more as I find it. I’m going to limit it to more current manga as classic manga like Akira are already well known. The list is in no particular order.
- 20th Centuary Boys by Naoki Urasawa
- Pluto by Naoki Urasawa
- Monster by Naoki Urasawa
- Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue
I have already mentioned Urasawa’s work before. Vagabond is the manga adapation of the novel Musashi. It is a fictionalized retelling of the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Inoue’s art is by far the best I have come across in the manga I have seen and read. It is on par with the top artists in American comics. It makes for a very easy jump from American comics to manga. I should warn though that the storytelling is extremely decompressed. One fight can last an entire volume. The art is so beautiful I find I don’t mind how incredibly slow the story is.