What You Need to Know About Comics and Manga

United States comic readers typically view comics as being something for children; however, manga in Japan is immensely popular and widely read across age groups – from young girls reading it (shoujo) to boys reading shonen (gender specific).

Manga differs from comic books in that its creation usually falls to just one individual and that its stories are distributed through so-called single issues.


Myreadingmanga is an artform combining visual and written storytelling, often featuring characters with exaggerated features. Oversized eyes are an iconic motif in manga and can portray various emotions – for example, they may bulge when excited or sad emotions surface in its characters.

Manga artists, also known as mangakas, are responsible for both writing and drawing comic books. Additionally, mangakas typically work together in teams.

Manga comics, much like Western comics, span multiple genres from horror to adventure; however, adventure remains the most widely read genre within manga and usually follows a hero on their quest.

Manga can feature an array of plotlines, from romance to mystery. When writing manga stories, it is crucial that the plot flows smoothly; prepping will help avoid inconsistencies and ensure the overall plot flows correctly. Plan out where and what types of events will take place at each location before beginning drawing.


Manga chapters typically span 24- to 30-pages with four panels on each page, keeping readers engaged by moving the story along predictably with each panel pushing the plot along in an engaging fashion.

Most manga series center around relationships and emotions; for instance, Shojo manga typically follows the journey of young female protagonists as they come of age in this genre. You can usually identify it by its use of pretty pinks or flowers on its cover art.

There are also josei manga, which feature more adult stories exploring romantic and personal relationships – often times these stories may include sexual content more explicit than their shojo counterparts.

Some misconceptions exist regarding comics and manga, with people sometimes mistaking these stories for true literature or suitable only for children or teenagers; this simply isn’t true! These tales offer rich artwork as well as narrative content suited for adults as well.

Art Styles

There are various art styles utilized in comics and manga that range from more realistic depictions to stylized images that all work towards creating the overall aesthetic of each comic or manga title. Each style serves its purpose in helping shape its overall appearance.

One of the most beloved manga styles, aimed primarily at female readers, is Shojo (short for “shojo manga”). Designed with more realistic proportions and dynamic action-packed scenes that ensure readers stay immersed in their story easily, Shojo makes manga reading accessible to any age.

Other manga styles include Berserk, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon and Neon Genesis Evangelion which all utilize more of an abstract aesthetic in their artwork. Block shading instead of fine hatching adds depth and dimension to these illustrations.

On the other hand, there are comics which use more detailed artwork with traditional western influences – Frank Miller’s Sin City is an outstanding example of this genre, featuring intricate patterns on its backgrounds and more realistic depictions of people, places, and objects that is hard to ignore.


Sexuality is an integral component of manga, often raising eyebrows with its content that can be provocatively explicit. Contrary to American culture where sexuality is usually tied closely to identity, manga allows readers to explore various sexual ideas without feeling bound up by them as strongly.

Female manga artists have recently revolutionized the girl’s manga genre to challenge gender stereotypes by featuring more women in prominent roles and using cute designs that appeal to younger readers. While such changes have raised debate regarding objectification of female characters in manga, they do provide a safe space in which gender and feminism can be explored freely in manga.

Men’s manga has proven less successful at challenging gender stereotypes, yet an exciting trend has recently surfaced with the rise of yuri and Boy’s Love/BL manga titles. While these types of titles fetishize LGBTQ+ characters and relationships, critics argue they create unrealistic expectations of male-male relationships among cisgender readers and may harm cisgender readers as well as cause unnecessary anxiety for these characters to deal with.

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