Manga vs Comic Books

By: Thomas Horvath

Superhero movies are the most popular genre of film currently, but not nearly as many people read the source material. This makes sense, as watching a movie is much simpler and less time-consuming for then reading a full-length book. Comic books have always been a niche and nerdy pastime for people who really love the stories and characters. But then there is manga. Manga is dominating comic sales around the world, with their top series selling as much as, if not more than, the entire comic industry. So the question to be asked is: how come manga sells so much better than comic books?

There are a couple of explanations for this question. One could be that anime is directly adapted from its source manga. If someone watches the anime and doesn’t want to wait for the rest of the chapters to be adapted, they can just go to their local bookstore and pick up the next volume. Comics tend to be their own thing, so they don’t ever get adapted into television shows. Another reason could be that manga and Japanese culture in general are more trendy than American comics. Manga tends to be a bit more mature while comic books are seen as pretty campy. But what has to be the biggest reason would be that manga is much easier to follow than comics. For instance, if a kid wanted to read a Batman comic, he would have no clue where to start. But if a kid wanted to read Naruto, he would just get volume one and start from there. With comics constantly getting rebooted and remastered, it can be really difficult to follow the story. That’s why people would rather just watch the movies since they are much easier to understand. 

Either way, nerd culture is taking over the mainstream, with superheroes, manga, and video games becoming extremely popular. Both manga and comic books can tell incredible stories, but it seems like manga is currently the much more popular writing form. If comic books followed the movies and stuck to one main story, they could easily catch up.

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