It All Depends On Your Definition of Obscure

December 27th, 2004 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

Milwaukie-based Dark Horse is now enjoying another growth spurt thanks to the popularity of a once-obscure Japanese comic style called “manga.”

We’re presuming the author of this fine article means that manga was once obscure in the United States, as it wasn’t particularly obscure in Japan. But that’s not our concern at the moment. As it turns out, retailers are devoting increasing floor space to manga (as they are anime — much to our delight). Apparently, humans are visual creatures and like pictures. Yeah, that’s why we subscribe to so many magazines. It’s not like we’re reading the articles or anything…

We’re fine with this — manga is a novel in another format, and, frankly, it’s not like the concept is new. If anything (and we suspect this is a stretch, but what the heck), it’s the approach to comics and stories that are grabbing readers, not the pictures. We’re not buying into this theory:

However, a recent New York Times editorial predicting that graphic novels will eventually overshadow traditional novels seems to be supported by cultural changes. America is a visual society, one that’s loathe to let go of the joys of youth.

And, yes, we’re going to hold our breath until we get our way.

Seriously, the idea that humans are dumbing down their reading has been a recurring theme since, pretty much, humans started reading. It is the first battle any genre of fiction must fight. Someone with proper authority, or at least the ability to fake it, determines the level of art that defines our cultural pinnacle. Anything that doesn’t meet this standard represents the decline of Western civilization. For a quick reality check, we recommend watching Brazil. It helps, it really does.

  • Dark Horse rides new wave: ‘Manga’ provides the boost for Milwaukie comic emporium
  • Not Funnies (Note: we are presuming this is article being referenced above. We are also a bit confused about the domain hosting this article, but it does appear to be somehow related)
  • Brazil

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

2 responses so far ↓

  • daniel olivas // Dec 28, 2004 at 10:47 am

    my one connection to dark horse: thea kuticka, who is a wonderful, award-winning poet, had been the publicity person at one of my publishers, asu’s bilingual press (i mention her in my acknowledgments for “assumption and other stories”). she’s now at dark horse and loves it (last i heard). she sent me a graphic novel for my son, manga in style, and i was very impressed by its quality. my son loved it (he was 13 at the time).

  • booksquare // Dec 28, 2004 at 11:00 am

    As you might guess, I am a huge fan and proponent of manga, so I’m naturally excited to hear that the Dark Horse people are so cool (yes, extrapolating based on one person…it’s raining buckets here, no time for real research!).

    I think you’ve hit on a key aspect of manga: quality. These are true stories with levels of complexity that really appeal to me. Hmm, maybe I’m secretly a 13-year old boy.