View Full Version : Manga in other Asian counties

06-17-2006, 09:59 AM
My girlfriend’s taking a three week class in Malaysia and Singapore on international marketing. I told her while she was over there to pick me up some authentic manga in Malay. I don’t even read manga, but I also don’t read Malay, just thought it would be fun.

She went to the bookstore yesterday and said they had plenty of comics in Malay but no manga – she said the English section of the bookstore is all manga. Now, she hates comics, and I think what she means by manga is the little digest bound books we get here in the states. But to hear her explain it, it sounds like the Malaysian books are full sized comics.

She also goes on to say that one of the kids in her class (a Malaysian American who grew up there) and the bookstore owner has never even heard the term “manga”). I know manga’s a Japanese term, and I know I’m playing the stupid American card here, but I’m curious.

When you go to Asian countries – do they also package the digest version of comics? The English translations we get in America – do those primarily come straight from Japan to us and don’t get dispersed to many other Asian countries? In Japan, before the collected editions, are the comics printed on something similar to our dimensions? And does anyone know if there’s a significant differences (besides language) between Japanese manga and comics produced in other Asian countries?

Sorry if half (or all) of these questions are stupid.

06-18-2006, 08:31 PM
Well I can offer what I know about comics in Japan. Manga is just a Japanese expression that refers to comic books. In Japan they don't say manga to mean only Japanese comics, and they don't switch languages and say comic books to mean only English comic books. Most of their comics are published in large thick collections containing multiple author's works, usually with large pages. Some of them are monthly or bimonthly. Then later when there is enough work the sections for a single title that were previously printed in those separate collections are combined into one book, often with smaller size pages than the original printings.
On another note, someone told me that Japanese pop culture rules Asia (in reguards to comics and animation at least).

So anyway, I wouldn't assume that other countries will switch languages when they are talking about comic books, so you might need to ask about Japanese comics or Malay comics, or comic book collections or paperbacks or whatever the term may be. . . :)

07-10-2006, 06:00 PM
here's what i can share:

currently in the malaysian comic scene, there are 3 major factions of comic enthusiasts. american comics, japanese manga and hongkong comics. u can get all major titles of american comics from major publishers there, and sometimes u can find indepedent comics too, if u know where to look. japanese manga and hongkong comics are usually translated into either bahasa or cantonese, and u can get these in almost any newstands.

industry wise, in malaysia, we dont really have periodic/individual titled comics (batman, x-men etc), but we have comic magazines like anthologies or compilations, something like 2000AD or heavy metal. technically, the industry is still small. the styles are diverse. the term professional artist/penciller/inker are virtually very new. we dont have proper professional comic artist until 2000.

the term manga is easily confused in malaysia. manga (man-ga) is also the malay word for mango (fruit). u ask anyone there for japanese manga, they'll show u to the supermarket.

feel free to ask anything. i'm part of a group currently trying to form a kind of association of malaysian comic artist to protect our rights, especially ownership of works. the publishers in malaysia tend to take ownership of anything produced under their flag. we're trying to break that monopoly. ;)

(i could also translate malay comics, but i cant read chinese)

07-10-2006, 08:08 PM
It really depends. I gew up in Hong Kong and spent my teenage years in Indonesia so I can tell you this:

In Hong Kong, you have Chinese comics, they're mostly kung fu stories, fully illustrated in color, in a big magazine format. However the bigger market is Japanese comics. They translate them into chinese in both the original monthly anthology magazine (like Shonen Jump, etc) and the collected digests Americans are more familiar with.

In Indonesia, the translated digests of Japanese comics are about the only comics people read. Indonesia doesn't really have their own comic industry nowadays. Used to in the 60s-70s, with kung fu comics. The kids who are aspiring comic artists now are all extremely manga-influenced, I notice.

Japanese comics rule Asia, yes. That's what all Asian kids read... Dragon Ball Z and Samurai X and Initial D and so forth, translated into their own language. They translate Marvel and DC comics too, but I don't know anyone who reads them beside very little kids. The American comic lovers (like moi) buy original imported English ones, of course. That fanbase is very, very small though. It's not just hard to find the shops, but the import price is high too.

When I was in junior high and high school, I could only afford one or two issues a month. I had to get by with buying trades and HCs in bookstores. They're much cheaper.

Hooray America.