We all hear about what a great hobby reading books is, with multitudes of added benefits. “Reading makes a full man,” they say, children are told this from kindergarten onwards and are pushed to adopt this hobby. It doesn’t work out for everyone, but a good percentage of people adopt this hobby and glorify it.
Reading as a Hobby
Now, don’t get me wrong, reading books is great and all, but if reading is so great, why are Comic books frowned upon? They are a form of books as well, as even though they have the added effect of using drawn image panels to convey the story, it is still reading.
A very conservative person might say, “Comics aren’t books! They aren’t the same”. Looking at the broader picture, this is a very primitive way to look at it.
Manga are basically Japanese comic books that relay novels to the reader through black and white image panels and speech bubbles. Reading Manga is still reading and these materials are technically books. Conventional books use only words to conjure imagery in the readers’ minds while telling their tale.
Manga shows us what the characters and scenes look like in the Author’s mind, but connecting them and letting the scenes play out in one’s mind is upto the reader. Basically, the reader’s mind and imagination is still highly active.
An avid manga reader who has watched a fair share of Anime as well can even hear the sound effects in their heads while reading. Comparatively, the author’s thoughts and emotions are better relayed to the reader in the form of both text and speech in Manga.
Comparing different Reading Mediums
It is erroneous by principle to compare reading conventional books, reading Manga and even reading subtitles while watching a TV series or movie. Each has its own pros and cons and a debate over this can never truly reach a valid conclusion.
But it ought to be blatantly obvious to anyone with common sense that reading is still reading. On that note, people who are used to subtitles tend to be very fast and fluent readers. Bringing characters and scenes to life within one’s mind is a skill both Books and Manga confer upon their readers.
Lets us not forget: Manga are Japanese comics, they relay their culture, traditions, unique styles and artistic abilities through this creative medium to readers worldwide. In this regard, they do a better job in propagating the Japanese sense of art and beauty.
Pros of Reading Manga?
Manga readers are fast and fluent readers, with proactive imaginations that create scenes in their minds with near pinpoint accuracy. Their eyes, ears and minds are quite active while reading, not to mention the feel of the Manga in one’s hands and the incomparable smell emanating from fresh material.
Manga readers also take to art, attempting to draw their favorite characters and scenes, getting help from the source material. These lead to absolutely stunning and creative fan-art works that take even the Manga artists by storm. Each fan gets a chance to project their own art style through the pre-existing template characters and backgrounds. Others awaken their own inner Author and take to writing Fanfiction works.
These exude their own story telling style, cultures and values. In this way, it isn’t only the Japanese style that is spread. These mediums allow fans from all over the world to connect with each other. Since Manga art comes in black and white (except in Cover art, Special pages and Color features), many fans tend to love coloring in iconic scenes taken straight from Manga panels. These too appear in different styles and colors, which many fans come to appreciate.
Reading Manga adds to reader vocabularies, gives them an idea about foreign cultures, inspires them to write and draw, to propagate these unique works to like-minded friends and learns how to relay their own stories to the world.
Many introverted and timid personalities have emerged from their enclosed shells this way. What’s more, buying the Manga supports the Authors and Artists directly, rewarding them for their hard work and creativity.
One-Punch Man Manga
There are many examples of successful individuals who were inspired by Manga worldwide. A very well known one is the Manga Artist “ONE”. He is known for his web Manga series “One-Punch Man”, which was later remade into a digital Manga illustrated by Yusuke Murata.
ONE serialized the One Punch Man Manga Online on his own website under no official publisher. By December 2015, his website got more than 100,000 hits per day and has logged over 70 million total visits. This is one of the pinnacles reached by an avid Manga reader.
So what is stopping you? Let your creativity shine through and take your chances at being recognized! This might just be the Creative path for you.