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Japan: Manga

February 9th, 2010 · 11 Comments

During the visit, I decided to also explore the culture of Manga comics. I found a few in English and started reading them. The stories were amazingly engrossing. Thedrawings are black and white line art, and some of the comic books are also quite edgy.

Seeing the craze for Manga made me think about Comics in India. I, like many others, grew up on a regular dose of comics. It started with Amar Chitra Katha – buying their new comic every two weeks as soon as it was published. Then, when I was old enough to make my own buying decisions, I ‘graduated’ to Phantom, Dennis, Mandrake, Bahadur (remember Indrajal Comics?), and the like. I also remember reading a lot of the Commando comics (stories from the World Wars). Most of these comics were rented from a nearby library. I later explored Tintin and Asterix, but never quite got into them.

Somewhere, through the years, the craze for comics in India has reduced. I hope that changes. Perhaps, if we can simplify the drawing to a variation of the Manga style (eliminating the need for colouring), we can open up new markets within India.

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11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Clipped.in - Explore Indian blogs // Feb 9, 2010 at 6:58 am

    One reason why cartoons do not get the acceptance in India (compared to west and Japan) should be the presence of so many mythological characters.

  • 2 rohitaash // Feb 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Hi Rajesh,

    Its always great to know someone you follow, shares your interestes. I grew up on lotpot, Amar chitra katha, Indrajal comics, madhu muskan, thick russion story books in hindi and later diamond comic books – rajan iqbal, lambu motu, fauladi singh etc.

    Reading them made me aware of first and foremost importance of justice in the society.

    Now that I think about it, I can say much of my thoughts and writings on injustices in indian society are direct result of almost 10 years and more of reading comics.

    Unfortunately, injustice can easily depress one if a person, sensitive to it, finds that he is unable to face it head on regardless of who it happens to.
    As is evident from everyone around us, being normal” in our society means accepting and ignoring its “abnormal” ways!

    I believe technology is a weapon much powerful than muscles to address many of society’s shortcomings esp the one like india – which is a very much information and words driven society.

    Your writings instill hope in many of your readers that years of capitalism has not only left you with worldly pragmatic wisdom but you still have it in you to play the role destiny chose for you – painting on a bigger canvas worthy of your scale of thought!

    Kind Regards,

  • 3 kasi // Feb 9, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I had a friend during IIT days… who used to read Tintin and Asterix even at the age of 27+ (he was
    doing Ph.D aerospace and is now a Assoc.Prof in IIT M). May be he still reads them !! 🙂

    Even at 43+ i still watch Tom-and-Jerry along with my kid!!!

    Comics and Cartoons have no age limits.


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  • 5 Siddhesh Ayre // Feb 9, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Yea, I always felt that India needs somthing like Naruto which takes a lot of cues from Japenese Mythology. We have epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata. If someone can take cues from such epics and put it in a comic., that would be gr8.
    And Kasi said, comics and Cartoons have no age limits.

  • 6 g.e. // Feb 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Found Peter Carey’s Wrong About Japan interesting:

    Also, remembered a nice art i had read earlier in NYT (manga in the mobile world..):

  • 7 Adarsh // Feb 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    If you like manga, you should read Liar Game. I am sure you will find it very interesting 🙂

  • 8 Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD // Feb 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    We use Manga comics extensively for patient education ! It’s a great way of communicating information in a patient-friendly format.

    Our comics are free online at http://ivfindia.com/babychase_comicbook/babychasecomicbook.htm

    Dr Malpani

  • 9 Kunnath Santhosh // Feb 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I guess TV and the readily available cartoon channels have killed comic books in India. In fact reading books in general has suffered because of so many other distractions (TV, internet, video games). The following cartoon on time website is a telling statement on the situation. 🙂

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