The paperback island in a sea of manly storylines
Manga posters at this year's Paris book fair.
August 17th, 2012
05:08 PM ET

The paperback island in a sea of manly storylines

Editor's note: Danica Davidson is a writer whose articles have appeared on MTV.com, Publishers Weekly and the Los Angeles Times. She also writes English adaptations of Japanese graphic novels. She has recently finished her first young adult novel.

I’ve heard many women talk about different forms of prejudice they’ve faced in the comics world. As a journalist I've always found myself the only woman out of the who-knows-how-many journalists, publishers and writers participating in phone conferences to talk about new comic books.

Sometimes the men on these calls seem uncomfortable and not sure what to make of me.

But at anime conventions, I feel right at home beside other female manga fans. Attending these conventions, I’ve never gotten a sense of “You’re a woman so you don’t really belong here.”

FULL POST

Publishers want you to know: Manhwa is not manga
Dark Horse Comics' "Bride of the Water God."
February 17th, 2012
01:57 PM ET

Publishers want you to know: Manhwa is not manga

Editor's note: Danica Davidson is a writer whose articles have appeared on MTV.com, Publishers Weekly and the Los Angeles Times. She also writes English adaptations of Japanese graphic novels. She has recently finished her first young adult novel and is seeking a publisher.

In recent years, the licensing and distribution of Korean comics — called manhwa — have increased in the United States, but retailers don't provide much of a distinction between it and its Japanese counterpart, manga.

Manhwa is sold right beside manga in bookstores, which some industry insiders view as inevitable (because manga is better known, and such a close association could help manhwa sales).  But others think that manhwa should be recognized for its own merits in America.

Manga and manhwa read in different directions (manga is read from right to left, and manhwa is read in the traditional Western style of left to right), and the art style is different, though not overwhelmingly so.  They often delve into similar subjects in their stories: action, romance (opposite- and same-sex) and Asian mythology.

Whereas manga often turns to Japanese mythology for background and stories, manhwa naturally turns to Korean mythology.  There are definite similarities, and modern manhwa has had some influence from manga, but it’s certainly inaccurate to say that manhwa only exists because of manga, as some people have come to believe. FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: Otaku
Manga grows in the heart of Europe
The supernaturally focused manga "Kekkaishi" is one of the top manga titles in Germany.
January 26th, 2012
03:08 PM ET

Manga grows in the heart of Europe

Editor's note: Danica Davidson is a writer whose articles have appeared on MTV.com, Publishers Weekly and the Los Angeles Times. She also writes English adaptions of Japanese graphic novels. She has recently finished her first young adult novel and is seeking a publisher. 

Anime and manga are gaining in popularity around the globe.  The realization of that first hit me when I was attending a fair at the German city of Wiesloch. There —  amidst the bratwurst and schnitzel stands, the arts and crafts and the homemade goods — were “Yu-Gi-Oh” tapes and cards.

I was lucky enough to be on an inexpensive (read: actually affordable for a writer) group trip to Germany and France, where we stayed with German host families at night and toured during the day.  I never stopped being amazed by the grandeur of the old buildings or the kindness of the locals, especially the host families, but seeing anime and manga became a regular occurrence.

Every bookstore I went into in both countries had manga sections. Anime and manga magazines were being sold like the ones you can get in America.

I flipped through “Peach Girl” at the bookstore in Wiesloch. I checked out “Bleach” at a bookshop in Heidelberg not far from Heidelberg Castle, which you can see in Naoki Urasawa’s “Monster.”  I could go into a mall, say, “anime,” and be pointed in the right direction.  I didn’t have much time for television watching, but I did see “One Piece” in German and “Naruto” in French.  And, yes, I bought myself “Yu-Gi-Oh Der Film” from the fair. FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: Otaku