Monday, June 28, 2010

Read this: Visual Language of Manga and Comics

Great article at The Hooded Utilitarian (itself a great blog) about the way page layouts differ between comics from opposite sides of the Pacific:

Usually when discussing the visual language differences between manga and comics, manga is discussed in terms of higgledy-piggledy shoujo panels, speedline overload, sweatdrops, and nosebleeds, and nobody pays attention to the way the art elements and speech balloons are structured to steer your gaze through the page, but I think this may be a more defining characteristic of manga than all the sweatdrops and nosebleeds in the world.

Comics appear to have a much less obvious push through the page, often relying on American readers’ style of reading left to right first, then, if needed, secondarily directing the reader’s gaze through the page by use of action lines and other cues in the art.

It's in-depth without bogging down the reader in detail, and could be a great resource for people who find themselves having trouble reading the layout of comics/manga, or readers who are good at one but struggle with the other.

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