FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister
Things every Manga/Anima worker needs to know
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Zwol.org Forum Index -> (Web)Comics Theory: ART
Previous: Postideographs of emotions Next: Posteyeflow across panels  
Author Message
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:07 pm    Post subject: Things every Manga/Anima worker needs to know Reply with quote

All the hardcore fans might be too far gone, but I myself would like Manga a little more if its writers and authors let go of their endlessly derivative mindset.

I know I know "you and whose army". But here goes anyway.

  • Eyes don't look like that. And setting them so far apart, to make a character look neotenic (look it up), makes the character look like they have Downs syndrom.
  • Not every chin is pointy. I don't know who could like that, anywhere, and it looks dangerous in the sack. Let's put it like this: The official Sex Symbol in the USA is supposed to be a tall thin blonde, right? So then they actually do a survey of whether males would rather sleep with Wilma Flintstone or Betty Rubble, and Betty (a hairy brunette) won. Of course this could be because Wilma resembles a chinless librarian, while Betty is probably a hardbody like Mary Lou Retton, but the point remains that people like different types, and different nuances within those types. Teaching an entire population to respond to only one type, to simplify the mass-production of that type, is a cheap trick inviting competition. Good thing the retail channels are all sewn up.
  • Eyes do NOT look like that. Did I say that already?
  • When people talk, their chin moves. Oh, yeah, and they also change their face and posture with the inflections.
  • When people talk in profile, they don't talk out the side of their mouth for no apparent reason (modulo simplifying the rendering). Sometimes you can see their teeth.
  • In my experience, people take their glasses off when they make out. But, again, tastes may vary...
  • Not everyone stands around with the same expression on their face (usually timorous anticipation), regardless whether they are watching a baby bird take its first flight, the world's most boring history professor, or a nuclear holocaust. Maybe this effect just represents re-using cells.
  • When people grimace, exclaim, shout, or yelp, their face does not turn into an ideoglyph of shouting. Rendering such an expression, in anatomically correct detail but with just a little distortion to indicate what the specific emotion feels like, would be much more effective for only a little more work. Be original - actually match Parent Nature here!
  • Nobody has exactly the same attitude & response to food, drugs, sports, sex, money, politics, homework, or collectibles. Setting up an audience's expectations, and utterly violating them, can be much more effective than maintaining a constant level of predictability.


"We will run your ideas past our committees and get back to you about them, okay?"
_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Neil Cohn
Regular Poster


Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 44
Location: Somerville, MA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're falling into an assumption about the nature of creating graphic images, that believes drawings should somehow mimic real life. Quite frankly, this view is bogus and just a reflection of cultural bias.

Manga eyes don't need to look like real eyes (nor chins, nor emotions, etc), because they are a conventionalized manner of graphic representation. Think about it this way: they have a patterned method of drawing lines which you, the viewer, receive as something that means "eyes." It is learned and it is systematic, and draws more on your mind's "programming" than on matching "reality."

Coming from a different system, people not used to it might indeed find it jarring and unusual. I've heard several older people make the same "I don't get it" comments about the early 90s Image work. But, those gripes are like complaining that Japanese people should learn how to pronounce their "L's" and R's" more clearly its just a difference in visual languages.

(Btw, looking at your own site, it doesn't look like your drawings match "Parent Nature" either, hm?)
_________________
www.emaki.net - Studying the Language of "comics"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am aware that humans form symbols to communicate. Could an artist with a different style get a job in the mainstream Japanese system?

(About my site, only Turnbil, Priz, and Dierdre are human. Poo and Pigleg are plush toys, Rat and Tuyen's eyes really are shaped like that, the PenBird's eyes really do stick out on stalks, and RobRepMan really has three. But thanks for asking (-;)


_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Neil Cohn
Regular Poster


Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 44
Location: Somerville, MA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, several very well known and well regarded artists have jobs in Japan who don't follow that style explicitly. For instance, Otomo Katsuhiro (Akira) and Goseki Kojima (Lone Wolf and Cub). But, I think you'd find in Japan that most books are judged less by the aesthetic merits of the drawings, and more by the content of what they do with them.

What I'm trying to point out is that the idea of both mimicing nature and "derivative" drawing styles is a cultural bias regarding the treatment of graphic images being something separate from our mental apparatus. In reality, it makes far more sense for a mind to produce things in patterned ways than for every person to reinvent the wheel.
_________________
www.emaki.net - Studying the Language of "comics"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will admit to spending too much time at the cheap end.

You, however, are hung up on the eyes. The one thing a marketeer wants is a unified and predictable market, so you always know exactly what to give them.

Violating that prediction, in the world of St. Peter Gabriel, is what Shocks the Monkey to life. I consider that the distinction between craft and art.
_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Neil Cohn
Regular Poster


Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 44
Location: Somerville, MA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, marketing might prefer predictable sells. But I'm not talking about business, I'm talking about human nature and cognition the ways in which our minds learn and are programmed to respond in certain ways (in this respect, to graphic representation).

If you read the second article I linked to, you'll see that the idea of mimicing reality and of drawing to an individualized innovative style are indeed wrapped up in the notion of Art. However, what I'm trying to point out is that the Art view is antithetical to our minds' orientation. Really, you can have an artistic, innovative, original work that looks just like everyone else if the actual content strives for these goals. For many manga, I think this is the case.
_________________
www.emaki.net - Studying the Language of "comics"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
William G
Reinvents understanding


Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 560
Location: South central...Korea. Word.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone in Japan is derivative of Tezuka, everyone in America is derivative of Kirby, everyone in France is derivative of Underzo, everyone on the web is derivative of animator #25 that does Kim Possible cells. And none of these creators have ever followed a representational art philosophy.

Not even true blue "fine arts" artists follow representational imagery as a philosophy. They havent since the invention of photography. While it's nice to rebel, it helps to have something to rebel against.
_________________
Her lips are devil red, she's the color of mocha...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Neil Cohn
Regular Poster


Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 44
Location: Somerville, MA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen! Preach on preacher!
_________________
www.emaki.net - Studying the Language of "comics"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oookay, everyone is hung up on someone who said "make everything look exactly like it does in real life". T'weren't me. Make eyes look like pizzas if you want. None of us here are "new realists".

What I meant, for only one of my bullet points, was: Don't make an extended gesture, such as screaming, look less lifelike. Make it look more lifelike, and exaggerate it enough to show what the emotion feels like.

I refer to artists who don't seem to know what teeth look like when a mouth is fully open. And I had other bullet points too, guys.


_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
William G
Reinvents understanding


Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 560
Location: South central...Korea. Word.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phlip wrote:
What I meant, for only one of my bullet points, was: Don't make an extended gesture, such as screaming, look less lifelike. Make it look more lifelike, and exaggerate it enough to show what the emotion feels like.

And how doesnt the other way show the emotion if the iconic imagry is understood by the reader? The basis of your argument is steeped in the lack of understanding that the visual language of manga developed sperately from the visual language in our culture. So when characters become unreal in manga, it's due to the fact that this is a visual shortcut for the reader to absorb the information which has developed over a long period of time. Much in the same way bulging biceps and gritted teeth are used to represent macho power in super hero comics. You're esentially demanding that writers stop using the letter "r"

Now, if your argument was, "Hey, American kids! Stop trying to copy a visual style you dont really understand and lack the skills to improve upon." then I'd be behind you.
_________________
Her lips are devil red, she's the color of mocha...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William G wrote:
Now, if your argument was, "Hey, American kids! Stop trying to copy a visual style you dont really understand and lack the skills to improve upon." then I'd be behind you.


Okay. That's my point.

Hey wait a minute it isn't! How about "stop copying styles to fit in!" Not just directed at American kids. Should Asian kids copy styles they do understand and DON'T lack the skills to improve upon?
_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Greg Stephens
Forum Founder


Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whereas I agree that there's a lot of copying going on without any real understanding, copying is how people learn. At least at first.

There is a good point to be made about learning the fundamentals before moving on to weird abstractions (and recognizing what's actually a weird abstraction vs. a faithful rendering). One of the most popular examples is Picasso, who could paint or draw the hell out of a scene in a far more traditional and representative fashion than that for which he's primarily known.

It would be nice if people didn't imitate stuff that was trendy just because it is popular. Over time, I think, those who do good work will be recognized for it over those who are just aping the style of good work. (Understanding Comics has a good chapter about this, come to think of it.)
_________________
Good morning! That's a nice tnetennba.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Neil Cohn
Regular Poster


Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 44
Location: Somerville, MA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If American kids are growing up reading manga as their primary input, then they actually do understand it (as opposed to say, industry professionals that are told to draw that way by an editor who wants to bank in on it).

Again though, I'd like to point out that copying another person's style isn't necessarily a bad thing. This "I must be original" point of view is just a trend brought on by Western notions of "Art" (into which McCloud's "steps of learning" also fall). But, it isn't a reflection of how most skills are learned (here, namely, graphic representation), nor is it or should it be a cultural universal. You can't think you're being objective while standing in a petri dish.

But, when everyone draws similarly, potential good can come of it. When people stop getting so hung up on what some one draws like, they can start focusing on what those drawings are used for. If an author is talented at storytelling and has good, interesting content to express, I could care less what their style is.
_________________
www.emaki.net - Studying the Language of "comics"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neil, we are talking past each other.
_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
William G
Reinvents understanding


Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 560
Location: South central...Korea. Word.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phlip wrote:
Should Asian kids copy styles they do understand and DON'T lack the skills to improve upon?

But if they lack skills, then it doesnt matter what approach they take to the visual aspect of comics. Pointy chins or flapping jaws wont matter
_________________
Her lips are devil red, she's the color of mocha...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William G wrote:
But if they lack skills, then it doesnt matter what approach they take to the visual aspect of comics. Pointy chins or flapping jaws wont matter


I disregard the implication that emergent artists in one population have rules different from in another. (You might have noticed we are all implying it.)

Shall we (we gringos) get as defensive about the assembly-line Archie comics that innocuously infest our markets? Of course someone working outside their narrow stereotype won't get to work on them!
_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Neil Cohn
Regular Poster


Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 44
Location: Somerville, MA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phlip wrote:
I disregard the implication that emergent artists in one population have rules different from in another. (You might have noticed we are all implying it.)


Actually, I'm exactly saying that people in one population work under different guiding principles than another (this is what I assume you mean by "rules"). I don't think we can just disregard these cultural forces on graphic representation, especially when they're so clear. Rather I think we can work to identify them and accept them. Not necessarily in a "I should change the way I do things" sort of way, but in a way that recognizes the influences on our own and others works for what they are.

Quote:
Shall we (we gringos) get as defensive about the assembly-line Archie comics that innocuously infest our markets? Of course someone working outside their narrow stereotype won't get to work on them!


I can't quite understand the intentions behind this statement. Are you implying that you don't think people can get jobs because they don't draw like manga? (...in America?...in Japan?) Are you talking about defending the Archie style? the assembly-line method...?
_________________
www.emaki.net - Studying the Language of "comics"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neil Cohn wrote:
Actually, I'm exactly saying that people in one population work under different guiding principles than another (this is what I assume you mean by "rules").


By "population" we can agree to say "school of thought".

Neil Cohn wrote:
Are you implying that you don't think people can get jobs because they don't draw like manga?


If we can step back from the entire topic and try again...

One major difference between Sesame Street and Barney is one of them is revoltingly condescending. (Feel free to pick which one.)

So given a choice between supplying content for PBSKids or ... not, I can take a high risk by offering something wise, healthy, and good for "adults of all ages". Or I can offer something revoltingly condescending, and enjoy high odds that a reviewer, regardless whether they like my offering, will recognize that I hit their revoltingly condescending mark.
_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Neil Cohn
Regular Poster


Joined: 28 Sep 2004
Posts: 44
Location: Somerville, MA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, after re-re-reading your rather confusing analogy, am I to understand that you think people are drawing like manga just because they think it will make money or because it caters to a specific audience?

My response to one of these potential questions: I think most Americans who draw like manga do it precisely because it does cater to a specific audience: it caters to them. They really like it, so they want to draw like it. It is their "comics" subculture just like some people jazz on superheroes, funny animals, artsy lit books, or whatever.

And if that's not your bag, then no biggie. You don't have to conform to that style because its not the only subgroup in the market.

... Is that what you mean?
_________________
www.emaki.net - Studying the Language of "comics"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neil Cohn wrote:
Ok, after re-re-reading your rather confusing analogy...


Why is it confusing?

The only dodge is I guess fewer people would feel so defensive about Barney (-:

And note that Barney and Sesame Street are the same genre; felt critters with big googley eyes and voice actors backing them up.

Yet, thanks for helping me refine my screed. I just figured folks would go "ha ha ha eyes don't look like that", and then get on with their lives. (-8

<center></center>
_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Greg Stephens
Forum Founder


Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phlip wrote:
Neil Cohn wrote:
Ok, after re-re-reading your rather confusing analogy...


Why is it confusing?

I'll give this a shot, because I found it confusing as well. It seemed that in your first post, you were discussing people copying the same anime/manga style and suggesting that they explore more realistic/representational rendering (a valid criticism), while your Barney/Big Bird analogy was talking more about content than style (and raised another valid point). Whereas these things both go toward a question of quality, I don't see how a drawing of a pointy-chinned, big-eyed manga-waif will by itself indicate whether or not the story is one which condescends to the reader. As you said, googly-eyed puppets by themselves are not indicators of the quality of the program.

So, if the content of the thing can be separated from the style of the presentation, why should manga-style artists swim against the current and draw less abstract humans?

(Not that I'm disagreeing. I find myself agreeing with most points that have been made thus far.)
_________________
Good morning! That's a nice tnetennba.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Phlip
Frequent Poster


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
So, if the content of the thing can be separated from the style of the presentation, why should manga-style artists swim against the current and draw less abstract humans?

Nobody ever said that. Someone decided I said that, so they could promote their blog entries.
_________________
Proud victim of the dreaded boomerang effect
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Zwol.org Forum Index -> (Web)Comics Theory: ART All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group