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writing a comic, manga style.

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Post #21053

9:07 pm, Jun 21 2007
Posts: 18

Ok, so the first problem; cultural differences (well not really).
I've been reading megatokyo for a couple of years, and it's been amazing how he has progressed the story and formed it (it's not that good tbh, but it's very interesting to see his progress non the less).

Anyway, so I've been experimenting with story writing for comics (mangas) and I keep feeling that there's something essential missing. It's like it's impossible to put my finger on it, and I have no idea what this might be. So...

About the comic (manga):
A young man decides to take a vacation from his every day life, he decide upon language studies in Japan (how original bigrazz). His best friend move with him, and they begin their life of cultural differences in the country of the sun.
The humor of this "manga" is going to be mainly based on mock jokes and sarcasm but of course a tad bit of your traditional slap stick lameness.

The main protagonist, has no real interest in Japanese culture what so ever, it was by coincidence that he ended up there (cheapest ticket available at the time) while his friend is obsessed with japan for it's ERO materials. Now obviously there are going to be a hand full of characters to introduce at later hand, but this is basically the root that I'm building it on.

Could anyone give key points that should be considered while writing a manga?
What to do, what NOT to do. How to do this, how to do that. important to keep in mind this, important to keep in mind that etc...

If someone happens to have a well-known manga storyscript at their hand, feel free to reveal some of it! I would love to see the real thing.

BTW I'm not the one drawing the comic (manga), and I'm not yet sure how well we can communicate and get the messages forth/back etc... Since this is the first time we are doing something like this, any help would be awesome (yes, I do realize that it's pure art to be good at writing a manga story, considering all the crap made out of fail and /b/).

Post #21056
user avatar
Crazy Cat Lady

9:29 pm, Jun 21 2007
Posts: 1850

Rule #1 - Write What You Know.

Don't use Japan (or any other country) as your setting unless you know a LOT about that country. Unless you & the person you're collaborating with have both lived in Japan, using "living in Japan" as your setting is probably a bad idea. Could be ok if at least one of you has but you have to be very careful about assumptions, popular myths, etc. creeping into your story as "the way it really is", and also about things that you don't even realize are different from your home culture.

I've read manga set in the US that were supposed to be realistic and/or historical, but were laughably far from reality. Example from Candy Candy: around 1905, poor little orphan heroine Candy is sold off to supply Mexico with much-needed cheap labor...and they're going to travel there from the Great Lakes region in a covered wagon. Riiiiight.... roll eyes

"[English] not only borrows words from other languages; it has on occasion chased other languages down dark alley-ways, clubbed them unconscious and rifled their pockets for new vocabulary."
-James Nicoll, can.general, March 21, 1992
Post #21059

10:20 pm, Jun 21 2007
Posts: 686

I add my voice to TofuQueen, the Quenn of Tofu, who doesn't care that Tofu is a four letter word.

Writing a cultur clash story set in a country you don't really know is maybe not the best idea.
however, if it is suppose to be a more or less brainless comedy, heavy duty stereotyping can be great fun. For example the americans in Eyeshield 21.

as a compromise, I would suggest putting a part of the story in japan instead of all of it. That should be a good chance to put in a lot of the gags you have probably already thought of. ( i like the ero obsessed friend : ) )

good luck writting!

EDIT: If you wanted to go full manga rip off write a story about a kid who try as he might can't get into some famous university. You could put in tons of insider manga jokes.

Post #21064

10:57 pm, Jun 21 2007
Posts: 18

I realize that it's a taboo to write about a country that you don't know by heart, but my friend is pretty set on the topic (and I don't mind writing about it). Personally, I feel quite confident. Not that I can convince you or anyone that my Japanese knowledge is good, but since the myths and assumptions about this very country is well documented (I can easily come up with good humorous situations).

Such as we all know the vendor machines and their weird wares, we also know that skirts is the only thing woman wear. Not to mention that any foreigner who opens a map on the street corner will be attacked by at least 300 Japs wanting to show directions.

I would also not mind if any wannabe-japanese would be offended by our outcome, nor would I mind if Japan would hate me for it. Our target group is casual comic (manga) readers who understands English and wants to have a laugh. (I assume that the wannabe-japanese would rather not be reading something that is written by a westerner, nor the common Japanese man who doesn't understand English well enough to care).

It should also probably be noted that the actual classes won't have much "screen-time" in the manga (No, it's not a high school story), since we have never done something like this before, we are going to start it simple. When "Kim" is in school, we will follow his friend (who doesn't really live in -our- world so to say), etc...

I'm however thankful for your points of view, It's pretty obvious that it's going to be a fail if we write a "deep and serious storyline with well developed characters" set in a country that we don't actually live in.

Further advices appreciated.

I'm dead tired and my brain wants bed. I will re-read your posts tomorrow when brain works, to make sure I didn't misunderstand.

Post #21067

11:03 pm, Jun 21 2007
Posts: 686

I heard that being white/black in japan is pretty exotic. Kim and his friend could be having a lot of admirers, ( and sex depending on how mature you write the whole thing ) that could be fun.
Anyway, good luck again!

Post #21071

11:12 pm, Jun 21 2007
Posts: 18

My friend specifically said that he didn't want sex to be involved with the story, but the occasional panty-shot, boob slip and what not - should be available bigrazz

EDIT: i've edited this post about 20 times now, there's a lot I wish to say in response to you bully_jesus, but I can't quite put it in word due to brain. brain go bed now.

Last edited by Akujin at 11:22 pm, Jun 21

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