#1 Edited by LastSonBackUp (152 posts) - - Show Bio

One thing that I read about anime/manga fans criticizing graphic novels/comics about is that the variety doesn't seem to expand like anime/manga does. That most of the obscure and lesser known graphic novels are directed solely at adult readers, while the more mainstream comics like Batman and X-Men, are directed at an average teenager, just like your typical shonen manga series like One Piece for example. Sure, there might be some deep and dark undertones and content, but it's not like the variety differs much. Graphic novels will always have that dark and gritty contextual background, in which like manga/anime there are different varieties.

If you want to watch a comedy, you can. A romance, you can. These varieties are easily discoverable. And if graphic novels expand to a much larger audience with different varities, at least from my perspective, they really aren't that noticeable.

Of course, it could be just me, so that's why I want to ask you all - what do you think about this? I mean, from the way that I see it, I know there are probably a much larger variety of genres in graphic novels, but honestly, I can't really seem to find any that stick out as much as your typical dark and gritty Spawn or Hellboy comic.

Like, Fruits Basket, which is a romance anime, is just as popular and well-known(or seems to be at the least) as Gurren Lagann, an action anime.

Similarities like those, for instance, are what I'm looking for. Different genres of graphic novels that would stand out and be as popular as Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns, if that's even possible.

I'm just trying to expand my horizons with graphic novels, as I am sure most readers are as well, and it gets frustrating when it seems like the variety of anime and manga is exponentially shown and seems to be easily accessible at your fingertips, but if I just want to break away from manga and sit back and read a funny comic book or a romance comic book, they seem to be non-existent.

Are graphic novels specifically aimed at mature audiences, and that's why the dark and gritty always seems to stand out? Is that why everything else seems to be so obscure?

#2 Edited by Kangaxx_54 (306 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't read much beside Batman, so I can't speak for every comic, but it seems to me that most comics are all about the hero vs. villain conflict, on some plane or other. Anything else is stacked on top of this central fight. I would personally love stories that focused more on the characters - for example, Batman & Robin Annual had very few fights, but it was so heartwarming and just plain awesome. I also wish for some more funny stories, and I do think there's a place for them.

In my totally unfounded opinion, it's the focus on combat that keeps the medium stuck with the teenager+ crowd. Which is fine in and of itself, but it would appeal to other population segments more if they went outside this format.

I believe many independent comics are breaking the mold and going other ways? At least I've seen some in the library that didn't at all fit the DC/Marvel mold, I just can't name any, as I'm a character (read: Batman) fan first and foremost.

#3 Edited by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

well anime is based on manga and manga has those specific genres determined to fit into age/gender gaps. like shonnen, which is male 10-14. then there's stuff for older males. then there's stuff for females in the same age ranges.

I think that doesnt fit quite well with the way comics are made and published so that's why we dont have specific genres made to be served.

#4 Edited by LastSonBackUp (152 posts) - - Show Bio

@kangaxx_54 said:

I would personally love stories that focused more on the characters

Comic books are primarily character driven. Why do you think there are so many crossovers with different characters? I like this approach more than a strict story focus, to be honest. Because focusing on the characters envelops a story around them. That's why it's easy to put Batman is a Superman story, for example, and it doesn't seem out of place. Because of just setting up a plot and trying to squeeze the characters into that plot, you set up the characters first and develop the plot around the characters.

Manga has too much of a story focus first and a character focus second. This is why it would seem absolutely odd to put Naruto characters in with Bleach characters, for example. The settings and plots for each of those manga are already developed, and the characters are formed around that plot, that trying to squeeze two different plots together would seem absolutely out of place.

Sure, there are some crossovers that work - the recent Toriko x DBZ x One Piece crossover, but notice how the plot is already set, and how the characters fall into that plot based upon just who the characters are. The focus that brought all the characters together for the crossover is a food tournament. Replace one of those characters with Batman, for instance, and it would seem odd. Batman doesn't have a food driven subplot like Luffy, Toriko, and Goku do. All 3 of them love food, and it's evident in their manga.

Most manga crossovers simply wouldn't work, and not many are done quite frankly. It's much easier to do crossovers with American comic books are stated through the reasons listed above. And you see just how many crossovers there are. There's a reason for this.

@jorgevy said:
I think that doesnt fit quite well with the way comics are made and published so that's why we dont have specific genres made to be served.

I just don't understand exactly why. Why can't there be more comic books falling into different genres? Books do this. And if there are, they certainly aren't evident to me. The majority of what stands out is either a Marvel comic book with accentuated violence for a teenage boy, or some Frank Miller graphic novel with dark undertones for a mature/adult reader. Nothing specific for romance, or comedy, etc.

#5 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@lastsonbackup: that's what I said, they dont fit with the way they are made and published today. the largest companies are cape focused, indies tend to explore other concepts but they dont have the same exposure.

either way, comics try to mix lots of traits of different genres. that's why on a book like Deadpool you have lots of comedy. I wouldn't call it a comedy CB because that's not the way it's put out, I guess, but it ends up being a comedy book.

#6 Posted by Kangaxx_54 (306 posts) - - Show Bio

@kangaxx_54 said:

I would personally love stories that focused more on the characters

Comic books are primarily character driven. Why do you think there are so many crossovers with different characters? I like this approach more than a strict story focus, to be honest. Because focusing on the characters envelops a story around them. That's why it's easy to put Batman is a Superman story, for example, and it doesn't seem out of place. Because of just setting up a plot and trying to squeeze the characters into that plot, you set up the characters first and develop the plot around the characters.

Character driven, yes, but it's always based around a conflict with an enemy. When I say that I'd love character based stories, I mean that I'd like to see them developed outside of their battles with the villains. There's so much work that could be done there, in almost any way, but no, it's always going to be Superman & Batman vs. [inset supervillain of choice . The character-focused development that is going on, and which is a huge part of why I read comics, is almost always happening around the central conflict, not as the center.

I read quite a lot of fanfiction, and the stories that draw me in are always ones were the villain is at best sidelined; often there isn't any villain nor any combat at all. It can be humor, romance, 'a day in the life of', angst, whatever. There are so many possibilities. I don't see why there couldn't be more of that in the comics itself. Just some, for the variation.

#7 Posted by The_Legendary_SuperSaiyan_Hulk (10049 posts) - - Show Bio

@lastsonbackup: It really depends on what you're trying to find. There's just about a manga for everything, and I mean 'everything'. I think manga can be considered more diverse because of how wide the span they cover is, they even have manga about making manga .-. . Such as manga referred to as "seinen" usually has more mature themes and content rather than something you would see in what is considered Shounen. They're also considerably more lenient on how to obtain them(examples of such sites: mangahere.com) than comics(at least the well-known ones).

True comics have 'blend' together more efficiently, but that's because most of them(at least the more popular amongst them) have similar themes, to protect whatever it they are protecting from malevolent forces/beings. While manga on the other hand is usually made to show a purpose or emphasize something.(Yugioh(and many others such as Naruto and One Piece ) show the power of friendship and determination , Bleach kind of goes and shows that you shouldn't try to do everything yourself because not everyone can take the burden of the world). It's harder to blend something together when both sides have completely different natures and purposes.