Japanese manga is now directly competing with American comics and graphic novels on bookshelves all over the world because it is now bigger and better than ever. The best Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse titles can be directly compared to the manga, and comic book readers can contrast and compare the two sides in many different ways, including on a technical level.

Comics and manga have slightly different storytelling styles and tones, but the most noticeable distinction—aside from the fact that manga is read right to left—is that it is entirely in black and white, much like a newspaper. Although there are still some exceptions, Japanese manga is typically drawn in black and white for production reasons, which may initially displease longtime comic book readers who are eager to read something new.


What Makes Japanese Manga Black and White?

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Many online sources go into great detail to explain why manga is almost exclusively black and white. To begin with, unlike Western comics, which publish new issues every two weeks or once a month, manga artists are under intense pressure to release chapters of about 20 pages each every single week. A manga artist must make sacrifices in order to complete their work in time for publication, which includes skipping coloration. Furthermore, a dedicated colorist might not be available because many manga artists only have a small group of assistants, if any at all. Furthermore, even if there were a dedicated colorist, there would not be enough time to complete the roughly 20 pages of a manga chapter due to the tight deadlines.

As a result, a team of three to five people or more may combine their talents for a single Batman or X-Men comic series. The majority of American comic books do have specialized colorists who are separate from the artists who draw and ink the art. When manga fans examine the names on a manga volume, they can see that almost never does manga features a dedicated colorist for an entire series. An American comic gives credit to the artist who inked the lines and a colorist, in addition to other, non-art credits like lettering and the story's author, whereas they will typically only see one name for the story and one for the art (s).

A manga volume or issue of a magazine like Shonen Jump or Weekly Young Jump is physically lighter when it is in black and white, making it simpler to transport them in bulk to retailers like comic book stores and bookstores like Barnes & Noble. Simply put, there is a lot less ink used, and even though a comic book or manga page is as light as paper, it quickly adds up. Thousands of pages make up a box of comic books or graphic novels, and colored comic books weigh about twice as much as manga. Manga can now be transported more easily and more affordably because of its lighter weight.


Japanese manga when it uses color

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Manga artists still use color, even though Japanese manga is typically written in black and white to save time, effort, and make books physically lighter. Manga volume covers are a great example of how even the most devoted manga readers want to occasionally see their favorite characters and scenes in color. Only a limited number of series can be represented on the one color cover of physical manga magazines. Collectors, however, are treated to fully-colored images of their favorite characters and settings on the front and back of a manga series' print volumes when there are a lot of them. . Naturally, this makes the volume more attractive on bookshelves, and it helps any reader use their imagination to picture the manga's black and white images in color. The anime may do that too, but only if there is one, and only if the manga reader takes the time to watch it.

Manga series might even include color pages for special occasions, such as a milestone chapter like the 500th chapter or the climax of a major popular story arc. Double-page spreads in full color appear often in series such as One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach, the classic shonen "big three," often featuring their main characters in a large group. There may be a special visual theme too, such as One Piece's characters in traditional Japanese outfits or Bleach's main cast in trendy urban clothes, as though they were catalog models. This is only done sparingly, which makes it all the more special and memorable for a manga fan to open the newest Shonen Jump and find two whole pages of colorful characters who practically leap off the page. Notably, these spreads are often reduced to grayscale in Western print releases, but the colored versions might still be found online so that Western fans don't have to miss out on the colorful fun.