Even if you aren’t a diehard manga reader or fan, one only has to look around them in the west to see that manga is thriving as a medium. Go to the New York Time’s Best Seller listing and often you can see some rather strange manga or mainstream ones make it on the list. It shows that manga from Japan continues to rise in America and will most likely only continue to do so as time goes on. However, haven’t you ever wondered why manga drawn here in America never get published? Here at Honey’s Anime we wondered that too and decided to see if we could search for possible reasons in our Why Does Western Manga Never Get Published article.
Will always be known as comics/graphics novels
When artists in the west try to mirror manga done in Japanese stylings, it’s not that their style isn’t like manga but more so it’s just not from the land of the rising sun. Manga will always be something we associate with Japan and anyone who does similar works here in America will be making comics or graphic novels. Look at stories like Scott Pilgrim and/or 7STRING. These comics have a manga-like visual aesthetic but ultimately, they will never be manga, just comics. We have even seen other lesser known creators who create in the same formula as manga always be referred to as comic books not manga here in the west.
Manga, Manhwa and Manhua
If you need further proof that western manga just doesn’t make sense and really why it’s not published as manga, let’s for a moment dive into comics outside of the west and Japan. China’s comics are called manhua and Korea’s manga is called manhwa. If you ask a person from either of these wonderful countries they will say that both manhwa and manhua are comics books but made from their countries. It’s why it wouldn’t make sense to publish a western manga as a manga when—once more—our comics are just known as we said before. Either call them comic books or graphic novels.
Publishing in another country would be quite difficult
Now let’s say an American or European artist wanted to make a manga series but from their countries and publish them in Japan. Would that even be possible? The answer is yes, but it would require a ton of work and probably be more difficult then it’s worth. Not only would the creator need to find a publisher willing to take a non-Japanese creator but they would then have to figure out how to get editors, pay for the work of creating art and translations and the list of steps goes on. Publishing manga in Japan isn’t easy for creators of lesser known status, but if you watch videos of creators who rose from nobodies to well-known mangaka—manga authors—you would know that It was simpler for them because its their language and their country. We could only imagine the reverse would be true for a Japanese or even Chinese creator to come to the west and try to find publishers that would be willing to go through a gambit of getting their work out there…
Many creators will tell you that getting publishers for anything—video games, manga, cartoons or manga—can be an arduous challenge. Why you might ask? Simple, because publishers do care about profits and when they risk their money on newcomers the challenge of getting that person’s work out there becomes risky for said profits. Respected mangaka and comic book creators can create new IPs—intellectual properties—without much complaints from their publishers since they know the name associated with the new IP holds clot. Any regular person coming up for the first time will be a risky venture and in the world of manga getting published from western creators, Japanese might be worried that the cost of making it happen won’t be seen as a profit once the series begins selling. It makes sense as manga even in Japan still doesn’t make super large amounts of money as people in the west thing they do.
Getting comics or manga published from other sources outside Japan isn’t impossible. We know this because there are a few—very few—examples of other countries having writers come to Japan and getting their stories out there such as a series called Deltora Quest. Yet, beyond that the process and the work to get western manga published in Japan is just too difficult and not often done. This might change one day, but it will always be up to the creator to shoot for the stars and put in the work to get their work published outside their home county. What do you think about our article folks? Do you agree with us or have counter arguments? Let us know in the comments below and for similar articles be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime.
Honeys Anime Recommends!
Now that you have read all of this, don't stop there! Become one of those ones who does make it. Japan is slowly opening up to having foreign manga published, so why not take a crack at it yourself? You never know, you could be the next big name in the manga world! Honey’s Anime recommends the following 'Manga Drawing / Comprehensive Course' from Manabi Journey which is professionally taught in English and has produced over 100 professional manga artists in Japan. Run, don't walk, to realize your dream today!