Monday, June 4, 2012

Shakespeare and Manga

"Brevity is the soul of wit" - meaning be brief and efficient - and in media I take it to be - "don't waste my time." It is a problem I have with most all media today. Especially tv and movies (a lot of anime specifically), and comics (a lot of manga specifically). Its been called a post-literate or a-literate world, a world of instant gratification, visual and not written information, and for that reason stretched out stories. What old creators used to do in one issue now takes an entire tpb to do, and makes them that much more from each unnecessary additional issue. I think the format of manga is made to make you feel like you are gaining progress, like a pat on the back as you read. you seem to get so far in so quickly that you can't stop because you've read so much - but you haven't. There are usually 3 or fewer panels per page, all with one or less word balloon that probably has less than six simple words in it. I am speaking in generalities but when there is so much of something its easy to do. Every manga is a series, and I don't mean 6 issues, I mean volumes upon volumes, bookshelves long. And most Anime is not feature film, it's a series, not 13 episodes like a season of tv in the states but 20-60-300 episodes long. And you watch them waiting for the 2 minutes per episode when the budget blows up like a fire cracker and spend the rest of the time in anticipation and disbelief of how little could happen between those scenes and in the 1/2 hr and episode takes place. I have enjoyed my fair share of anime, manga, comics and movies but what I can't stand more than anything else are those that take for granted your effort to experience them. That save anything interesting till next issue, episode, after the first hour of the movie etc. That thing will go on the cover guaranteed, then you will read, watch etc a good portion that doesn't involve it and if it all possible probably totally avoids the thing they've conceitedly dangled in front of you on the cover to get you to read it. It's the worst! Its so disrespectful to the reader and I feel like a cow being pushed through the gates in just the way they want me to with no way to turn around or make a choice. If your lucky they give you just enough at the end to get you to forget how bad it was the entire rest of the way so that you'll do it again next issue, or hour of the movie, or episode. And now they've got you invested. Now you don't want to stop because your hoping your effort was all worth something that will help you overlook all the mistreatment instead of just giving the reader what is advertised and moving on from there. Now I bashed anime/manga a lot just there, but no comics are more famous for using the cover gimmick than american ones. Sometimes featuring something that doesn't even happen in the issue or ever. Marvel used to put spider-man's head in the upc box just so kids would pick up issues thinking he was in it when he wasn't. People that say, oh just wait, it'll get good soon - keep going are the worst. If it was good it would have been already. I appreciate a good start/hook to a story as much as the page turn, but some of the stuff today just seems like the page turn. No payoff, just incentive to keep reading and not stop. I could go on but I needed to atleast point out in the ironically not brief post, that creators, writers, readers. we deserve better. maybe this economy and this tough time on the arts is good and will make companies only put out what is good from the start, because you might not make it to a second season if you don't give us something worthwhile in the first or even first couple episodes as we've seen recently. So don't hold out just assuming we're so incredibly interested in your amazing story that we'll wait till the end to get anything else but filler and fluff. The journey is more important than the destination, and readers/watchers especially need to make their voice heard, we don't have enough time for it to be wasted. If you're not getting what you set out for/payed money for/or tuned in for/ stop, turn it off, return it, or just get it from the library. We vote with our money and time, and in these days, choosing to stop something and realize that it's not turning up, is just as loud of a vote as tuning in to see if your interested. if the creators appreciate you and there is something there, you will see it. if not, call their bluff and move on. your time is precious, so dont let anyone tell you/sell you/or write otherwise.