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ENG 285: Comics and Graphic Novels

Timeline of Comics

1828-82 Victorian Age
1883-38 Platinum Age
1938-45 Golden Age
1946-56 Atomic Age
1956-71 Silver Age
1971-85 Bronze Age
1986-92 Copper Age
1992-2000 Chrome Age
2000-present Modern Age

Graphic Novel vs. Comics

A comic book is a collection of sequential images and text, telling a story or several stories, while a graphic novel is a book composed of comic art and narration that typically tells a single story.

Image Credit: © 

How to Read Manga

Manga can be defined quite simply as comics and graphic novels originating from Japan, but there exists a great deal of nuance, artistic style, and culture around the medium itself. Appealing to people of all ages with titles from over a dozen genres, manga has gained popularity since the mid 20th century not only in Japan, but internationally as well. Manga is typically printed in black and white, though rare occasions of full color manga exist, for primarily artistic and cost related reasons. Typically, in Japan, manga is serialized in manga magazines, containing many different series in each issue, often presenting one chapter per issue on a weekly, monthly, etc. basis. Eventually, chapters are collected and republished in tankĊbon volumes, most commonly paperback editions. Often, if a manga becomes popular enough, it may be adapted into an anime version during or after its run.

An important rule to remember is that manga reads from right to left, as per traditional Japanese style. This is the reverse order of English, so many North American manga publishers include reading guides in the back of published volumes.

Image Credit: Viz Media 2005.