Webcomics Wednesday: The Many Faces of Manga
Hello, and welcome to Webcomics Wednesday! The past twenty years or so the Western market has seen rapid growth in one particular comic format: manga. The Japanese artwork and storytelling has grown to encompass a wide variety of genres, and webcomics writers have grown the field more than ever. There’s a manga story for everyone! Let’s take a look at some of the options out there.
For those of you new to Webcomics Wednesday, it’s a weekly tradition where we showcase five webcomics centered around a certain theme. They are chosen and presented in no particular order based on art, story and appeal. This week, we’re celebrating the many faces of Manga.
Comic: By Moon Alone
Creator: H. A. Ibardolaza
In his own words: You will just have to hold my hand and trust me as we delve into the secret lives of two pairs of children whose worlds are separated by the logic of reality and the fantasy of fiction — seemingly worlds apart, and yet not that different at all.
In our words: By Moon Alone is a fantasy webcomic that takes place in two planes—one shrouded in imagination and mystery, and the other much like our own. As the stories interact with each other, any reader’s attention is inevitably drawn to the two children it centers on, and how their fate will affect everything else.
Comic: A Town Called Alandale
Creator: Matt Wells
In his own words: Welcome to Alandale, the strangest place in the world. Leonard is a geeky werewolf who has trouble talking to girls. But his life takes a strange turn when a young witch named Noa moves into the spare room.
In our words: Boy meets girl. Or, to put it more accurately, shy, geeky werewolf meets a witch who struggles with learning disabilities and is recovering from a nasty breakup. Put them in the same house, and what could possibly go wrong? This simply drawn manga is both humorous and sweet in turn, and Alandale is one town you’ll never forget.
Comic: Academicon Ex Virtus
Creator: Kai Lynk
In our words: A high school prank spirals out of hand in this fantasy manga. After a young werewolf dares a human girl to find his school, Academicon Ex Virtus, he expects that the memory shield will make her forget their ever meeting. He’s shocked the following morning to find that young Anya not only found the school but also enrolled, deciding to be a regular part of his life from that point on.
In their own words: That minister’s daughter was famous with “the incomparable beauty.” But, why? The number of a marriage meeting became triple figures. The story which made Japanese culture 1000 years ago a background.
In our words: This is a Japanese manga, drawing off of the history and culture of Japan to tell the story of a princess, a daughter of the cabinet minister, who has refused 99 suitors so far. The next will be the last. Although the rough translation makes it a difficult read in English, the beautiful artwork and rich culture make this a beautiful story.
Creators: Amy S.
In her own words: Aura is a simple tale of romance and… migraines? Find out what happens when Gwen and Noal realize they are both able to perceive the same migraine aura. The results might just turn out to be magical!
In our words: Romance + migraines = magic? Who knew? This is perhaps the quirkiest of the comics that we’re featuring today. Real life annoyances become gateways to magic, and all of the sudden the whole world’s different. The way real life is blended with fantasy in the strangest of ways. If only all annoyances actually held a secret connection with magic…
Thanks for joining us on our tour of the many faces of manga. The Japanese format has something for everyone, and these are only the slightest taste of what’s available out there. Come back next Wednesday for another edition of Webcomics Wednesday! In the meantime, tell us if we missed anything in this week’s selection. What’s your favorite online manga? Was there anything that we missed? Let us know! We love getting feedback and suggestions for future material! Also feel free to share this page with anyone you know who’d love it. The buttons on the side are there for just that purpose! It’s always fun for people to find a new favorite!