Why Apeiros World Odyssey will be a Manga & not a Comic Book
(Disclaimer... This post is from a personal preference/perspective and not a value judgement on other creative works.) Part 1 of 3
[Western] Comics—in my opinion—are oversaturated and somewhat repetitive in structure, especially in its flagship genre: Superhero stories. Western fantasy recycles the same tired tropes and only a few standout, whether indie or from the
big publishers1 (Marvel, DC, Darkhorse, Image).
However, ‘graphic novel’ isn't the most accurate representation of the final product that is Apeiros World Odyssey. A manga is the true end goal/format.
If you're unfamiliar with manga and its history, keep reading to learn how closely the historical significances of Manga, Anime, and yes… even Hip-Hop2 are all connected and what that means for Apeiros World Odyssey.
The origin of Manga & Anime in Japan
Western comics & animation
Comics are broken. Even in the indie creator space I often see the same concepts repeated over and over—from a visual standpoint, to premises, designs and other conventions of the medium. Let me make note, this is NOT to disparage anyone who's putting in the time, energy, and effort to their passion project.3 The following is an observation of a trend and my creative decision to stand out and not follow suit.
The comic book industry has put out some amazing content and stories which have, and continue, in a lot of ways to influence us all. However, in the indie space too many creators it seems are just doing more of… the same.
Same powers. Same art styles. Same fictional biographies with a dab of difference.
Even down to the structure and arrangement of panels being placed for action or dialogue. It can be better. Much better.
The truly standout and creative intellectual properties (IP) made—and make—their mark by mastering the fundamentals of storytelling, imaginative designs, and breaking barriers—they took us to places we didn't know we wanted to go. While continuing to forge new paths.
A few honorable mentions are Godhood comics and the Rippaverse (although these aren’t exclusively the only two, check back for part 3 on the movers and shakers in the indie creator/comic space). They're getting back to the fundamentals of the craft in terms of art, story, visual design, etc.
With retcons, multiversal swaps of the same characters in new clothes, and even some unsavory and incessant political preaching that's found its way into the industry; suffice it to say this doesn't lead to an amazing adventure, reader experience, or journey of a character overcoming great odds or into a new realization on life.
Manga and Anime
Conversely, in Manga the premises of the stories usually find their origins in:
A) A school or academy setting
B) Situated around a slightly dystopian world where the central plot is battling or surviving through some sort of game or an alternative exploration on life and/or Japanese mythology (Squid Game, Gantz, Dragon Ball series, or Akira)
Just to highlight a few distinct IPs previously mentioned…yet over and above the storytelling differences cover a much broader and deeper landscape than current mainstream comics.
This is where Apeiros World Odyssey stands apart
I believe we'll get the best of both worlds by synthesizing the two
»The technical format differences between comics and manga lie at the heart of why Apeiros is going the latter route:
Reverse reading order of right to left
Black & white; however certain collections get full color
Narrative themes that are more diverse in genre (superhero, action, adventure, slice of life)
More simplified serialization (avg volumes of manga are between 7-9 chapters)
What Apeiros is accomplishing as a Western produced manga
Rest assured with AWO Vol 1, you’re getting the familiar format, style, and expectations of traditional manga, blended with some special care and attention regarding design and storytelling! Promise 🤞
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However, for me and my appreciation for Manga and its culture… it all begins and end with The Dragon Ball Series :)
Focus on the message, not the messenger.
Anime and Hip-Hop will be covered in parts 2 & 3.
This is more in comparison with a graphic novel, which has much larger page counts than comics, however 8*11 page size versus 5*7 inches seems to feel more natural to the hand and reading experience with higher page lengths. Especially for full volume collectors, the spine art displays beautifully.