Date: 2010 September 06 15:56
Posted by Joe
Last moth the results of the Morning International Comic Competition were announced.
Curiously enough they've discovered what the difference a name makes. The previous 3 competitions were called the Morning International Manga Competition. They discovered an issue with calling their competition a manga competition.
They found manga in Japan "encompasses many broad genres and is still home to innovation and freshness, the term 'manga' abroad refers to works of fantasy that are drawn in a specific style, and further confined to a small genre."
Interestingly enough the name change also had a noticeable impact on the Japanese contributors -
"This time, we saw an immediate change resulting from the contest's revised name, as we received many submissions that could be classified as 'seinen manga,' the genre that our magazine Morning primarily publishes. Not only that, we also received many highly exciting works with stories and visual designs that we could not imagine ever seeing from creators within the Japanese industry. We value this quality, as seen by the prize-winning works."
There has always been a bit of a struggle dealing with the definition and nomenclature of manga, generally in the west, the word is used to define works of Japanese origin. The exact wording for art done by westerners which is influenced or done in manga style is still open to interpretation. Occasionally you get the term OEL Manga (Original English Language Manga) banded around, but the definition still seems awkward. I've written about this before in greater detail in a convention book, I'll have to dig the article up and republish it one day. At the end of the day it still leaves the question - "What's the best name for sequential art? " very open.
Thanks to goes to Helen McCarthy and Emma Vieceli for pointing this one out on their blog post (which covers a lot more on definitions) and Twitter Feed respectively.