Manga is essentially just the Japanese word for comics. Outside of Japan it means comics that originate from Japan. But within Japanese culture, Manga will just mean any type of comics including Marvel and DC. This is very similar to how Anime refers to any type of animation. Not just Dragonball Z or Sailor moon that almost all people in the US can recognize as being an embodiment of what traditional Anime looks like.
While Manga does mean literally any type of comic to people in Japan. To people from the west, Manga differs greatly from what they are used to. The art has a very Japanese feel to it. with exaggerated body features (the big eyes being the one people are probably most familiar with) and many referencing Japanese culture that might not make sense to outsiders.
Even the reading style is different. Traditionally people in the west read from left to right. But in Japan, this is reversed! This may disorient some people. (And actually drove a few of my friends away from reading manga) But I feel that if you stick through a few books, you will have no trouble adapting.
Manga is truly my favorite form of art. Whether it is the big eyed gushy romance of Shoujo. or the highly stylized over-the-top action of Shonen. They all take a tremendous amount of skill to draw and allow a level of creative freedom that I could not find when I was studying American comics. I love manga so much That I’ve decided to base my career around it. With faith that one day I will hold my own published manga in my own hands!
Throughout further blog posts I will go into different types of manga and begin to create tutorials. I hope everyone will have as much fun as I will and I look forward to seeing where this journey will take me!