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Sunday, April 19, 2009 

Manga led to the drop in thought balloons?

Here's an article in the Scotland Sunday Herald about the history and incredible rise of manga. But what really surprises me is when they tell about an effect the influences had on US comics:
American comics, following [Frank] Miller's lead, have adopted manga grammar with its use of cinematic pacing, repetition and jump cuts. If nothing else, the influence of manga killed off the thought balloon.
You don't say. That's why a perfectly worthy concept has become so rare since the mid-90s? It's strange, because I noticed that some anime productions seem to make use of thought balloons in their own way, by depicting the protagonists thinking to themselves. But whether or not manga really did lead to the dearth of thought balloons in American comics, I think that many writers made a serious mistake in dropping them. Why? Because since then, it seems like we may only get focus on the personality of the main protagonist in a solo superhero book, while the supporting cast has insufficient focus. No wonder supporting casts haven't been handled as well for a long time.

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