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Manga, Marvel and Star Wars

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Your ability to admire Japan’s series of Star Wars mangas will depend largely upon your psychological tolerance for adorable shimmering-eyed bobble-heads with crescent-moon noses instead of a more realistic interpretation of the cast. That can be a big hurdle to get over for Westerners, who have mentally equated Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in the roles of Han, Luke and Leia for so long that any other interpretation is sacrilege.

But as the official Star Wars site reminds us, there’s a lot to recommend the Star Wars mangas, especially compared to Marvel’s comic adaptations of 1977. Released in 1997, the artists had twenty years to study the films and adapt them for modern manga audiences.

What I admire about the mangas is not so much the art style but the dramatic pace. Where the destruction of Alderaan in Star Wars
is passed over with little more than a thirty second shrug by George
Lucas, the Japanese take an entire page to show the seas boil,
continents crack apart and the skies burning. Compared to that, the
Marvel stuff seems positively amateurish.

Still, the Marvel comics also have their charms, and I think it’s
unfair to just routinely dismiss them. I especially love the Marvel
comics run between the release of Star Wars and the release of Empire Strikes Back, where Marvel created their own Star Wars
universe, filled with entirely inexplicable adaptations of
never-before-seen-but-script-referenced characters like Boba Fett and
Jabba the Hutt.

Checklist: Turning Star Wars Japanese — Manga Scenes Done Better [Star Wars] (via io9)

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