[Not] For Technophobes

         a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

April 7, 2011

Manga, Manhua, and Manhwa: Distribution and Globalization

Filed under: Uncategorized — E. A. @ 10:34 pm

The title of this post will be the title of my speech.

It comes from part four of my thesis.  It will discuss the legal and artistic vantage points of distribution of East Asian comics. I will also look at the complications faced within the world of illegal/unethical distributions and translations. I think my speech would work best in the following categories:

Culture and Technology

Remaking Society

Here are a few key passages.

From the weekly publishing of tankōbon [anthologies] to seasonal publication of volumes, manga, manhua, and manhwa distribution goes beyond the physical and has moved onto the internet. Because of globalization, a new world market opened up to East Asian mangaka and manga companies. This resulted in the increased spread of East Asian culture and style into the western world.

Rampant states that the draw of independent scanlation (the uploading and translations of East Asian comics) is that it does not heed the naturalization that was evident in most “professional” translations; rather, independent scanlation worked more for a “foreignization” of the work. Meaning in their translations the group would work towards enhancing the otherness of the manga rather than trying to force American ideals and concepts onto the work.

Due to an increase in fan base and the increasing capabilities of the internet, the world discovers, or creates, the scanlator. Scanning, cleaning, type-setting, translating, editing, and proofreading, the scanlator provides the manga fan with English, Spanish, German, and French translations of the least popular to the most popular manga. These translations are posted on websites as often as they are published in hard copy. Though this is hard, free, and creative work, the manga publishers and mangaka alike are opposed to this method of distribution for reasons like production loss and copyright infringement.

It is quite prevalent in the online scanlating world for unknown groups to steal the work of a well-established group and post it to sites as their own work. In these instances there is very little the offended group can do.

Although there are copyright infringements these independent groups will not cease the translation of foreign work into their [the translator’s] native or learned language. It is a matter of spreading cultural influences and material without the input of publishers and governments that might seek to censor different aspects of the original material.

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