The Bendis Board investigates the link between manga and western indie comics:
Most manga I read thru have tremendous amounts of dialogue, page after page of characters just hanging out and talking. They are packed with angst, lots of shy characters finding the courage to confess thier love only to be humiliated in the most emotionally painful ways. If you love uncomfortable emotional exploration manga really delivers. Even the most popular and mainstream titles have strong emotional elements that are suprising, people who enjoy stories that are heavily emotional would find alot of manga they would like I think.
The only real difference I notice between most indy comics and popular manga is the conclusion of the stories. In Manga main character, starting out as a loser, works to improve thier lives and often, after 20 or 30 volumes of pain, succeeds and has a happy ending. With many Indy comics the loser often fails uttery as the story goes down dark paths and often even dies. Other than that I think alot of manga would appeal to indy comic fans, definately worth checking out if you havn’t.
It takes one post for someone to disagree:
“based on what you wrote here, i think you have a pretty ill-informed view of indy comics. but i’d say the reason a lot of indie fans don’t go for manga has more to do with a distaste for the artistic and storytelling conventions of manga. it’s the reason for me at least.”
“indy and manga are my favorite genres!”
“I tend not to read magna books beacuse they dont interest me as much as other comics. That said there have been magnas that I really liked, Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha for example (I’ve only read the first two volumes though) and what I’ve read of Akira.”