Are we headed into a manga resurgence? Viz’ Alvin Liu believes so, judging from these comments from his ICv2 interview:
I think manga went through a down cycle and in two years we’re actually going to be back in an upcycle. I have a lot of long-term confidence in the medium. Manga is comics. I’m not one of those who draws hard lines between manga and comics. At the same time the way comics have evolved in Japan, there’s a different grammar to the form. I have a lot of belief in the power of that form that has come from there and actually in very interesting ways is spreading around the world inspiring new creators who are not Japanese. One of the things that came out of the last big manga wave was the development of non-Japanese creators inspired working within the manga grammar. That, actually in two years, we’re going to be seeing more of. I do think we’ll be seeing that sort of new generation I was referring to begin to grow again bringing us different kinds of energies and tastes so that we’ll be maybe seeing slightly different kinds of manga.
I’m always fascinated by the line between “manga” and “comics”; Liu says that he’s not drawing hard lines between the two, but goes on to suggest that manga isn’t defined by geographic origin, but, perhaps, sensibility…? I can see that – I still remember the whole weird definition comedy behind “Original English Language Manga, after all – but wonder if that doesn’t just make manga a genre, in that case?