Thursday, April 21, 2005

Flipped vs. Unflipped manga 

Things have been a bit hectic lately (hence my lack of posts), but I had to point out Coffee_and_ink's post on flipped vs. unflipped manga.

Like her, I really disagreed with Bill Randal's essay in the Comics Journal. It varies from person to person, but I think the flipping aspect is one of the least to worry about when it comes to translation.

One of the great observations that coffee_and_ink puts forth is due to the balloon structure of most manga, there isn't a lot of horizontal scanning of text. Most text in manga is vertical, so the balloons tend to be that way also, letting only a couple of words per line fit. That means that your eye stays in the same place and peripheral vision takes in the individual words. So actual eye movement will be mostly just down, similar to how it'd be flipped.

Even without that, I don't think it is that big of a deal. Yes english is left to right, but your eye has to travel all the way back over for every line of a novel. In this case on the last line your eye would just go a bit further left to the next panel.

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