The 331st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 29, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email  to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Eike Exner on Comics and the Origins of Modern Manga.

In Comics and the Origins of Modern Manga, his recent book based on multiple years of archival research in Japan, Eike Exner argues that modern manga are more accurately understood as the offspring of 1920s and 1930s translations of foreign comic strips rather than the product of a gradual evolution from older Japanese art. Comic strips imported from abroad, primarily the United States, were immensely popular among Japanese newspaper and magazine readers at the time, and quickly emulated by Japanese artists at the request of editors. The central difference between the foreign comic strips and existing Japanese graphic narrative (itself strongly influenced by European and American cartoons and picture stories) was their depiction of sound and motion, which obviated explanatory narration and coincided with the spread of similar modern entertainment such as music records and the cinema.

Eike Exner is a historian of East Asian, European, and North American graphic narrative of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He writes about and translates old cartoons and comic strips on the Instagram account @prewar_manga.