As the post title itself will suffice to say, Japan and our United States have a back and forth trade off of pop culture and “lore” that are wonderfully traded and swapped back and forth. Look no further than the Manga “Priest”, sure the movie was complete and utter shit, but so was “Wanted”. The manga played fast and loose with a version of our American west circa late 1800′s and tossed in some non historical demonic possession a’la Evil Dead.Then on our side of the puddle you have of course the most obvious example, Frank Miller and the Hand, no not HIS hand you dirty goofs, the Hand Ninjas. He would take the influences much further, even his art style but let’s not dwell on Frank and predilections. Of course you have the Godzilla style monsters and even a Monster island in the Marvel U, and DC also has had a few influences most obviously Cassandra Kain’s ninja style Bat-Girl. In Japan you have both the Japanese versions of Spider-Man and Batman, tailored for eastern audiences.
Directors like Takashi Miike draw upon both Japanese and American Comics as sources of influence and style, and even go as far as to occasionally remake their favorite properties in their image. Artists like the late great Seth Fischer borrowed quite heavily from Manga artists, emulating not only the obvious facial over exaggerations but also the habit of throwing perspective out the window for the sake of a cooler and more appealing image. Of course other cultures and societies in contemporary times have had influence on a great number of modern artists, but the U.S. and Japan have a unique quirk and that is that the over obsessed fans of comics, sci-fi, videogames and other “dorky” things. This isn’t meant to be an Earth shattering or new observation, just a love letter to something that I’m thankful for that helps make comics as cool as they are.