Why aren’t there more animated cartoons adapted from comic books?

matt wants to ask you all a question: would you not watch a cartoon series that is just recounting the plot from existing comic books?

I’m not talking about cartoons inspired by comic books. Plenty of those cartoons are being made and are still in syndication. We’ve seen Batman The Animated Series, Superman The Animated Series, two awesome Spiderman shows and one less awesome Spiderman series (I’ll let you decide which are which).

I do, I really do enjoy the Internet’s propensity toward rehashing old cartoons for bad internet jokes

There are more examples of shows based on comic books, but none are animated recreations of actual old comic book panels. We don’t see the kind of paper-to-television transfer of comic book to television in America that you see with manga-to-anime. A lot of anime and other entertainment media are direct adaptations of old Japanese comics.

The reason why anime is so successful is that the story is already there for about 80% of the industry because it’s already been written and drawn out by a successful manga writer. The best part about this is that during the adaptation process, you can eliminate the manga artist’s mistakes or improve upon already-built storylines. While often a double-edged sword, this generally means that the anime will be better than the manga.

This is true of the opposite as well: manga derived from anime will often avoid the mistakes of the former. It’s so easy to make anime that sometimes the anime adaptation catches up to the current iteration of the franchise and has to create filler material to stall while the manga artist gets to work. Actually putting animated frames on a screen is apparently easier than publishing your story once a week in a magazine.

These stories aren’t very good, usually, by the way. But they’re already-written stories nonetheless, which makes you wonder why American businessmen and entertainment executives, so renowned for the desire to eliminate the creative process from entertainment, haven’t already jumped on this concept.

I just don’t get why Americans, and the west in general, are so averse to watching animated, drawn media. I don’t get why these television companies want to keep wasting millions of dollars developing live action TV shows when they can pay a Korean animation studio to put ready-made comics into cartoon form.

matt doesn’t watch anime anymore. He also enjoys comic book movies but really wonders why there aren’t many more animated series marketed toward adults in this genre – it seems to be popular! Follow matt on Twitter @brapachinensis

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