First off, I do not dislike manga in all it's forms. I read some when I lived in Japan and despite it's flaws, I still have a soft spot for old Dragonball cartoons and comics and I think Battle Angel Alita was wonderful sixteen years ago.
For the past week (and for the next three weeks) I have been teaching a series of lectures at the Phoenix Library branches. The lectures/workshops are designed to introduce teens to proper sketching and gesture drawing, basic anatomy and storytelling techniques. Over the course of the last five classes and roughly fifty kids, one, only one, has admitted to reading American style comic books, and many of them, probably about 50% do not read any types of comics.
The breakdown generally goes like this, a 70/30 girls to boy ratio and 99% to 1% manga reader to american comic book reader. They all ask about Fruit Baskets and Naruto and they all draw in a strictly manga style. They also have a hard time understanding what I am trying to teach them, because I don't draw the way they like to draw, even though I reinforce the fact that the rules and guidelines are universal.
At the end of the class I recommend books by Scott McCloud and Will Eisner, and they all ask me if I've read "How to Draw Manga". There is good manga and good manga art out there, but the problem is I don't see any kids out there right now, at least in my neck of the woods, learning how to draw like Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Ron Garney, Ryan Ottley or Eric Canete. They all want to draw gigantic eyes, tear drops on the forehead and spiky hair.
Bottom line, I don't hate manga; but if I'm part of the last generation of comic artists influenced by Kirby, Toth, Lee and Mignola, then we are in sad, sad shape, because I am neither that good nor influential.
Please deposit hate mail and support for the manga art form in the comments section. Here is a recent commission.
*edited to remove a line that makes me sound very rude and conceited, my apologies.