As a fan of the art form since days not long after my birth, cartoon art in its various forms has certainly had a striking effect on life and has molded my goals and given me direction in my life. An afficando whose tastes range from Batman to Annabelle (Nightmares and Fairytales), from Darkwing Duck and Basil (Great Mouse Detective) to Lord Alberto (Giant Robo), Roger Smith, and GaoGaiGar to those awesome guys on Red Vs. Blue, I feel qualified to comment on the current circumstances that have somewhat devided the cartoon art community.
I think we can all readily agree that there is a distinct line between "Westernized" and Japanese animation, though that line has been blurred on occasion. The word "anime" is used to express this difference in popular culture, stemming from the Japanese shortening of the word animation. In fact, anything that
has the characteristics of the Japanese art style has become classified as anime or manga (the Japanese word for comics) Herein lies the problem.
As someone who has practiced sequential art with anime overtones since the sixth grade (wayyyy back in 1994) I have long been known as an anime artist. That never really bothered me till recently. It has become the trend to, if your style is influenced by Japanese animation, call yourself a "manga" artist or mangaka (Japanese term for a comic artist), a term I find annoyingly redundant. Not only does it pin a singular art style on you and limit you as an artist, but it is also ridiculous to say you're "mangaka" when we already have the term comic or sequential artist to denote the type of work you do. And this isn't the fault of the artists in some cases, alot of times it seems like that is a label the publishers put upon the artist to publicise the type of work that company publishes.
Some may disagree with my opinons or even take the term "mangaka" to heart, and the is thier decision and right. I just wanted to voice an opinion in a public forum with the hope that those who see me as simply a "manga" artist may perhaps see me in a different light.