Although not every manga has the author(s) drawing depictions of themselves, many do and I have yet to come across an example where it was anything other than the ‘chibi’ or superdeformed style of drawing when it was supposed to be a human face.

Anthropomorphic animals, non-human avatars, masks, and so on are also popular.

Sometimes it becomes so exaggerated it seems silly and intentionally self-demeaning.

Clearly it’s an established trope, or standard, by now but why?

  • 3
    I believe most of the time it's due to personal privacy.
    – Aki Tanaka
    Nov 7, 2021 at 13:44
  • Counterexample, Junji Ito in the end of volume bits in Uzumaki, this is the only counterexample I can think of though
    – Gatchwar
    Nov 18, 2021 at 1:37
  • @AkiTanaka Take Jump in its golden era for an example. Back then fans would submit family photos with their full name to be printed. Photographs of authors were everywhere, but their official "avatar" would still be deformed or something symbolic. So obviously "personal privacy" is not the main reason.
    – user62767
    Jan 13, 2022 at 1:14
  • 1
    First, you have to ask whether a manga artist is necessarily is proficient enough in a realistic drawing style before asking why don't they draw themselves. If this doesn't hold, then you'd have to ask why won't they draw themselves in their manga style. And that's where you might get an answer. If they aren't drawing themselves, but a caricature of themselves, then why go all out when they are overworked as hell? Those superdeformed characters do the job well enough as an avatar while being simple enough that they are not that much hard work to do. Pragmatically, they are their best choice.
    – paulnamida
    Feb 4, 2022 at 15:01


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