You do not have to be Japanese and/or in Japan and/or published in Japan to do manga. Much of the manga published in Japan is produced in the Phillipines and Singapore (and I oughta know, we've been hiring some of the same artists to do the same thing for us).
Manga means comics, but more specific comics in the Japanese style. The visual look -- big eyes, tiny mouths -- is derived from Walt Disney's BAMBI by way of Osamu Tezuka, who did the licensed Japanses comic version of BAMBI immediately after WWII. Tezuka liked the BAMBI designs so much he started incorporating it into all his work, and Tezuka was so successful an influence that virtually the entire Japanese manga industry followed suit. (In this particular instance, he is more like the Japanese Jack Kirby than the Japanese Walt Disney.)
Manga can be produced by anyone and anywhere around the world as MANGA AROUND THE WORLD -- a recent Japanese manga anthology edited and published in Japan -- proves.
Manga does not have to be monochrome. Most manga is produced with different color inks, not black and white as is done in America. It's printed monochrome because it is regarded as cheap entertainment along the lines of comic strips in America. More and more is being printed in color.
Buzz, I'm just going to agree to disagree with you over this world manga business. I think it's marketing bunk and is just too superficial. I think it gives Japan too much credit and doesn't give credit to the art of other countries, namely America. Though I also dislike how Korean comics are labeled manga and how European or South American comics.. well.. nobody buys those.
That's my two cents. That's my party platform. Though I reconize there are other arguable viewpoints like yours, I still stand by my 'Comic Party'. (Comic Party, the name of a manga because sometimes Japan call them comics too. Comiket being one of the biggest small press expos in Japan, if not 'zah worldo'.)
I just want to remind young artists that there are multiple ways at looking at the artform of manga/comics and I want their minds to be open to their advantage. Look at the small and indie press in Japan. Look at the small and indie press in America. I'd say look more at the small and indie comic book press and cons in America, because that's where you'll be working unless you want to move to Japan and speak Japanese well. I don't see the sense in focusing only on the Japanese market. Sure, look there for innovation, but don't focus only on it.
As for Tezuka, I personally prefer comparing him to Eisner. I think people should look at both shores for inpiratation, both houses, the House Kirby and Eisner and the like built as well as the House of Tezuka built.