You are here: Home > Blogs > Library-Connect
On Line

Library Connect banner

Fresh! Manga

by Laura C - 0 Comment(s)

It may have escaped your notice, but the Calgary Public Library has a wonderful collection of comic books and graphic novels -- we call them graphix! Within this collection my personal favourite format is manga, (pronounced mah-n-gah) – or, Japanese comics. I borrowed my first manga nearly a decade ago from the Calgary Public Library, and I’ve been obsessively reading them ever since.

There are so many things that I love about this format: the dynamic art, fascinating stories, and engaging characters, in a wide and varying range of genres: romance, comedy, mystery, horror, science fiction, fantasy, etc. There really is something in it for everyone. If you’re new to the format and interested in giving it a try, here are three suggestions to get you started:

Yotsuba&! vol. 1 book cover Black Blizzard book cover Akira vol. 1 book cover

For the Absolute beginner or, if you like to read the “Funny Pages”, you might like:

Yotsuba&! By Kiyohiko Azuma. This series has the flavour of comic strips without relying on the regular 3-paneled format.

Yotsuba& is named for and follows the small adventures of a happy-go-lucky preschooler. The stories are short, heart-warming and laugh-out-loud funny. And although this series is shelved in the children’s area, I highly recommend this comedy-gem to readers of any age and experience level.

If you dabble in comic books, or enjoy graphic novels, you might like:

Black Blizzard by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Black Blizzard fits into the “Gekiga” tradition of manga. Gekiga, a term coined by this author, refers to “dramatic pictures” and I feel it closely resembles the Western tradition of graphic novels. If you’ve some experience with graphic novels like Maus, Blankets, or Persepolis, this might be the manga to start with.

This story follows two criminals who attempt to escape their fate while discovering they have more links in their life than the chains binding them together.

If you’re a regular reader of American-style comic books, you might like:

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. This is a disturbing psychological sci-fi series set in post-apocalyptic neo-Tokyo. The story follows two orphaned teenagers and their connection with a group of scientifically modified telekinetic children. Akira is one of the children, and his power is believed to be the cause of the first apocalypse and destruction of old Tokyo – if his power reawakens, he could cause a second apocalypse as well.

When reading this series, the differences between American-style comics and manga don’t feel quite so obvious: It’s quickly paced, less stylized, and even produced in the familiar left-to-right reading direction. I urge you to give it a try.

Comments

This Post Comments RSS 2.0
No Comments

Add a Comment

*
 
 
*