Q: What is Manga?
A: Manga is the Japanese word for comics and print cartoons. Outside of Japan, it refers specifically to comics originally published in Japan. These comics took its current form shortly after World War II. They are usually drawn in black and white, except for the covers and sometimes the first few pages; in some Animanga (Anime printed in Manga style) all the pages are colored.
Q: What is the difference between Manga and Anime?
A: Anime is the Japanese word for animation. Often popular manga are adapted into anime-film series; also sometimes a popular anime film is adapted into manga. For example the manga book titled Neon Genesis Evangelion is originally based on an anime film.
Q: Why is it backward? How do I read the pages?
A: Traditionally, manga are written from top to bottom and right to left, as this is the traditional reading pattern of the Japanese written language. This diagram on the right shows the traditional reading pattern. Some publishers of translated manga keep this format, but other publishers flip the pages horizontally, changing the reading direction to left to right, so as not to confuse traditional comics consumers. This practice is known as "flipping" and is often criticized by the readers and artists citing that it goes against the original intentions of the creator.
Q: What is manga-style?
A: Manga is traditionally drawn in a two-dimensional style like woodblock printed pictures. Characters are drawn in a simpler but exaggerated manner, typified by the large round eyes regarded abroad as a defining feature in Japanese comics. However, like any artistic medium there is no set style for manga. Manga can range from realistic to super deformed. Therefore, when manga is referenced as a style it specifically is referring to the moe style of manga common to the fantasy genre.
Q: What is the difference between shojo and shonen?
A: Shojo comics are written for teenage girls and are often about romance and relationships. Shonen comics are written for teenage boys and feature action. Because manga is a diverse style, however, artists often blend elements of several genres, including fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers. Characters can range from corporate businessmen (Shima Kousaku series) to Chinese chefs (Iron Wok Jan); all characters and genres are explored.
Q: Where can I find magazines that feature manga?
A: Near our single copy comics we have several magazines that feature manga. These titles include Wizard Universe, New Type, Shojo Beat, Shonen Jump, Animerica, and Anime Insider. These titles are monthly magazines and can be checked out.
Q: As a parent, how can I judge if the content is appropriate for my child?
A: Manga books are written for a wide range of ages and topics, so look for labeling on the front and back cover. Similar to music, a ratings system has been devised for comics by the manga industry, so look for warnings of Restricted or Mature content.
Here are some recomended titles in the Graphic Novel section:
GRAPHIC NOVEL Naruto
GRAPHIC NOVEL Fruits
GRAPHIC NOVEL Bleach
GRAPHIC NOVEL Fullmetal
GRAPHIC NOVEL Death
GRAPHIC NOVEL Loveless
GRAPHIC NOVEL Absolute
GRAPHIC NOVEL Tsubasa
GRAPHIC NOVEL Berserk
GRAPHIC NOVEL Rebirth
My Neighbor Totoro
GRAPHIC NOVEL j Totoro
GRAPHIC NOVEL j Yu-Gi-Oh
Riku Sanjo/Koji Inada
GRAPHIC NOVEL j Beet
Dragon Ball Z
GRAPHIC NOVEL j Dragon Ball Z
Classics Before 1900
Great Mystery Reads
2009 Best Fiction for Men
Contemporary Classics 1900 to Present
It's the End of the World As We Know It