Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Someone from PanMacmillan told me that their Manga list now generates more money than their fiction and crime lists put together. I'm not surprised. Last year we held a Manga evening and the shop was packed with people that my 19-year-old children's bookseller rather harshly described as 'fat losers.' They weren't all fat. Indeed, many were extremely skinny and some of the boys looked slightly comical in their Keanu Reaves-style Matrix coats.

Personally I find Manga rather strange and creepy, but as a bookseller I can't get enough of it. As a genre it seems fairly internet-proof, as part of the pleasure of buying it seems to be meeting up in the shop with other Manga readers and hanging out together. Also, with such a large range of titles, there isn't much danger of Tesco or Asda muscling-in on the act. Best of all, Manga novels don't take long to read so people often buy several at a time.

I just wish I understood more about Manga (without having to go through the actual tedium of reading about it) as I don't know how spot-on my range is. I suppose I could talk to a Manga fan next time they buy a book. 'Hello young man. I used to be a big fan of comics - loved the Beezer and Topper, but I need to gem-up on this new Manga thing...'


Bob said...

While it's by no means representative of manga in general, try reading "Monster" to see how good the medium can be. "Death Note" is a good one to see how original a manga story can be.

To see what the average manga kid is reading try Bleach and Fruits Basket.

I'd also recommend Genshiken just because I love it, but it also might give you some insight. Or not.

Steerforth said...

Thanks for this - I want to find out what it is about manga that inspires so much devotion, so I shall look for 'Monster' tomorrow.