The AFP has picked up on Manga. They say The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man are confronting new rivals in the US comic book world, as young Americans are devouring Japan's "manga" comics depicting wandering samurais and cheeky Tokyo schoolchildren. Manga, literally "random sketches" is the term for the genre of narrative comic strips, often series, read by millions of Japanese. Thousands of new titles on themes ranging from samurai, golf, yakuza gangsters, fantasy superheroes, sex and social satire are published each year.
Anonymous Patron writes "CTV.ca Reports Jean-Pierre Mercier, who manages the collection for France's National Centre for Comic Books and Images, said he was "flabbergasted" when he learned in March that Marvel Enterprises wanted to donate the huge quantity of comic books dating back as far as the 1950s.
The gift, from one of the top U.S. comic publishers, was made through Gifts in Kind, a U.S. charity that distributes donated items."
An Anonymous Patron writes "The New York Times Reports Sales of Japanese comics - more familiarly known as manga (pronounced MAHN-gah) - are exploding in the United States, and much of the boom is due to efforts by comic book publishers to extend their reach beyond young male readers. Beyond all males, in fact."
Bibliofile writes "Our library has an ever-growing collection of manga and anime and is read voraciously by teens. It is one way to get reluctant or non-readers intereseted--and just might improve their reading skills. Let me know what your library is doing to support this growing genre. While researching for a grant on family literacy I came across the folling article:
Anime, a style of Japanese animation, is playing a growing role in U.S. culture:
This distinct Japanese art form has nurtured a fast-growing U.S. industry, rich with colorful TV shows, movies, video games, toys and comic books known as manga.
"In Japan, when you're on the train, you see everyone -- and I mean everyone â€“ is reading a book, and it's mostly manga," Karahashi said. "I think that's why Japan has a very high literacy rate."
Anonymous Patron writes "The Washington Post is the latest place to discover the term "graphic novel"The reputation of comics has improved so much in recent decades that Maryland is planning a program that would use the books in public schools to help engage reluctant readers. Although some teachers have drawn upon comics as teaching tools, officials said the statewide project is the first of its kind in the nation."
Anonymous Patron writes "Comic Books of the 50s Explores one of the most turbulent and interesting decades in American comic book history--The 1950s. A collection compiled and maintained by: Michael R. Lavin, librarian at SUNY Buffalo. Unfortunatly the site hasn't been updated in 2 years, but The Crusade against Comic Books is an interesting read."
Anonymous Patron sends "us this The Associated Press story about a business professor who uses comic books featuring Kaptain Kelmoore, 'a financial superhero and champion of truth, justice and a balanced portfolio' to teach about investing. Info on how to order the comics is at Kelmoore.com.
Although not officially either a librarian or a library patron, the new Geekman action figure might represent another breed of information maniac.
This story from the LA Times (registration required...but here's another w/o registration from the Seattle Times) portrays Geekman as "altogether hip." When asked what his hero's superpowers are, Kris Schantz, founder of Happy Worker toys and creator of GeekMan, listed "opposite-sex repulsion, analytical reasoning, the ability to create technical acronyms and less-than-ideal personal hygiene."
Geekman is available at local toy stores and on the web. This reporter thinks he'd play well with the loveable Nancy Pearl shushing librarian doll.