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MANGA: Sixty Years Of Japanese Comics

A Review By: Comics International #175

Comics International is the UK’s long running specialist magazine about comics, graphic novels and manga.

It’s been six long years since Frederik L. Schodt updated his seminal 1983 study Manga! Manga! World Of Japanese Comic Books. Since then manga’s unstoppable rampage across the West has become inescapable. So it’s appropriate that someone took stock of this comic ‘sub-genre’ and updated and re-examined what has become the world’s most prevalent comic art form. Paul Gravett manages not only to cover the history of manga, but in doing so explores the social and cultural evolution of Japan from it’s post-war reinvention to its modern-day literary imperialism. Gravett’s book excels not only in discussing such, but also by displaying hundreds of examples of artwork in glorious detail. Everything is here from the crassly commercial Dragon Ball Z and Yu-Gi-Oh! to the grotesque Grand Guignol artwork of Hideshi Hino. It even made this jaded cynic get excited about Nipponese comics once more. No mean feat. Authoritatively written and exquisitely designed, this book demands space on your shelf.

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