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GREAT BRITISH COMICS

A Review By: Helen McCarthy

Helen McCarthy is an author, journalist and leading authority on anime and manga. She was the first person in the UK to run an anime programme at a convention, start a dedicated anime newsletter, and edit a dedicated anime magazine. She was the first person in the English speaking world to write a book on anime, and with her book on Hayao Miyazaki became the first person in the English speaking world to write a book devoted to the work of a single anime creator. Helen lives in London with her partner, artist Steve Kyte.

Steve and I picked up Great British Comics just before the holidays and I wanted to let you know how much we’ve enjoyed it. It’s a lovely piece of work. I can sympathise with the frustration you and Peter must have felt, having to compress such a huge subject into a relatively small space, but you did a very good job. I enjoyed your manga book, of course, but anything anime and manga-related is work; this, on the other hand, gave me an afternoon of pure nostalgic indulgence.

After so long immersed in Japanese comics and animation, it was nice to go back to my childhood and remember some of the wonderful times I had with Girl and School Friend (and, when I could pinch them, my sister’s Bunty and Judy!)  Jackie and the rise of the photo-story seemed to put a stop to girls’ comics in this country, and it’s only with the rise of shojo manga that we’re seeing them revived. The Silent Three and The Four Marys would be right at home in the average Japanese girls’ comic, wouldn’t they?

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Comics Art by Paul Gravett from Tate Publishing

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