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MANGA: Sixty Years Of Japanese Comics

A Review By: The Observer

The following review by Roger Sabin appeared in The Observer on August 4, 2004 excellent study about manga that seeks to explode the dictionary definition of ‘comics with a science fiction or fantasy theme’. Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics by Paul Gravett is beautifully illustrated with 360 examples taking in everything from early hits such as Astro Boy, through diverse indie manga, to more recent ‘tits and tentacles’ fodder. It’s not terribly critical (you won’t hear much about sweatshop conditions in the Tokyo studios), but then illustrated books can rarely afford to be these days, bearing in mind copyright clearances. As a celebration of an often misunderstood aspect of modern comics, it does an admirable job of squashing racist myths and of only mentioning the dreaded Pokémon twice.

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