Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chad's Challenge part seven: manga

Chad asked me: what has your experience with manga been? Do you follow any series/creators?

I read a lot of different manga a few years ago when I worked at Waldenbooks. It was a good way to spend my lunch break, especially since I could zip through a whole volume in that thirty minutes. Manga and GNs were my "area of specialty" and I wanted to have enough knowledge about them to be informed when I spoke with customers.

But after reading a lot of manga, I realized that very little of it actually was something I was interested in.

I've read probably seven or eight volumes of Fruits Basket, the first two or three of DNAngel, the first two of Battle Royale (something I would read more of if I could do so for free), all of Cowboy Bebop, two or three Lupin III's, the first Lone Wolf and Cub (which I would read more of if it weren't printed at a miniscule size that's impossible to read), all of Tokyo Babylon, two volumes of Descendents of Darkness, the first two of The Ring, Ohikkoshi, the first volume of Eagle (which I would read more of if given a chance), and the books Drawn and Quarterly has put out by Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

I WOULD read more of some of those, as I said, and I would read a few other series too: Barefoot Gen, Akira, Adolf, Buddha, maybe Death Note since I've heard good things about it...

But I would only read those things if I had a chance to do so for free.
And really, it's not just manga that I don't have a taste for. I can't really get into most of the comics from Europe either. I'm not an international kind of guy, I don't think. I prefer the comics of the British Isles, Canada and the US; I think that's just the way I'm hardwired.

Ooh, and again that spawns an interesting new question: how would you define the national identity of Canada when it comes to comics? how are they set apart from American comics, and who has been most influential in shaping Canadian comics?