Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Manga?

This summer I decided to really dig in to the world of manga rather than just admiring it from afar. I've read one or two volumes here or there, but never really adopted a series (not in the way I do with American comics). After quite a bit of searching, I found one that had a concept I really liked. Then I read it and was blown away.

I'm talking about Naoki Urasawa's latest, "20th Century Boys" (if you're interested, here they are on Amazon). Viz has just started bringing out the translated volumes, so I'm keeping up with them as they come out. I'm on volume 3 so far (volume 4 and 5 aren't due out until a bit later this year).

The art is spectacular and the storyline is wonderfully convoluted, but that's to be expected from Urasawa. I haven't read his other works, but his series "Monster", has won major awards and very high praise.

The reading style is unique, of course. It took about ten pages before I could really get used to it in the way I am comfortable with American comics. Still, once I got it down it felt interesting and new. So, not only am I recommending this manga, but the act of reading a manga creates a really interesting feeling--and after 30 years of reading, anything that can make the act of reading feel novel is certainly worth the time.

Of course, there are already films, but I am making myself wait to see them until after I've finished the series.

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