Fuse #8

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Manga Snob Needs Your Help

Hi. My name is Betsy, and I'm a manga snob.

I've been a manga snob all my life. At first, it wasn't a big problem. I could get through the days without having to know anything at all about the comics. But now I'm a children's librarian and I love graphic novels. Do kids want what I want all the time, though? No. They want manga. Which would be fine except that I am (as I may have mentioned before) a manga snob.

So here's my question for you, the world at large. Good manga for KIDS (not teens). Does it exist? This is the post I'll leave up as I go off on Christmas vacation for the next four days or so. When I come back I'll weed through the answers and try to determine how y'all stand.

Remember, I want good manga. Quality manga. Manga on par with Babymouse. Whatchu got?


At 2:15 AM , Blogger Anna Pelletti Modica said...

Hi. I'm a children's bookseller and I usually recommend Hikaru No Go. It is a good all age title about a grade schooler learning to play GO.

At 12:16 PM , Blogger Bookseller Chick said...

I'm asking my manga experts to give me a list for you.

At 1:29 PM , Blogger adrienne said...

I was a manga snob until I read Yotsuba. The character reminds me a lot of Junie B. Jones, although the stories have a little more of an edge. Fun stuff.

At 12:26 AM , Blogger Anna said...

I have a second vote for Yotsuba, it is hilarious and a great all-ages book.
One of the Tokyopop "manga readers" books called Kat and Mouse is also very good, in a Nancy Drewish mystery kind of way.
Some of the Clamp books are written for a younger audience like Cardcaptor Sakura or Clamp School Detectives.
Other manga I think are good, but I haven't read are What's Michael and Gon (a wordless manga about a little dinosaur).

At 6:17 PM , Blogger Mary Lee said...

My response is here: http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2006/12/take-note-publishing-world.html

At 9:45 PM , Anonymous buller said...

The eponymous Doraemon is a robot cat who lives with a kid of middle-gradish age. Whenever the kid has a problem Doraemon pulls some sort of gadget out of his belly pouch which, while attempting to solve the kid's problem, always leads to still more problems. It must be very popular in Japan, because the series runs into the forties. It has not been translated here yet as far as I know, but I am usually able to follow about half of the stories just from the information in the pictures. The art is more cartoony than what is found in most manga, and I find it very appealing. With all of the manga currently being translated it doesn't make sense to me that Doraemon will continue to be exempt for very long, and I would jump on it when it appears in English.

At 11:16 PM , Anonymous elizabeth fama said...

My vote is a lot heavier than the above titles: Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix, Volume 2: A Tale of the Future. OK, OK, it's not cataloged as middle grade, but a sophisticated kid could read it (as long as he or she could handle the futuristic nuclear annihilation of the human race).

At 7:56 PM , Anonymous Brigid said...

Chikyu Misaki! This is very much a kids' book, with a cute story about a girl making friend with a Loch Ness monster-like creature that turns into a little boy when she kisses him, and a more exciting subplot about the kidnapping of a poor little rich girl and the villains' efforts to retrieve the ransom. It's rated Teen for some mild nudity and potty humor, and the ending is a bit complex, but there's a lot there for kids to like.

At 12:04 AM , Blogger John L said...

This makes me wonder, why does it seem that all the manga translated in this country is for teens, when obviously there are lots of Japanese comics for younger children too? (A third of all books sold in Japan are comics, and they cover all ages and genres.) I suspect it’s because teens were the first to embrace it over here, so now everyone wants a piece of that market. But that seems like crazy logic — it’s like another country saying they will only import American YA, and nothing else. I’m always on the lookout for younger manga myself, and I always come up empty-handed.


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