|Houghton Mifflin Trade and Reference Division |
Distinguished book publishing since 1832
(Advance Reader Copy)
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a manga reader, but when I saw the premise of this young adult comic book, I dove right in!
Barry Lyga's concept is genius and Colleen Doran pulls it off perfectly! Mangaman is not a manga book. It's a traditional comic book into which Ryoko, a character from the manga world, lands when he accidentally falls through "the Rip," a portal between the manga world and the "real" world of Western-style comic books.
The only character drawn in typical 2-dimensional manga style, Ryoko's is painfully aware of his manga trappings - effeminate appearance, visual thoughts that float above his head (particularly embarrassing in high school),
OH. EM. GEE!"speed lines" that appear whenever he moves quickly, painfully poking nearby classmates (and later requiring "sweeping up" by the custodial staff), a habit of walking in the wrong direction,
Do you see that?
It's a head!
in the air!
I did it again, didn't I?
Left to Right.
Why can't I remember that?
and, especially telling, eyes that turn into hearts whenever Marissa Montaigne appears.
You could call this a parody of manga, but it's much more than that. If you're even remotely acquainted with manga comics, Mangaman is hysterical. For the non-manga reader, this may be just what you need to finally "get it!"
(Right to Left, Why can't I remember that?)
Recommended for mature readers.
If you're having trouble accessing the video, you can see it at mangamanlives.com or Barry Lyga's website.