I was excited to receive A History of Modern Manga from Insight Editions. When first approached about doing a review of A History of Modern Manga, I was apprehensive about doing it. I have so many books dedicated to the history of manga. What makes this book so different from others in the past? There are 71 reasons to buy this book. Manga is the heart of Japan.
Walk into any giant retail bookstore there is a good chance that the manga section is much larger than the comic book graphic novel section. One thing about manga is that it goes hand and hand with Japanese culture. Manga has mushroomed since Osamu Tezuka introduced manga to the world in 1951. The great wave of artists has never stopped and has grown into a global industry that keeps growing each year.
In a nutshell, the book is divided into 71 sections by manga artists dedicated to the most influential artists from 1951 to 2022. This is a tall order to pick the top 71 mangakas from Japan. As of 2006, about 3,000 professional manga artists were working in Japan.
A History of Modern Manga breaks down the 71 artists with their creations and the impact of the characters on pop culture. The book covers not only the artist and creations but the history of the medium in Japan. Manga is more than funny-looking characters foreign to the world outside Japan. It has grown to be a juggernaut globally. Many of these creations hold a special place in the hearts of readers that consume the never-ending stories that hold a beacon of cultural identity to each generation.
A History of Modern Manga is an extensive collection of art with pictures of the artists and their work and their influences on Japanese culture and beyond. Unlike their North American comic book artists, manga artists are celebrated to a higher standard in Japan. There is a reverence attached to the manga artist for their creations. North American comics are controlled by companies and not by individual artists.
I spent a whole weekend re-reading A History of Modern Manga, there is a wealth of history I did not know about manga and Japan. There is so much information that I did not know about manga and how deeply it is embedded in Japanese culture. North American fans will fall in love with A History of Modern Manga. This is one book you will not pass by. This has to be the most comprehensive history of manga ever assembled into a book.
A History of Modern Manga is out on April 4, 2023.