From the Publisher
“The best introduction to manga I have ever read.”
Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit
“The informally encyclopedic Dreamland Japanthe result of Schodt's 16-plus years of studying manganot only makes it easier to understand the art form but also says a good deal about Japanese culture
this is an authoritative reference of the different categories of manga, popular titles and publishers.”
“The definitive survey of the Japanese comic book mindscape...”
Alvin Lu, The San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Schodt gives readers a sense that manga is a vast ocean in Japan with genres undreamed of in American comics. Dreamland Japan is recommended for all comic fansnot just for the historical information, but because Japan has truly understood that comics are only limited by our imagination."
—Ed Sizemore, MangaWorthReading.com
"No one knows more about this world and conveys it with such warmth and unpretentious insight than Frederik L. Schodt, and the timing of this collector’s edition is ideal: as Schodt notes in his new afterword, manga, Japan, and those of us interested in both are undergoing radical transformations. Luckily, we have this kick-ass book to guide us."
—Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the US
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As Schodt points out, in the 13 years between publication of his 1983 Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics, and this volume, American consciousness of manga, Japanese comics, and its animation offshoot, anime, has grown considerably. The collective American eyebrow may still rise quizzically at the enormous popularity of comic books in Japan, where they are accorded nearly the same social status as novels and film, but the narrative strips, with their characteristic big-eyed characters, are increasingly popular in this country. The informally encyclopedic Dreamland Japanthe result of Schodt's 16-plus years of studying manganot only makes it easier to understand the art form but also says a good deal about Japanese culture (even the Aum Shinrikyo cult used manga to attract young followers). Derived in part from articles in Mangajin and Animerica, this is an authoritative reference of the different categories of manga, popular titles and publishers. Schodt also features more than 22 artists, many of whom he interviewed, including Hinako Sugiura, King Terry (Teruhiko Yumura), Shingo Iguchi (the creator of Z-Chan), and Fujiko F. Fujio (creator of the Doraemon, a series with 44 volumes which have sold an estimated 100 million copies). A full chapter is devoted to the father of them all, cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, whose death in 1989 "sent shock waves through nearly everyone under fifty in Japan." Manga fans may be disappointed because the book is not obsessively detailed, but even they might find helpful the "Appendix of Manga in English," which lists publishers and Internet news groups that focus on manga and anime. (July)
Read an Excerpt
In 1995, former Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa began serializing a column of his opinions, not in a newspaper or newsmagazine, but in the manga magazine Big Comic Spirits. A respected seventy-five year old politician and thinker, Miyazawa probably rarely reads comics, but the reason he chose a manga magazine to air his views is clear. Big Comic Spirits is read by nearly 1.4 million young salarymen and potential voters each week. In today's Japan, manga magazines are one of the most effective ways to reach a mass audience and influence public opinion.Japan is the first nation in the world to accord "comic books"originally a "humorous" form of entertainment mainly for young peoplenearly the same social status as novels and films. Indeed, Japan is awash in manga. According to the Research Institute for Publications, of all the books and magazines sold in Japan in 1995, manga comprised nearly 40 percent of the total. Such industry statistics are indeed impressive, even frightening, but they hardly represent the entire picture or the true number of manga being read in Japan. There were 2.3 billion manga books and magazines produced in 1995, and nearly 1.9 billion actually sold, or over 15 for every man, woman, and child in Japan.