Hotter Than Koosh Balls

For a bird, I’m a pretty hip cat. I always try to stay up with the grooviest titles and my only failing may be that I still use “grooviest” in sentences. OK, maybe it’s one of several failings.

graphic.JPGAnyway, if you’re under 18 years old and have been in a bookstore the past year or so you know that there is a craze sweeping the nation ala the Hula Hoop or the Rubik’s Cube. (They don’t still sell those in stores? I’ll be darned.) That craze, in a word, is called manga. Which sounds like one of my favorite fruits but really is the Japanese word for comics and print cartoons. Outside of Japan, manga usually refers specifically to Japanese comics and, as of 2006, represents a $5 billion global market. Manga usually comes in black and white, except for the covers and sometimes the first few pages, and in some Animanga all the pages are colored.

As you can see from the picture that accompanies this post, River City Books has a nice selection of manga books, many of which are published in series. Among several of the most popular series carried by RCB: Fruits Basket, Full Metal Alchemist, Full Moon, Maison Ikkoku and Howl’s Moving Castle.

I would like to tell you that I am an avid reader of manga, but I tried to start them and only later learned I opened the book backwards.

But young readers are frequently spotted reading these books, so if you haven’t done so already, they might be worth checking out.

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