Print ISBN: 978-1-68217-912-3
# of Pages: 412
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $195
e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-957-4
eBook User Price: $195
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Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Manga

Editors: Bart H. Beaty; University of Calgary & Stephen Weiner; Maynard Public Library, MA
October 2018

Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Manga provides in-depth insight for more than 70 of the most popular and studied manga graphic novels, ranging from metaseries to stand-alone books.

Graphic novels have spawned a body of literary criticism since their emergence as a specific category in the publishing field, attaining a level of respect and permanence in academia previously held by their counterparts in prose. Salem Press’s Critical Survey of Graphic Novels series aims to collect the preeminent graphic novels and core comics series that form today’s canon for academic coursework and library collection development, offering clear, concise, and accessible analysis of not only the historic and current landscape of the interdisciplinary medium and its consumption but also the wide range of genres, themes, devices, and techniques that the graphic novel medium encompasses. Designed for both popular and scholarly arenas and collections, the series provides unique insight and analysis into the most influential and widely-read graphic novels, with an emphasis on establishing the medium as an important academic discipline.

Manga, which represents a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, collects more than sixty-five of the most popular and studied manga graphic novels, ranging from metaseries to stand-alone books. A continued influx of translated Japanese manga into the American market has sparked a greater interest in foreign-language traditions and long-form comics.

This volume provides detailed insight into and analyses of the major works that have helped define the manga medium, focusing on translated works that have been particularly influential in the development of the manga tradition. Stories have been compiled and dissected to provide viewpoints that are easily missed during initial readings.

Scope & Coverage

This single-volume covers over 65 well-regarded works of the manga medium, summarizing plots and analyzing the works in terms of their literary integrity and overall contribution to the graphic novel landscape. Often defined by such characteristics as stylized line work, cultural-specific narratives, and compelling storytelling that often stand in contrast to the character-centric framework of American comics, manga nonetheless encompasses a broad range of genres and subgenres.

Contributors worked from original sources, providing new criticism and content aimed at deconstructing both centuries-old themes and concepts as well as nontraditional genres and styles, and portraying the graphic novel as literature. Essays look beyond the popular-culture aspects of the medium to show the wide range of literary devices and overarching themes and styles used to convey beliefs and conflicts. Further, critical attention was paid to panel selection and relevancy, and to a particular work’s influence on the creators’ careers, other graphic novels, or literature as a whole.

Organization & Format

The essays in Manga appear alphabetically and are approximately 3 to 4 pages in length. Each essay begins with full ready-reference top matter, with primary author(s), illustrators, other artists who contributed to the work, and the first serial and book publication. The main text is divided into:

Publication History: an overview of the work's origin and publication chronology.

Plot: provides an in-depth synopsis of the main story progression and other story arcs. As an aid to students, this section focuses on the most critically important plot turns in the series or work and why these were important.

Volumes: orient the reader or researcher to the accepted reading order of the work.

Characters: presents detailed descriptions of major characters in the story, beginning with the main protagonists and antagonist.

Style: provides analysis of the work's visual content, especially as it related to characterization, plot, and mood; discussion of any changes in style as the story progresses; and the use of elements and devices such as dialogue, captions, panels, penciling, inking, and backgrounds.

Themes: identifies the central theme of the work, how they are expressed and how they relate to characterization and style.

Impact: covers the work's influence on the creators' careers, publishing houses, the medium of graphic novels itself, and literature in general.

Bibliography: lists secondary print sources for further study and examination, annotated to assist readers in evaluating focus and usefulness.

Appendixes & Special Features

  • General Bibliography
  • Timeline
  • Biographical Sidebars on Authors, Illustrators, and Significant Publications
  • Full-page Images and Panels from the Actual Works
  • Works by Publisher Index
  • Works by Author Index
  • Works by Artist Index
  • Subject Index

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