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Readers' Advisory: Graphic Novels & Manga

Guide to finding reading recommendations.

What is a Graphic Novel?

Graphic novels are books in which the narrative is conveyed with sequential art which is the term used to indicate multiple images (often combined with text) arranged in sequence next to each other in time and space to form a story.  They can be any length and tell a complete story within it's pages.

What is Manga?

Japanese comics are called manga. The word “manga” (pronounced like Mahn-ga, with a hard g) is Japanese for “random or whimsical pictures.” They usually are serialized and are made in both the comic book and graphic novel format. Traditionally, manga are written from top to bottom and right to left, as this is the reading pattern of the Japanese written language. They tend to feature two-dimensional drawings, characters with large eyes, and hair of abnormal size and color, and they are about some sort of conflict. Emotions are shown more often by using symbols (such as drops of sweat for worry) than by words

New Manga!

New Graphic Novels

What is a Comic Book?

Comic books are a staple bound book or magazine that tells a story using sequential art. Word balloons and thought balloons are also often a part of the sequential art of both comics and graphic novels. Comic books rarely exceed thirty pages. Often stories are serialized, so that readers must continue to buy subsequent issues to find out what happens next.

What is Anime?

“Manga” should not to be confused with “anime” (pronounced “ah-knee-may”), which is the Japanese term used for any animation. (The word anime is an abbreviation of the word animation.) Manga are often used as the basis for anime, but not every anime is from a manga and most manga are never made into anime.

Graphic Novel Reporter

Graphic Novel Reporter
With its simple, non-flashy interface and easy to navigate menus, the Graphic Novel Report (part of The Book Report Network of sites) functions as a sort of one-stop-shop for current reviews, core lists and upcoming convention information regarding all things comic/graphic novel.

Comics Journal

The Comics Journal
In addition to reviewing comics, sharing comic-centered national events and expos, and blogging about comic-related news, TCJ provides a colorful array of features and columns in a newspaper-style web-resource that would be of use to any librarian who wants to dig deeper with comic culture and contemporary happenings, particularly in the realm of adult titles.