Grotesque Anatomy
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
  50,000,000 Manga Fans Can't Be Illiterate
Still exhausted from the four-day wedding extravaganza of my sister-in-law and her husband (congratulations, Fawn and Jim!).  I know I should be writing about Bill Jemas and his re-positioning, but I really don't care:  I don't read much Marvel (last Marvel book I got was the second NXM hardcover), and I don't know that this restructuring will really change much.  From all accounts, it still sounds as though the movies will drive much of the content in the comics.

I do care about annoying stereotypes about comic books, however.  Here's a piece from Slate talking about "Japan's obsession with comics" (or, "Japan Cliché No. 2: Manga"):
Of all Japan's cultural proclivities, the ubiquity of manga (comic books) perhaps puzzles me most. Japan's tightrope formality, its crushing conformity, its really teeny consumer electronics—these all make sense in geo-historical context. But I have yet to see an adequate explanation for why a nation with one of the world's highest literacy rates would become so obsessed with cartoons.
Yeah, because only illiterates read comics. Gah.

The rest of the article (part of the aptly-named "Tokyo on One Cliché a Day" series) devotes most of its attention to Japanese cartoon porn.  Given the lazy manner in which the article generalizes about topics (the author watches three hentai anime and concludes that all Japanese men harbor secret schoolgirl-rape fantasies), I can imagine someone coming away from this piece with the impression that all Japanese comics and animation are pornographic.  From there, it would only be a short leap to concluding that all Japanese comics and animation should be banned.  After all, everyone knows that comics are only for children, right?  Just ask Jesus Castillo
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