Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mangaman by Barry Lyga and Colleen Doran

Mangaman by Barry Lyga and Colleen Doran

One night, while the citizens of Castleton slept in their beds, the deep sleep of normal American families, a stranger appeared in their town. He was ripped through the sky from another land and now, in their midst-- in their very high school, this stranger walks amongst them... The stranger is... MANGAMAN.

For Ryoko, on the otherhand, things seem a little different. He's been torn from the pages of his own hometown and now he's forced to live in a land that goes left to right. The townspeople of Castleton are wary of him at best and who knows if he'll ever be able to return to the life he's always known (especially if opening the rift would risk something creepy from Ryoko's world coming through as well) It's hard enough to be a teenager without having to worry about what's going on in the white space around the panels of your life.

I was a bit worried about this book because I am not a big manga reader (not because I don't like them, just because I am new to the format) and I was worried that I would not be in on the jokes. This was so not the case! This is the classic story of culture clash, except in this case it's the clash of two different styles of art. Doran has drawn for classic western comics like Superman, while Lyga brings us the manga side of things. 

This is also a bit of a Romeo and Juliet story as Ryoko is definitely considered from the wrong side of the tracks (in fact they are not really sure if he should be counted as a human) and when he falls for the eccentric dressing Marissa no one is happy. Except the two of them.

This book is fun to look at, fun to read all while being poignant, thoughtful and very funny.

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