21. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Romance, Teen Books

Mangaman by Barry Lyga, 144 pages, read by Courtney, on 02/18/2012

Oh, now this is clever: take a manga character and drop him into an American comic world. Said character not only looks like he’s ripped straight out of a manga, he even embodies many of the conventions used in the manga format. He’s referred to as an “extra-scientific event” by scientists, viewed as a threat to his fellow male high-schoolers, and simply can’t seem to find a way to fit in. I suppose that’s to be expected when giant drops of sweat appear on your forehead when you’re embarrassed or when sound effects become visible. That can’t be easy. Fortunately, he quickly becomes friends with the most popular girl in school who finds his quirks to be refreshing, if a bit unsettling.
I love anything that messes with the “fourth wall” (as those in theater might say). The characters become aware that they are in a comic, but are forced to acknowledge the differences in their “worlds”. There’s a bit of action, a lot of humor and a charming little love story. What more can you ask for?

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