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Mangaman [Hardcover]

Barry Lyga , Colleen Doran
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £12.28 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (15 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547423152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547423159
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 17 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,757,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Will make you think! 10 April 2012
By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Even though I am a huge fan of Barry Lyga's writing, this story took me by surprise. The philosophical underpinnings will keep your mind working long after you finish the book. In fact, I read it through twice in one sitting and know I will be going back and reading it again in the near future. It is the story of two teenagers. Ryoko and Marissa meet at a party. But Ryoko is from an alternate world that resembles out manga. He comes from a two dimensional world where the marks of the illustrator are real and now they follow him around our world. But he realizes that even though he comes from a world we would interpret as a story, that maybe our world is full of box frames and we just do not realize it. It a cross between eastern mysticism and religions, and a western, that all collide as the story takes place.

I have already told about a dozen people about this book and they were all just as intrigued as I was. The story is amazing and the illustrations wonderful. But what gets you most, is the essence of it. You will find yourself thinking about it long after you finish. It is an incredible story by an amazing author and a very talented illustrator!
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good times. 4 Aug 2011
By trashcanman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Mangaman is a metafiction comic exploring the differences between Japanese manga and the western graphic novel. The premise is a manga character suddenly appearing in a straightforward American comic. It's a quick and funny read that takes time to poke fun at the conventions of both mediums, be it the earnest straightforwardness of classic graphic novels or the obscene gender-bendiness of their Japanese counterparts. It's a great notion that will probably make a great film someday if anime and manga continue to increase in popularity.

The title protagonist, Kyoko, is the stereotypically effeminate manga/anime hero ("I don't know if I should kick it's @z$, or screw it!", relates one stunned male bystander). He describes the day he found himself transported to our world as "normal", which is to say he was hanging out with his "girlfriend" (a stubbly dude in a schoolgirl outfit....don't ask) and preparing to fight giant tentacled monsters in his mecha suit. So yeah, an average manga day. All of his exaggerated facial expressions and even the motion lines and visible sound effects make him as much of a freak as his cartoonish appearance and Kyoko finds he doesn't so much fit in in high school. But, as with both mediums, there's always that one girl who finds herself enamored with the stranger from another world and love is ready to bloom as the man from the East shows the beauty from the West that all of our lives are just comic books where we just move from one panel to the next, regardless of what direction it's read in.

Otaku should have a great time picking out the manga conventions made use/fun of in the story, which is broad enough for even those who don't have much knowledge of Japanese entertainment to grasp the gist of. There are some fourth wall hijinks involving censored nudity and the occasional panel-hop out into the borders of the story to add another layer of meta-humor to the mix as well. Mangaman does justice to it's semi-classic meta-comedy premise, but seems rather brief and very rushed at the end for a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion. Nonetheless, a fun read whether you prefer good old fashioned American comics or Japan's more out-there brand of printed visual entertainment.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mangaman Rocks!! 25 July 2011
By E. Kennen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It was just your average Manga day when the fabric of space ripped, flinging Ryoko Kiyama into the real world, a strange place where fighting can actually lead to hospitalizations and action lines fall awkwardly on the ground. Ryoko's having trouble fitting in - there's that gorgeous androgynous hair and the awkward way that people can see his thought bubbles. But some things transcend time and space - like love and, apparently, comic panels.

While this story cannot claim to be completely original (and will certainly have its detractors for no other reason), it is still very imaginative and fun. I have never read Manga before, but I am somewhat familiar with comic books and anime. Doubtless, I missed a few of the finer points of this graphic novel, but I found that just a basic familiarity with the genres is enough to not only understand, but also thoroughly enjoy, this book. I also enjoyed wondering about the implications - what is reality; and what is reality within the book?

Excellent though it is, MANGAMAN is not without its issues (I won't say "flaws" because in this case, it is clearly in the eye of the beholder). Some of the artwork seemed overdrawn. To someone not used to the Manga style, Ryoko is distractingly effeminate in his look (if not his actions).Finally, I found the beginning and ending a tad abrupt.
Overall, though, I enjoyed this fast-paced, clever, and amusing book. If the plot sounds like it would intrigue you, get Mangaman. You won't regret it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story and great art 16 Mar 2012
By Jessica Izaguirre - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I loved this little love story about about a manga character trapped in the "real" world. The difference the between the real comic art and the manga art was nice too. I just wish it had been a little bit longer or the story deeper, but overall I enjoyed it a lot!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bending Your Expectations 15 Feb 2012
By Sarah Beach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I came into reading MANGAMAN without a grounding in the conventions of manga comics - other than recognizing them when I see them. But I love the work of Colleen Doran and so was willing to go along for the ride. I'm very happy I did.

What I found was a delightful story that runs on all the tropes of high-school romance. The writing stays true to the emotional level and sophistication of high-school students (as in, the emotions are volitile and the psychological sophistication limited). But it also addresses something more than just the obvious story issue of being an outsider and the prejudice that comes with that. Lyga's story places his heroine, Marissa, in a rather tight social box -- everyone's expectations around her of what she's supposed to dress like, what she's supposed to do, who she's supposed to date -- all that is pushing at her on all sides. And then Lyga playfully finds a way to "let her out of the box."

Lyga plays meta-games with his storytelling, making the characters comment on the manner of their presentation. But he never talks down to the reader about it, instead assuming that any reader will in fact be smart enough to follow along. He plays fair by the rules of the worlds inside the covers of the book, and sticks to staying on point with the teen-romance.

For those who grouse about what this book does not do, I have to wonder what they were expecting? I opened the book knowing only that it was to be a cross-pollination of two different forms of graphic storytelling, and that the artist was one I trusted to deliver a story well. What I found was a thoroughly enjoyable storytelling romp.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's East Meets West -- by two of the best! 15 Jan 2012
By Allan Harvey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When teenager Marissa Montaigne attends her "homegoing" party, little does she realize that she's about to meet a boy who is even more of an outsider than she is -- he's from a different dimension entirely! The guy in question, Ryoko Kiyama, has fallen through a Rip in the fabric of reality, and comes from a world of Manga. His normal day is made up of donning robotic mech-suits and facing off against giant invading lizard monsters. He doesn't even find it odd that his girlfriend accidentally turned herself into a boy!

For Ryoko, it is our world that he finds strange and intimidating, and the people he meets at school don't know how to react to this odd person in their midst. That he leaves discarded speed lines cluttering the floor and his every emotion warps his body doesn't win him any friends. Except for Marissa, who sees in him a fellow traveler. As he shows her some of his world she becomes determined not to lose him, even though it's been decided he has no choice but to go back whence he came...

Barry Lyga follows up his thoroughly engaging The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl books with this clever -- so clever, in fact, that it's a wonder it's not been done before -- melding of western comics and manga. The meta-fictive interlude in the middle of the book is reminiscent of Alan Moore's work on Promethea (Book 1) as the characters become aware of their own fictional existence and begin to break through the panel borders to the strange world beyond. It's extraordinary stuff. Marissa and Ryko's dialogue breathes on the page, their unique voices clear and natural. You're rooting for the pair of them from page one to the unexpected climax.

Colleen Doran has long been a star, ever since the debut of her own series: Distant Soil, Vol. 1 The Gathering (v. 1). Her art gets better and better project after project, and this is no exception. Equally at home with the photo-realistio business of US-style drawing and the ultra-exaggeration of manga, she's the perfect artist for this graphic novel. Her drawing is sharp, clear and expressive; her fluid ink lines a joy to behold. The story-telling is second to none.

This is a book that cries out for a sequel, and I hope that Lyga and Doran bring us one soon!
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