I recently started reading Naoki Urasawa‘s 20th Century Boys, my first real foray into manga. I’m almost done with the first volume (pictured below), but it’s kind of a big commitment; there are 20+ volumes in the NYPL catalog, which I didn’t realize when I started!
It’s kinda funny, manga obviously has its own set of graphic storytelling conventions but I’m adapting to those (and to reading right to left) just fine. But there are still little things that seem very culturally specific and sometimes (here’s where my undergrad linguistics major shows) I wonder if there are things that just can’t be translated.
For long subway rides, I recently picked up Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (in a Spanish translation, actually), and I’m kinda excited to see if reading them together will inform each other. Both are Japanese obviously, but both also involve adults looking back to their youth, though Murakami does it in a romantic, nostalgic way, and Urasawa seems to be setting up a conspiracy theory, action twist on nostalgia. Guess I’ll have to get back to y’all on that!
Also, I discovered some weird, motion comics versions of 20th Century Boys on YouTube, so here’s the first chapter to picque your interest: