Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Wonderstruck vs. Manga Man
It's the showdown of graphic novels! Enjoyed the artwork of both of these, but the ideas in Wonderstruck take it above Manga Man.
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Wonderstruck is another excellent offering from Brian Selznick. This story is about a deaf boy who leaves a hospital and goes on a search for his father and some family connection. Meanwhile another story of a deaf girl unfolds in pictures. The two stories cleverly mesh together in the end and lessons are learned about belonging. The touch of nostalgia, great illustrations and well-told story make this book the winner.
Manga Man by Barry Lyga and Colleen Doran
In Manga Man, a manga guy, Ryoko, comes through a portal to the world of American comic style. He meets an American comic style girl, Marissa, and they fall for each other. Much of the book is about how Ryoko's strange manga-ness awkwardly affects life in the American comic world. For example, he teaches Marissa how to climb out of the comic frames and into others; his thought bubbles appear to other characters; and his fast speed lines actually materialize and litter the ground. Thematically, I suppose it is about acceptance of others, no matter how different.
If you are a "manga lover," this book is enjoyable because you get the jokes; if not, some of the references are missed and parts of it might even feel "icky" to read. I definitely know some kids who would think this book is cool.