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Manga at a Crossroads, Symposium on April 4

Manga at a Crossroads, the second of two symposia, will honor Maureen Donovan, the Japanese Studies Librarian and professor, and her contributions to manga research and the manga collection at Ohio State. The symposium will be held on Saturday, April 4 from 1 – 5:30 p.m. in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.

Manga, a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels, has been evolving since the first manga magazine, "Eshinbun Nipponchi", published in Japan in 1874. After manga became a widely accepted form of popular culture in Japan, it was exported to countries like the U.S. and has become an international phenomenon. Manga is no longer a mere source for entertainment for the general public, but it is also a serious subject of academic inquiry.

While manga became mainstream and global, however, its sales in the US have recently been in decline. Although some publishers attribute the sales drop to the market stabilization and maturation, it is clear that manga is at a crossroads. Through the series of manga symposia, the origin of manga and future directions of this unique art form that started in Japan will be reexamined.

The focus of this symposium is diversification and globalization of manga. The speakers will be Masami Toku (California State University, Chico), Jennifer Prough (Varparaiso University), Casey Brienza (City University London) and Kerim Yasar (Ohio State). Toku and Prough will focus on girls' manga and probe its development by looking at the relationship between producers and consumers. Brienza and Yasar will address globalization of manga by looking at the social organization and transnational influence of the manga industries.

This symposium will be held concurrently with an exhibit on girls' manga at the Cartoon Library. For schedule details and a full list of co-sponsors, visit easc.osu.edu.