CBLDF Presents Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices is in stores today! An authoritative yet accessible handbook designed to help librarians, educators, and parents navigate the vast and popular field of manga, CBLDF Presents Manga provides what you really need to know about manga from those who really know it!
What sets this book apart from other manga guides is its expert panel of writers, including not only scholars of the medium but veterans of the manga industry itself — professionals who have worked from both the North American and Japanese sides of manga in publishing, editing, review, and library services. Edited by Melinda Beasi of Manga Bookshelf, CBLDF Presents Manga is written by Manga Bookshelf columnist Sean Gaffney, Ed Chavez of Vertical, Erica Friedman of Yuricon and ALC Publishing, Shaenon Garrity of Viz Media and Otaku USA, and Robin Brenner and Katherine Dacey of School Library Journal.
Beasi spoke with Diamond BookShelf about the impetus behind the project:
Early last year, I received an email from my colleague and friend Erica Friedman. In it, she said that Charles Brownstein had approached her about managing a “Manga 101” book project for the CBLDF and that, though it wasn’t something she was available to take on, she’d recommended me. I’d only met Charles once, and very briefly, but I’d written a blog post for the organization the year before about my personal take on the Brandon X case, so he was familiar with me and my writing to some extent. I reached out to let him know that I was interested in the project, and my involvement began pretty quickly. Luckily, I was able to take advantage of Erica’s considerable expertise for the project after all, by signing her on as a writer!
The case that really brought the attacks against manga to CBLDF’s attention was R v. Matheson. Ryan Matheson, an American manga fan, was arrested because Canadian authorities searched his laptop and wrongly decided that some of the manga images on the device were child pornography. CBLDF successfully helped defend Matheson from prosecution. Beasi shared her thoughts on how Matheson’s tribulations with Canadian Customs impacted manga fans around the country:
When fans first heard about the case (those of us who did), I think our primary reaction was denial, followed by fear. First, we assured ourselves that nothing in our collections would lead to legal trouble… then we left all our manga at home, anyway. I would hope, however, that the success of Ryan [Matheson, the defendant]’s case might ultimately lead manga fans to recognize the importance of asserting and defending their rights—not only for themselves, but for manga fandom as a whole.
Many of our recent cases and stories we covered in 2013 have involved manga. In 2013, CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein also toured Japan on the Manga Freedom tour, speaking to packed crowds at Comic Market, the International Symposium on Freedom of Manga Culture, Comitia, and more.
CBLDF Presents Manga is a definitive guide intended to inform people about manga basics and the challenges manga faces in schools and libraries. If you can’t get to your local comic book shop or book store to pick up a copy, CBLDF has copies available here.
We need your help to keep fighting for the right to read! Get in the Spirit of Giving, and help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by getting personalized holiday gifts, making a donation, or becoming a member of CBLDF!