Manga in Japanese means "comics," and comics in Japan are simply the most marvelous multifaceted misunderstood mass-market monster publishing phenomenon ever, anywhere. A multibillion dollar industry ... tens of millions of devoted fans ... thousands of ceaselessly toiling artists, a few of whom grow fabulously wealthy. There's something for everyone, too, from historical romances set in the French revolution and bloody duels between medieval samurai, to tales of wrestlers, enlightened Buddhist sages, spacemen, anthropomorphic cats, gangsters, girls in and out of love, warrior robots, sushi-makers, and even the tireless Mr. Nobody at the office, the esteemed soldier in Japan's economic-miracle army. Until now, this world has been hardly remarked upon by Western observers, except for mention of the fact that on trains, in restaurants, and indeed at every leisure moment the Japanese seem to have their heads buried in comics. But with this book Japanese comics emerge in all their spectacular variety for the first time in English. Author Fred Schodt offers a wealth of highlights and sidelights into history, themes, and artists. And every page is chock-full of samples from Japanese comic magazines. Here is popular culture running at a high pitch, and outsiders might find it all a bit puzzling and perverse. So if you're a bit straitlaced take it slow. But if your assumptions about comics are open to challenge, or if you thought you knew the real Japan because you've read all about Zen and the tea ceremony and Theory Z, read on, read on.