Sunday, April 16, 2006

And Then There's Manga

Lately, I've had a number of interesting conversations with librarians on the whole "Manga" phenomenon. Manga is a style of Japanese animation, currently wildly popular with teenagers. But some of the comics, which are not written for children, contain very graphic sex and violence. (The librarians I've talked to do generally stock the less graphic Manga comics in the "teen" section, while reserving the explicit stuff for the "adult" collection.)

But here's this story, where all copies of a Manga anthology have been ordered removed from the whole library system:
Bill Postmus, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of suburban San Bernadino County, California, has ordered the county's libraries to remove the scholarly text Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics from circulation. He proudly announced the move, calling the book "obscene comics," on the county's Website, saying, "That book is absolutely inappropriate for a public library and as soon as I was made aware of it yesterday, I ordered it to be removed immediately."
Okay, this is really creeping me out. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the phrase, "That book is absolutely inappropriate for a public library."

Libraries are about knowledge; is there any book, or at least any scholarly text about a world-wide cultural phenomenon, that is not "appropriate" for a public library?

5 Comments:

Blogger Natalia C. said...

That doesn't really make any sense. If they were already putting the most "obscene" ones in the adult section then that's fine. Adults can make their own decisions as to what is appropriate for them. Too bad they banned them.

6:29 AM  
Blogger a. fortis said...

I'm amazed, too, at the banning of any scholarly book from the public library. If sexual content is a problem, they might as well start removing the romance section right now, not to mention any number of other fiction titles, biology books, self-help, etc. etc...Anyway.

On the other hand, when I read in the article that the library in question is in Victorville, I thought, "OOOOhhh. Okay." Having grown up in Riverside, not far from SB county, I can attest to the conservatism of some of the outlying communities especially.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not all manga is about sex and violence. n by the way, manga is is not animation..the animation is anime. manga is japanese comic. there are a lot of intellectual manga...that is why its gaining popularity very fast. try look for series such as Historie (by iwaaki Hitoshi)which is about the story that take place in the era of ancient greece about Alexander the Great or Team Medical Dragon, a manga about medicine. Manga by Urasawa Naoki such as Monster, Pluto and 20th Century Boys also shows a great amount of researches to come up with great, deep and mind boggling psycological stories. I dare say that in a way some manga are comparable and perhaps even better that written books. Try read the mangas that i mention and see if you still think the same.

12:01 AM  
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