A Manga Exhibit for the World to Experience

Cover to Manga - The Citi Exhibition

Around the summer of last year, the British Museum had one of the most extensive manga exhibitions in history. Manga

マンガ – The Citi Exhibition, curated by the Sainsbury Institute, was something that I wish we had here in America. I saw some videos on Twitter from manga fans and industry folks who got a chance to visit the exhibition and I have to say, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat jealous.

Thankfully, there was a book that came out for fans who couldn’t visit the exhibit over the summer. The Manga Citi Exhibition book is a worthwhile read into a global phenomenon that has smashed cultural barriers and brought a world of fans together in ways Japan could not have foreseen.

The book is separated into 6 major chapters with topics ranging from learning to understand manga through reading/drawing/producing to storytelling to unseen/seen worlds to the intersection between manga and society. There’s also discussion about the histories of Katsuhisa Hokusai and Kawanabe Kyosai, two artists who perhaps were the originators of manga and set the foundation for manga today back in the ‘1800s. One more notable topic was on how to expand manga’s boundaries via other media like anime and alternative manga. Subjects such as Osamu Tezuka, shojo manga, the growing popularity of sports manga post-WWII, Japan’s love of Alice in Wonderland, and Captain Tsubasa’s impact overseas are also covered to round out a basic primer.

There’s a lot of art displayed in the book from popular artists such as Akiko Higashimura, Satoru Noda, Takehiko Inoue, Hikaru Nakamura, Katsuhiro Otomo, Moto Hagio and others. The book unfortunately doesn’t show all the art from the actual exhibit itself (though there’s a checklist in the back). There’s still a ton of information and lots to …continue reading