My name is Erica Friedman, I’m a publisher of manga, which the rest of the English- speaking world refers to as “Graphic Novels,” even though the New York Times has decided “Graphic Books” fits better.
I am writing because I am increasingly concerned about the obvious bias against manga in your bestseller lists. I have no idea who writes the synopses, but it is apparent to all of us in the manga world that that person *does not like manga.*
For instance… here are two synopses from this week’s list.
This first one is for an American GN:
WALKING DEAD, VOL. 1, by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. (Image Comics, $14.99.) The gripping story of the human survivors in a world overrun by zombies continues.
This one is for a manga:
YOTSUBA&!, VOL. 6, by Kiyohiko Azuma. (Yen Press, $10.99.) This series follows Yotsuba, a young girl learning about the world. In this chapter, she recycles, gets a bike and discovers sticky notes. Really.
Yotsuba&! has won awards around the world, and is a truly delightful book about a quirky kid and her worldview. Walking Dead is the millionth book about zombies. Really.
Once again, I *implore* you to get someone who understands and cares about Graphic Novels and Manga to write these lists. At least ask someone who cares about Manga to write the synopses. This damning with faint praise is really annoying to those of us who work so very hard to create and promote this genre. I can recommend several names and I would be more than willing to do it myself.
While we in the manga world all appreciate being included on the bestseller list, we’d be even more appreciative if we were treated with respect.