To Infinity And Beyond: Expanding My Reading Past Manga

Sharing my overcrowded space with my beloved classic literature and fictional books are an ever expanding shojo manga collection. The days when I don’t feel like reading a regular book and prefer the company of beautiful artwork to captivate the eyes and get swept up in romance, humor, and adventure I tend to pick up a manga volume.

I have an appreciation for art and beauty in general and it’s no surprise I became a huge fan of the Japanese style of drawing. When shojo manga became popular in the American market, I gravitated to the pretty art style and the wide focus on romance in most shojo manga. As much as I enjoy the shojo manga genre, it’s only in the last few years have I developed more of an interest in expanding my reading to also include American comic books.

Growing up, I never really collected or read too many comic books. I only read a few Marvel comic books after a family friend gifted me a comic book subscription for my birthday as a kid years ago. The comics included in the subscription were The Hulk and X-Men. The comics I looked most forward to were the issues of X-Men comics I got in the mail.

DaysofFuturePast_comicI always loved the X-Men ever since I watched the cartoon that used to air on TV in the ’90s. When I saw that I’d be getting the X-Men comics for a whole year, it was exciting for me. Don’t get me wrong, I did like The Hulk comics too, but the story about mutants with extraordinary powers trying to fit into a world where they’re constantly misunderstood by humans always spoke to me. Maybe it’s because as a kid I was reminded by certain grade school bullies that I’m not like them and I belonged in the group of so-called “outcasts.” Good thing there were a number of us “outcasts” in my class and we stuck together and ended up being friends. It made those formative years bearable.

Once the subscription ended and my mom didn’t want to pay to renew it, my interest in reading comic books fell by the wayside. It was with the introduction of manga in America, thanks to the popularity of shows like Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, and the like, did I find myself falling in love with comics again. When I got into video games and an explosion of comic book movies becoming the norm in our movie theaters, I found myself no longer wanting to limit my reading to just Japanese comic books.wolfamongus_screenshot

Playing games like Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us and seeing the recently released X-Men: Days of Future Past has left me with a feeling of wanting to go back to the original source material they’re based off of and read them. I’ve always been drawn to good storytelling with an emphasis on character development. When game developers or the director of a film has successfully managed to make the original source they’re drawing from compelling to someone who isn’t familiar with the original comics but absolutely adores the game or movie, it’s probably the best introduction into the original material to urge someone to eventually want to go out and buy the comics to read.

fables_comicartI always contemplated buying comics published by Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, etc., especially when I have a few friends who are avid graphic novel readers more than manga readers. The main problem was figuring out which comics were really good to read. I have gotten a few recommendations, but always stalled on actually buying them. Part of it has to do with having more than enough to read at the moment and the other reason being there are older manga series I’m trying to collect and finish. It’s an awful feeling when a series as old and as long as Boys Over Flowers by Yoko Kamio has random volumes that aren’t being printed anymore. I never really understood the logic behind that, but I digress.xmen_daysoffuturepast

When a character or story manages to leave its mark on my mind, like The Wolf Among Us and X-Men: Days of Future Past has, the desire to have the comics in my possession has gotten that much stronger. I’ll most likely give into my urge to buy Fables and the X-Men comics real soon. I may have a library in my room that’s already bursting with books and manga to read, but it’ll be good to add those newer comics to my roster of things to read when my current novel or manga book isn’t what I’m in the mood for.

4 thoughts on “To Infinity And Beyond: Expanding My Reading Past Manga”

  1. 1. Fables is a fantastic series.

    2. X-Men is a classic fav. Though I find the Marvel universe’s chaotic timeline and alternate realities to be a headache sometimes, I’m forever a Marvel fan.

    3. The opening to the old X-Men show is my ringtone. That’s a song that send any 90’s geek into the ultimate 90’s reverie.

    1. Tell me about it! I get giddy every time I hear the X-Men theme from the ’90s cartoon!

      I actually just bought X-Men: Days of Future Past, like I said I would in this post. I’m looking forward to reading it and I can’t wait to get Fables soon. I have heard good things about the comics, so I’m sure I won’t be disappointed when I do start reading that series as well.

  2. I love the X-Men movies and TV show (from what I’ve seen of it), but I’m afraid to try and jump into the comics. I’d want to read them ALL and there are probably more than I could ever read, even if I could pay for them all.

    Fables was much more doable for me. I think there are 20 volumes and I’ve read 9 of them so far. I LOVE them! I definitely appreciate The Wolf Among Us even more after reading them.

    1. I think that’s the only real problem with comics from Marvel and DC because there are just TOO many to read. For me, I may be interested in reading more comic books but I doubt I’m going to make myself crazy trying to collect them all. Manga is a little bit more manageable for me because most series tend to have an end at some point. There are some exceptions of course, but I do like when there’s an end to them all.

      Fables I may collect them all. I also like the idea of fairy tale characters living like real people in our own world and how they deal with it.

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