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Manga Named to Librarians' Great Graphic Novels List

posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
After School Nightmare, Emma, King of Thorn in Top Ten; 11 others honored

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, has announced its second annual list of the best graphic novels for teenagers. YALSA honored 43 separate titles, including 14 manga and one Korean comic. The manga titles selected represent most of the publishers of Japanese comics in North America.

Del Rey leads all manga publishers with three winning titles: Tadashi Kawashima's Alive (volumes 1 and 2), Yuki Urushibara's Mushishi (1, 2), and the first volume of Ryotaro Iwanaga's Pumpkin Scissors. Go! Comi and Viz Media each have two titles honored: the first three volumes of Hideyuki Kurata's TRAIN+TRAIN and first five of Setona Mizushiro's After School Nightmare from Go, and the first volume of Aya Nakahara's Love*Com and volumes 7 through 9 of Yellow Tanabe's Kekkaishi from Viz.

The remaining nine manga on the list are each published by a different company. They are: Kiyohiko Azuma's Yotsuba&! 4 (ADV Manga), Yuji Iwahara's King of Thorn 1 and 2 (Tokyopop), Fuyimo Kouno's Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms (Last Gasp Comics), Kaoru Mori's Emma 1-5 (CMX Manga), Kazuhiro Okamoto's Translucent (Dark Horse), Keiko Takemiya's To Terra 1-3 (Vertical Publishing), and Fumi Yoshinaga's Flower of Life 1-3 (Digital Manga Publishing). SoHee Park is honored for the first volume of Goong, which was published by ICE Kunion.

The final list was prepared at the mid-winter meeting of the American Library Association, which concluded on Monday in Philadelphia. Throughout the past year, YALSA has announced titles that it had nominated for consideration. There was a total of 138 official nominees, over half of which originated in Japan. The nominating committee, which is composed of librarians and educators from around the country, selected the winners based on both literary qualities and appeal to readers ages 12 to 18.

In addition to the overall list of winners, the committee also picked ten comics that it considers to be the year's best graphic novels for teens. The ten were not ranked, but After School Nightmare, Emma, and King of Thorn were all chosen.

Eligibility for selection to YALSA's list was limited to comics published between September 1, 2006 and December 31, 2007. Both young-adult and adult-oriented titles may be considered.

Last year, when the YALSA put together this list for the first time, Viz's Death Note was the only manga that made the Top 10. Only five out of a total of 67 titles named to the final list were originally created in Japan.

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