Vertical Vednesday: 4 Steps to the Future

Japanese comics have come a long way in the last century. Most major publishers release dozens of new volumes a week. Magazine anthologies can be found on store shelves and kiosks in at least three different continents now. And the stories, designs, and formats of presentation found within those comics are as diverse as the readers that support this billion dollar industry. But there was a time when manga looked eeriely similar to the funnies we read with the Sunday paper.

Four-panel comics, known in Japan as yon-koma, are now the fastest growing and most volitile market in the manga industry. There are more magazines devoted to these comic strips than there are mainstream shoujo and shounen magazines combined! Historically strips like Sazae-san, Kobo-chan, and OL Evolution take slice of life concepts and repackage them into bite-size comedic vignettes. More recently titles like Heartbroken Angels, Gloom Party, and Ebichu have revealed that less is always more when it comes to the funny, but in these crazy modern times anything can be twice as funny, even fish mongering, if drawn in a strip.

With new titles such as K-On!, Lucky Star, and Doujin Work ready to take over the manga reading world, Vertical's 1-man panel will strip down the world of yonkoma to reveal why these comics are quietly becoming the future of serialized manga.

Location: Books Kinokuniya New York, 1073 Avenue of the Americas
Date: August 26, 2009 (Wednesday), 6:30pm-8:00pm
Soft drinks and snacks will be provided.
Please RSVP by emailing [email protected]

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