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I did mention I work on comic books, right? Well, for those of you who don't know, if a person is at all interested in comic books, than Japan is the place to go. In Japan, comic books (called manga) have a long history -- at least back into the 1600's -- and is simply an accepted form of story telling, much the same way movies and television are. This means that about ninety-five percent (if not more) of the Japanese population read manga (though, of course, some people read more than others).
Because of this unique status for comics in Japan, there's a much richer variety of story and art available than the USA has yet to offer (but I think we'll get there eventually). Japanese comics set the standards for truely professional comic book art worldwide; and the stories range from the classic 'just for kids' variety to a huge variety of specialty audiences... there are stories specifically for adults, for the elderly, for sports fans, for salary workers, for housewives, etc. ...if it's a distinct group of some sort, then there are likely at least four or five comics meant just for them. Comics are also often utilized for education, because they can be read faster and remembered better than the typical boring textbook (yes, they have those too).
please note how thick it is: 400 pages!
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