Comics are no laughing matter

26th November 2004 at 00:00
How disappointing to see your description of the Manga Mania promotion as only being of use to "reluctant readers". Manga is a medium, not a genre and includes just about every type of storyline.

Your article didn't try to convey the breadth of material available in the format, instead focusing on a few titles deemed inappropriate. It was interesting to see the other articles on young people's reading in the same issue. We had "bookworms" (is that really an appropriate term for celebrating young people's reading?), and a book about a child murderer being praised as it could make young people think about "forgiveness".

The message is clear - reading is something that is done to you and its value is judged by its use in the classroom. There is nothing here about reading for pleasure.

I was introduced to manga while a lecturer at Central St Martins. At least half of the students in my classes were from outside Europe. Many of these extremely bright and articulate students read manga. None had "literacy difficulties". They just liked a varied reading diet.

David Kendall 57 Kingsley Road Brighton East Sussex

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