October 24, 2007
News & Opinion: If you liked A Whole New Mind...
It's actually a manga -- a type of book started in Japan that has become widely popular throughout Europe. What is a manga, from Dan's lead piece in this month's Wired:
Published on flimsy newsprint and often as thick as a Baltimore phone book, these magazines can contain 25 different serialized stories that run about 20 pages each. The most popular series then get repackaged as paperback graphic novels. These books dominate long stretches of Japanese bookstores, and their sales figures would make American authors and publishers weep with envy. One example among many: The paperback editions of Bleach, a series about a ghost-spotting teenager that has been running in Weekly Shonen Jump for the past six years, have sold some 46 million copies (in a country of 127 million people).
And manga, unlike most American comics, isn't reserved for freaks, geeks, and pip-squeaks. Ride the Tokyo subway and you'll see passengers peering at their mobiles. But you'll also inevitably spot gray-haired businessmen, twentysomething hipsters, and Japanese schoolgirls alike paging through a manga weekly or a graphic novel. The city of Hiroshima even has a bustling public library devoted entirely to manga.
Dan spent two months in Japan researching mangas and their popularity (which keeps falling in Japan even while manga's following raises elsewhere). And so, Dan will use that research as he unveils the first American business manga in April. Can't wait to see it!
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.