Chinese artist nabs international manga award

I spied this bit of news from today’s paper…

A Hong Kong Chinese artist has won Japan’s first Nobel Prize of Manga for artists working in the comic book genre abroad.
“Sun Zi’s Tactics” by Lee Chi Ching, 43, beat out 145 other entries from 26 countries and regions around the world, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said Friday in a statement.

Lee’s historically themed adventure series ran from 1995-2006 in Chinese, and has been translated into numerous other languages, it said.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, “manga” is what the Japanese call their comic books. The style is pretty distinctive — big eyes, little nose, wild hair — and the look of Japanese manga have been slowly bleeding into American comics for years. There aren’t so many superheroes in manga — science fiction, fantasy, comedy, and action tend to be the most popular. Manga is often considered more explicit in terms of violence and sexuality than American comics are.

Manga is also very big business in Japan. They’re widely read by adults and females, and they sell more manga in a week than the American comic book industry sells all year.

The book that won the international prize, Lee Chi Ching’s “Sun Zi’s Tactics,” may not even be available in America right now — heck, it may not even be translated into English yet. Hopefully, winning the award will get some publishers interested in making it available for Americans…

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