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Presented by State Library Victoria


Hello everyone, it’s been a long time since my last blog post. Been doing the important stuff, you know. Lazing around in bed until it gets unbearably too hot to roll around in my bed sheets. School holidays are about to end and I’m sure everyone is weeping or extremely excited since their first day of highschool is just around the corner.

Ahhh.. the long awaited first day of high school. Brings back memories. PSA for people first starting high school, enjoy year seven, eight and nine. One bad score on a test isn’t going to be the end of your high school career and don’t just hole up in your room studying or whatever you do. Go out and have fun with your friends.

Now back to the topic of this blog post. Reading. It’s great and loved by some. Others hate it with a passion. And it’s fine. I hate science with a passion while others may just fall in love with the idea of learning about what neutrophils and macrophages do when there’s a wound on the skin (HA, jokes on you ms reddy, I actually learnt something during your class). So typically people associate reading with a physical book, the cracking open of the spin, and the smell of the brand new book. Quite intoxicating, if I don’t say so myself.

But as the years go by, I’ve found myself with little time to head to the library and instead of getting more into the culture of anime and manga. I read manga a lot. But not just manga, I read webtoons, manhua and comics. Basically the whole works. And I’ve been substituting these reading materials in for physical books. There are times that I feel a little guilty that I don’t ‘read’, per say, more often. I don’t think many people actively consider comics from Japan, Korean and China as on the same level as reading from a physical book. And it’s honestly fine if you think that. But I love reading these type of comics and it shouldn’t be frowned upon (I’m looking at you, Mum).

Ever since I started reading comics, my mum has always frowned down on it. Saying it’s ‘just for kids’ or ‘it’s just all pictures’ and then it’ll proceed with ‘here read this’ then she’ll shove a dictionary-sized book in my face and coerces me into reading it. Which I guarantee 1000% doesn’t work. I get how comics are considered ‘kiddish’ but I’ve several mangas, webtoons, manhuas where it certainly isn’t for kids with its gore and extremely deep topics and themes it covers. It’s essentially a novel with pictures. One manga that I really recommend and had recently just finished reading is Kasane.

Here’s the synopsis:

Beautiful people are loved and revered. They have everything they desire right at their fingertips… Even if that beauty is a complete illusion.

Before Kasane’s mother died, she was given a special tube of lipstick from her mother. She was told that if times ever got really really hard, she should wear the lipstick and kiss whatever she really desires. But is this keepsake a blessing? Or a curse?

The manga is quite heavy for younger readers, but it’s quite a nice read for someone who likes more deeper reads that talk about human emotions and how easily they’re manipulated when beauty comes into the equation. I highly recommend this.

Of course, from time to time when I hear a really hyped book, I’ll make the 20-minute bus drive to the library to pick it up and to read it. But I think one part of me reading more stuff online is because of how convenient it is.

But that’s about the end of my blog post for today. Hope you guys enjoyed what I wrote and maybe opened your mind to comics and how they aren’t just for kids. 🙂



julianne Centre for Youth Literature

Don't ever let anyone put down reading comics or graphic novels! Last year a graphic novel was even longlisted for the Booker prize. It's legit! Reading comics, manga and comics requires a different sort of literacy too that involves and develops - a combined visual/word literacy that is kind of brilliant.

30th Jan, 19

Reading manga, manhua, manhwa, etc. should never feel like a guilt-trip! I'm a big fan of all that stuff myself and similarly had responses such as your mum's coming from my own family and friends. I remember my mum saying to me that I shouldn't waste my money on buying lots of manga and stuff because I would grow out of it. Jokes on her, I still haven't and it's been about 10 years.
I recently just visited Japan and all of the second-hand bookstores are full of adults standing and reading manga everywhere (it was literally like being a sardine). I remember reading that their president used to read them all the time too! Barack Obama was also a huge fan of Detective Conan as well. So if that isn't proof enough, I don't know what is :)))

30th Jan, 19