By the time the New York Times gets around to spotting a trend, that usually means it’s something your grandma loves. In this case, the recent manga implosion gives this New York Times spotlight on manga something of a more urgent undertone. The story focuses on budget cuts in the Queens library system, where the kids — of widely diverse ethnicities — have embraced the manga:

Mr. Zabriskie, 39, now assistant coordinator for youth services at Queens Library, says manga is for these teenagers what punk rock, New Wave, and Dungeons and Dragons were for his generation: a world of specialized knowledge that excludes adults and opens a private creative space for young people.
While the story has something of a “been there done that” vibe to it, it’s also a reminder that manga is still popular among a wide segment of teens and tweens. Don’t make plans to scatter the ashes just yet.


  1. I figured, everytime I go into a Borders/Barnes & Noble there is a usually a kid or two camped out in the manga section reading. (usually ignoring the other comics)

  2. I have had the opportunity to talk to a lot of teens in Queens at this point, and I don’t even know what these kids would DO without our wonderful library system, not to mention the fantastic librarians who work with them.

  3. “With books, like, you only see words,” he said. “It’s so dull.”

    “Rather than seeking out things that may be harmful, having your secret coding be foreign literature that you read in the library is pretty great,” said Mr. Zabriskie, a lanky redhead who fell in love with comics as a boy and with manga in his 20s, when it hit the United States in the 1990s.