I went to the British Women in Manga panel organised by London Girl Geek Dinners as part of the Sci-Fi Festival last week. Manga is something that I have started being fascinated with over the last few years, and it was interesting to see such talented women comic writers speak about their work: Kate Brown, Emma Vieceli and Karen Rubins.
I was amused by the fact that the speakers themselves had an issue with the word ‘Manga’ being over-used with regard to comics (especially anything with a remotely adult theme) – similar, I imagine, to the issue I have with the word ‘viral’.
One of the things I learnt is that Manga is actually used as an alternative way to engage school children with Shakespeare in UK schools. I thought that was amazing – and something I regret I never had the joy of experiencing, as another audience member expressed as well.
Also, for those who are interested, Karen Rubins, who was the V&A Comics Artist in Residence last year, informed us that the V&A’s National Art Library is an excellent free resource that most people seem to be unaware of. They even have a Comics Collection – but you’ll need to register to access it as it is part of their Special Collection.
I bought a copy of Emma Vieceli’s Manga Shakespeare version of Much Ado About Nothing, but another thing I’d really, really like to get my hands on is a pack of playing cards designed by Karen Rubins: