Read Comics In Public Day

Today is the first annual International Read Comics In Public Day. A good idea every day, but hopefully this will encourage fanboys and girls to let the world know of their love of sequential art. You can find out more at the official website, which contains a great letter from a reader:

In Japan, comics (we call them “manga”, you know) are very popular, so adult people commonly read manga in public.

In the early 1970s, when the japanese college students began reading manga publicly, they were criticized by the previous generations.
But by that time, the kinds of manga had dramatically increased, and many mangas were eagerly accepted by the young people as their own bildungsroman, love stories, art forms, or even political assertions.

Of course reading comics…anywhere in the East isn’t a problem, with the artform being as deservedly pervasive and respected as it is. Here in the West we have yet to get a hold of that attitude, but we will one day. I read comics on the train ride to or from work almost daily, and never hide that fact. Last week I saw a hip, young guy reading a Fables trade and that kind of encounter is becoming more common, thankfully. Just today, I was flicking through the latest Previews catalogue  and a few comics, and I always make sure to open the pages wide so the curious people near me can glance (they usually do).

I hope RCiP Day goes well. There’s events all over the world, including Starbucks in San Diego. Power to the comic reading people!

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