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Mizuki Reimagined: Japanese-to-English Manga for the Young North American Reader

With growing interest in visual literacy from parents, librarians, and educators, the North American kids manga industry is booming, and more and more publishers are trying their hand at Japanese-to-English manga translations to meet the growing the demand. But such projects pose unique publishing challenges that are influenced by manga’s history, readers’ expectations, the receptivity of the North American book market, and a publisher’s mandate. This report examines the process of bringing Japanese manga to a North American audience through a case study of one publisher, Drawn & Quarterly, and its translation of Shigeru Mizuki’s Kitaro series. Throughout, this report emphasizes the translation and production challenges involved, and also offers historical and cultural information about manga publishing, Drawn & Quarterly, Mizuki, and the growing educational market for kids’ comics in North America.
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