Manga /mon-gah/ noun A type of Japanese comic book published in anthologized series, vastly popular in Japan among adults and widely influential on advertising, visual arts, and particularly the Anime film genre. The influence of manga – a central figure in Japanese mainstream culture for decades – has begun to spread outside of Japan, making waves in the West and influencing not only comic designers, but also advertisers, filmmakers, and creative professionals in general. But why is manga so insanely popular? Why do the Japanese obsess over it, pushing weekly distribution figures into the millions? Inside this mega-guide you’ll get the skinny on the manga phenomenon and its superstars – both human and fictional – via 140 A to Z listings of the most talented and influential manga artists, from classic maestros – like Osamu Tezuka (creator of Astroboy) and Katsuhiro Otomo (creator of Akira) – to the hottest newcomers such as Reiko Okano and world famous artists like Hayao Miyazaki (creator of Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away). Each entry includes biographical and bibliographical information, descriptions of main characters, and of course plenty of examples of the artist’s finest manga spreads and covers.