Manga readers had more than graphic novels to choose from in 2009 -- there were also several noteworthy art books and collections of manga essays published too. With books ranging from scholarly to light-hearted to choose from, voters gravitated in droves to Patrick Galbraith's Otaku Encyclopedia, and pushed this book to the top of the list.
See more of the best manga of 2009:
Akihabara raconteur Patrick Galbraith shares his take on the wide (and wild) world of Japanese pop culture with an emphasis on otaku culture. Galbraith explains terms like moe and tsundere, visits otaku hotspots, interviews industry movers, shakers and celebrities, and profiles a few maid café sweethearts.
Hailed by many as the "God of Manga," Tezuka was a prodigiously creative, influential and prolific creator whose influence in Japanese manga and anime cannot be ignored. This fully-illustrated art book gives readers an overview of Tezuka-sensei's life, creations and influence. As an added bonus, it includes a DVD, with a short documentary showing this manga master at his prime.
This collection of color illustrations by CLAMP from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle features numerous of images of Sakura, Syoran, Kurogane and Mokona, plus commentary from the creators and a special side story created just for this art book.
One reason why shojo manga fans love Gentlemen's Alliance Cross is its romantic and detailed artwork. This artbook collects Arina Tanemura's illustrations in a full-color, oversized album and also offers commentary by Tanemura-sensei about her thoughts and inspirations behind each painting.
Jason Yadao explains manga to curious comics fans and graphic novel newbies with The Rough Guide to Manga. Yadao provides an overview of the history of manga, Korean manhwa and Chinese manhua, the different types of manga, the movers and shakers in the US manga publishing industry and 50 essential must-reads that every fan should know about.
With essays, sketches and manga collected from the earliest days of Studio Ghibli, Starting Point gives fans a glimpse into Hayao Miyazaki's creative process. Starting Point also shares the stories behind what was shown on screen for feature films such as Nausica ä of the Valley of the Wind, Kiki's Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky.
Kimihiro is a high school student who's bedeviled by restless spirits and yokai -- then one day, he wanders into the lair of Yuko the witch, and his life is never the same thereafter. As the pair (and assorted cohorts) encounter troubled souls, they try to offer their assistance, but sometimes it comes with a catch that doesn't always give their clients the solutions they expect, but more often the one they deserve.
Before television was found in every home, Japanese children were entertained by traveling storytellers who told tales accompanied by painted pictures. This style of storytelling was called kamishibai, or "paper theater." Eric Nash presents examples of popular kamishibai stories and explains its popularity and how it influenced the evolution of manga in Japan.
Comics historian Natsu Onoda Powers takes a closer look at the life and work of Osamu Tezuka in this collection of essays. Powers examines Tezuka's early influences, and how his early works were both a reflection of his times, and how his creations impacted Japanese comics, animation and popular culture.
Industry insider Jonathan Clements gives fans a look behind the scenes of the anime, games and manga businesses in this collection of essays from Newtype USA. Clements interviews pros, shares his own insights and explains some of the stranger aspects of the Japanese pop culture business.