Drawing In the Gals

Move over, guys. Graphics for girls are the hot new genre in Japanese comics

In the world of comics, men are superheroes and women are superficial. But not in shojo manga, the emerging genre of Japanese comics that is finally giving girls their due.

Manga comics, printed as cheap, multivolume paperbacks and sold at major bookstores, have ignited graphic-novel sales around the world. In the U.S. last year Manga racked up some $100 million, almost double 2002's sales, according to ICv2, a pop-culture trade publication. The two dominant U.S. publishers of manga, Tokyopop and Viz, will ramp up their 2004 title count to more than 300 between them. Later this year DC Comics plans...

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