Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

August 28, 2006

Not Comics: Anime/Manga Fans Exist at the Bottom of the Geek Status Ladder?

I've never seen in action the argument the Toronto Star makes that anime/manga fans are looked down upon by older, more traditional geeks, but I guess it could be so. When I worked in comics in Seattle in the late 1990s there seemed to be a certain Samuel-Beckett-style venom the Seuling Con Era comics readers had for players of table-top role-playing games, of which there were many in town at the time. The only general convention I've ever attended is Comic-Con International in San Diego, and while the older fans there seemed frequently peeved at the inconveniences of the larger crowds, they appeared mostly befuddled by the anime/manga crowd specifically, many of the men muttering something along the lines, "They have girls... we never had this many girls..."

At any rate, I wanted to link this up for the opening anecdote: "In 2004, former [Taiwanese] president Lee Teng-hui dressed up as the stubborn kendo master Heihachi Edajima from a popular Japanese comic book series Sakigake!! Otokojuku. With flowing martial arts robes, bamboo sword and sidekicks in tow, Lee strutted his stuff for publicity pictures." I always liked that story, and the picture of the politician at his wikipedia site, so I'll take this excuse to mention it here.
posted 4:08 am PST | Permalink

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