More Manga Reading

Rhinoa’s Manga Reading Challenge has inspired me to choose some reading that is very new and different for me, and I’m enjoying my first experiences with the world of Manga. This week I read two more books for the challenge: Manga Shakespeare: The Tempest, and Return to Labyrinth, Vol. I.


The Tempest, illustrated by Paul Duffield, was the second book I’ve read from the Manga Shakespeare collection. I started with Macbeth — the play I am most familiar with because I used it in my 6th grade classroom for 16 years — and I enjoyed it but liked The Tempest better because I liked the artwork better. I’m looking forward to eventually reading all the books in the Manga Shakespeare collection. They’re a fun way to introduce yourself (or a class) to the different Shakespeare plays.


Many years ago, my family and I enjoyed the movie, Labyrinth. A few months ago, my husband and I watched it again on DVD, and I think I liked it even more than I did way-back-when. So for Rhinoa’s challenge, I decided to read the Manga series of Return to Labyrinth, by Jake T. Forbes, to see what happens to the story after the movie ends! At the library, I found Volumes 1 and 2 of what will eventually be a 4-volume story. I finished Vol. 1, and am most of the way through Vol. 2Volume 3 comes out on May 12th.

The story in Return to Labyrinth, Vol. 1 takes place 13 years after the end of the movie. Here’s a short summary from the publisher:

The Goblin King has kept a watchful eye on Toby: His minions secretly guiding and protecting the child… Legions of goblins work behind the scenes to ensure that Toby has whatever his heart desires… Preparing him for the day when he will return to the Labyrinth and take his rightful place beside Jareth as the heir to the Goblin Kingdom… That day has come……but no one has told Toby.

I felt a lot of loyalty to the movie and to Brian Froud’s original artwork and Jim Henson’s wonderful creations, so this book was a little hard for me to accept at first. But, it’s fun to follow the adventure along, so I will continue through the story and read the upcoming volumes, too. And anything that keeps Brian Froud, Jim Henson, and David Bowie fresh in mind is definitely to be enjoyed and appreciated.

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6 thoughts on “More Manga Reading

  1. Nymeth

    I had made mental notes about both Labyrinth and Shakespeare Manga after Rhinoa reviewed them, but I’d forgotten about them, so thanks for the reminder! I think I’ll get myself some Shakespeare Manga soon. Maybe Hamlet, so that I can find the motivation to read it at last šŸ˜› First the manga, then the real thing. Same goes for Macbeth, actually.

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  2. J.Danger

    Robin- do you have any more suggestions for Manga for a younger boy? My son is going to be 11 and is obsessed with Manga but I have a hard time finding things that are suitable for him to read.

    Thanks!

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  3. Robin

    Nymeth, I think the Shakespeare Manga is worth checking out. Labyrinth is interesting as a follow up to the movie, but I wasn’t overly excited about it.

    Stephanie, you should definitely see the movie again. We really enjoyed it after so many years!

    J.Danger, I’ve searched at the library, but haven’t found much, either. However, after watching that interview recently with Mark Siegel about his company First Second, I was very impressed with the quality of their publications, and they have a number of books for upper elementary kids. Their web site gives reviews and information on each book, so it’s worth exploring:
    http://www.firstsecondbooks.com/hub.html
    Another web site I found as I was searching was SchoolLibrary Journal, with a list of comics and manga for children. Here’s that link, too:
    http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/
    blog/540000654.html
    Also, one book I did find at the library was Robot Dreams by Sara Varon. Your son might like it. I’m working on a review of it right now.

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  4. Rhinoa

    I love the artwork for The Tempest and need to get hold of a copy. Volume 3 of Return to Labyrinth needs to come out already. It gets getting delayed. It was due out Dec 08 and is now pushed back to May grr. If you liked Dark Crystal there is also a prequel volume 1 manga out worth looking in to.

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