Europe's Manga Mania

Younger readers are abandoning stalwarts like Asterix for the Japanese comics known as manga. Now European publishers are creating their own

At Frankfurt's largest bookstore, Hugendubel, 18-year-old Svenja Malis bypasses the best sellers and heads to the comics section. She's not looking for the latest Betty and Veronica or Supergirl, but manga, the richly illustrated Japanese comics that tell stories of love, mystery, and even horror. A friend got Malis hooked on manga three years ago and, like many girls in her class, she began to finance the habit with her monthly allowance. "I could also read American comics, but I prefer the Japanese ones because they're less clumsy," she says.

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