Japanese manga has been coming to American shores for decades, and as the children who read those grew up, they wanted to see where it all began. A number of American artists have made their way to Japan following the path of manga, from Paul Pope to recent successes like Takeshi Miyazawa and Felipe Smith. And while many Japanese manga fans have a very specific idea of who can do manga and who can't, a Japanese museum is bringing that question to the forefront.
In the upcoming exhibit "Manga Style - North America," the Kyoto International Manga Museum will display the works of three American manga-ka for a month beginning Jan. 5. Miyazawa and Smith will be joined by TOKYOPOP alum Svetlana Chmakova to show off their work -- the first time North American art has ever been displayed at the museum.
Smith and Miyezawa are both full-time residents of Japan now, and will be part of a panel held at the museum with manga editor Eijiro Shimada to talk about manga and manga-style works on Jan. 14.