Oakland Public Library Makes Manga Magic

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The Oakland (Calif.) Public Library recently held its 5th annual Making Manga Magic contest, asking teens to create their own Manga/Anime Characters. Manga are Japanese comic books and graphic novels, typically (but not always) black-and-white and featuring stylized characters with large, round eyes. Anime refers to Japanese animation.

Contest entries had to be on an 8½″ x 11″ sheet and could be drawn, painted, or produced using computer graphics. The contestants ranged from 12 to 18 years old and were required to have an Oakland library card.

Six winners (one per age group) were announced at a reception on April 12. According to Lyn Taylor, teen librarian, “It was great! We had a good mix of artists, family, and friends. I’m always especially pleased to see parents joining in the celebration.”

Elizabeth Agramont, a member of the library’s Youth Leadership Council served as MC and presented the award certificates to all entrants. Winners were given a $25 bookstore gift card and a manga book (donated by Viz, a popular manga publisher.) The “best of the rest” also received a manga book.

The contestants, family, friends, and volunteers were treated to a scrumptious buffet of Hawaiian chicken and sauce; chocolate, almond, strawberry, and pizza flavored pocky (a staple for manga fans); and lemonade. All of the images were mounted for the participants to view. The six winners are shown here, but all entries can currently be seen on the Oakland Public Library’s Flickr page.