SO, you’re bored of your new computer games, watched all the box sets you got for Christmas and it’s too cold to go outside. You need some new stimulation. Have no fear. Comics expert Paul Gravett, whose new book Mangasia is in shops now for those of you with book tokens burning a hole in your pocket, is here to open your eyes to the wonders of Manga.

Paul Gravett: If you’re looking at exploring more manga and Asian comics, here are 10 diverse and diverting gems to expand your horizons...

1. Ayako by Tezuka Osamu (Japan)

A disturbing family tragedy by the prolific Tezuka, one of the two ‘mountains of manga’    

2. The Man Without Talent by Tsuge Yoshiharu (Japan) 

(in French, Spanish and Italian, sorry not English… yet!)

The other “mountain” is Tsuge and this is his profound, Zen-influenced masterpiece.

3. River of Stories by Orijit Sen (India)

An exposé of the environmental and human costs of an Indian dam.

4. The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew (Singapore)

Singapore’s history untangled through a cartoonist’s life and works.

5. Elmer by Gerry Alanguilan (Philippines)

The rights of intelligent chickens in an allegory about prejudice. 

6. A Bride’s Story by Mori Kaoru (Japan)

Varied lives and loves along the 19th-century Silk Road.

7. A Chinese Life by Philippe Otié & Li Kunwu (China)

One citizen experiences a lifetime of revolution and change.  

8. Uncomfortably Happily by Hong Yeon-sik (South Korea)

An urban couple try living the country life. 

9. Kampung Boy by Lat (Malaysia)

Recollections of a Malay village childhood. 

10. Pages to Pages by Lai Tat Tat Wing (Hong Kong)

Surreal visuals satirise the battle between digital and paper comics.


Mangasia: The Definitive Guide to Asian Comics by Paul Gravett is published by Thames & Hudson, £29.95