In a previous column I told you how while I was signing on Book Day I saw a mother taking away from her son the opportunity to read a comic, despite the fact that the little one had taken it with interest and curiosity. All ended with a “That doesn’t interest you” from the adult and the child did what was expected, leaving him with the rest of her and moving on to the next position with her.
But luckily I also saw the opposite, a scene that gave me internal warmth and that made my afternoon happy. The theatrical setup was more or less the same, a mother with two children peering through the boxes and materials that Taj Mahal Comics had available to all passers-by on that sunny April day. One of the boys picked up a manga, I don’t remember which one it was, he showed it to his mother and she was surprised by the format it had.
Here an important nuance must be made. Although publications in an oriental sense seem more than natural to those of us who are readers, to maintain and respect the original as much as possible, we must remember that the arrival of Dragon Ball, Doraemon and others were turned into staple comics that were read in our sense. And another nuance: although it may shock us and the manga moves a lot there are still a large number of people who don’t even know about it.
I return to the play. Two things could happen, that they would leave the little tome and something else or that the desire to know more made them ask. Luckily it was this second option and Enrique, who runs the store together with his brother Dani, with the usual good treatment and kindness of him explained what it was about. That what they had in their hands was a manga, which came from Japan and that it was read backwards since that’s how it was done there, that in reality there are manga in more countries and that even in Europe we have authors who work on them.
I could see the smile on the faces of those three people that they had just discovered the existence of these readings, of a new world beyond the comics they knew, of another way of being, of a culture unknown until then and that was opening the doors wide for them. And it is that reading is something wonderful, I cannot express it in any other way.
Did they take the tome? Did you buy one each? I don’t know, I missed that part because, due to serving my own readers, I couldn’t see the whole scene. I want to believe that yes, I wish it were so, There are few things better in this world than discovering something new and enjoying it.