In King County, WA, the public library system responded to a complaint over a manga novel, Hero Heel 2, in the best possible way: by reaffirming the freedom of access of its patrons and responsibility of parents. Yay, librarians!
Like graphic novels and comics, manga is sometimes misunderstood by readers and parents who (wrongly) presume that because the books contain a large percentage of pictures, they are therefore intended for children. Just like text or film, however, manga and graphic novels are written for diverse audiences and demographics and cover innumerable themes.
Our letter applauded the library for its response and tried to discuss a few of the issues that will invariably continue to come up with graphic books containing mature content.
For more information on this, check out the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s resource on manga and the first amendment.