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At the start of “Asian Comics” John A. Lent announces Japanese comics won’t get a mention — so manga fans, back away. Instead, he traces the development of cartoons in China, Korea, Malaysia and other Asian nations.

Asian Comics, by John A. Lent
400 pages.
University Press of Mississippi, Nonfiction.

Lent shows these comics were used to address government corruption, feminism and colonialism. He tells how one publisher brazenly printed his comics in English, knowing the government officials he was criticizing couldn’t understand them.

The exhaustive stories Lent has compiled in “Asian Comics” are inevitably intertwined with each country’s political past — this is as much a chronicle of comics as it is a history book.

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