Helen McCarthy Takes Brits on a Whirlwind Tour Through Manga History

Helen McCarthy Takes Brits on a Whirlwind Tour Through Manga History

From D&AD (British Design and Art Direction) YouTube channel: British manga expert and author Helen McCarthy takes viewers on an 8-1/2 minute, whirlwind tour through the history of Japanese manga — and reveals its British roots.

British expat Charles Wirgman arrived in Japan in 1861, and was one of the first to teach Western art to Japanese people, and introduced Western-style comics to Japan with The Japan Punch, a humor magazine loosely based off the popular British satire magazine of the mid-1800’s. McCarthy offers more insight on this influential Brit in this overview as well.

McCarthy is the author of several books on manga and anime, including The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga and Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation, so even if you think you know everything about manga, this fast-paced little clip will give you something to think about.

Also fun and worth a look: a list of 5 manga series that are set in Great Britain, including D. Gray-Man (VIZ Media) and Soulless (from Yen Press).


  1. What an awesome video! So many things to learn. Her lecture is very refreshing, and she can make jokes but still the essence of her lecture remain serious and engrossing.

  2. Colour me amazed that she mentioned (however briefly) the stuff between Japan Punch and 1947! No mention of the text-only story papers which, until the mid 20th century (a bit earlier in the USA) existed alongside, or were even combined with, comics.
    Still, she sounds like somebody who actually knows what Billy Bunter, The Hotspur, Alf Tupper and Matt Braddock are. One of my otaku friends nearly floored me recently by not even knowing who Judge Dredd is… seriously?


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