Frederik Schodt’s Manga! Manga! was many people’s introduction (and mine) to the world of Japanese comics. It’s still a terrific read, although a bit behind the times (since it’s almost 25 years old). I also enjoyed his sequel, Dreamland Japan.
Now, he’s got a new book due later this year. It’s more focused than either of the above, concentrating on “the god of manga”, Osamu Tezuka, and his most famous creation, Astro Boy. This profile of the creator and his work makes me interested in learning more (even if it does get the title wrong).
(Thanks, Ed, for the pointer!)