Pope to get manga biography for Spain visit

30th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

A manga comic book on the life of Pope Benedict XVI will be distributed for free during the pope's visit to Madrid in August for World Youth Day festivities, organisers said Wednesday.

Over 300,000 copies of the manga titled "Habemus Papam!" -- the Latin phrase used to announce the election of a new pope -- will be printed in both Spanish and English and given out at churches, hotels, metro stops and other locations.

Jonathan Lin, whose California production company Manga Hero will produce the comic book, said the Japanese comic book format was chosen because it "is considered a cutting-edge form of entertainment and offers easy reading for all age groups."

"We hope the manga acts as a fun platform for people to learn more about the Holy Father and realise that the Church is relevant, visible, and active in modern culture. We want as many people as possible to read the manga," he added in an interview posted on the official World Youth Day website.

The manga will feature drawings by Singapore-based professional artist Sean Lam and it will cover key moments in the 83-year-old German-born pontiff's life.

The Vatican expects more than a million young people to attend the Roman Catholic Church's World Youth Day celebrations in Spain, which will be held between August 16 and 21.

Benedict, making the third visit of his papacy to Spain, will attend from August 18 to 21.

The World Youth Day festival was the brainchild of the late pope John Paul II, who thought it could help revitalise faith among the world's young Catholics.

The event features concerts and dances alongside masses and prayer meetings.

Manga comics are popular with both adults and children in Japan. They cover a wide range of genres including romance, literary classics and action.

© 2011 AFP

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