Friday, February 29, 2008

the kids are all right

my biggest fan, is my smallest.

Manga, Anime & Cosplay: Japanamerica Night--Thank Yous--

--to John Fuller, Shigeharu Ono and the absurdly patient and kind staff of Kinokuniya NYC, to Marco Pavia and Mandy Willingham of TokyoPop, to Clyde Adams III of NYC Anime, to Peter Tatara of New York Anime Festival and Comic Con, to Taeko Baba and Justin Keesey of New York-Tokyo, to Wired magazine, to Lee-Sean Huang and JETAANY, to the four extraordinary manga artists, whose backgrounds (US-Hispanic; US Caucasian; Korean; Japanese) served to exemplify the japanamerica phenomenon--and to you, that glorious mob of you who attended, ranging in age from the teens to the 80s, in race and ethnicity from African American to Asian to White to Hispanic, and in costumes elaborate to mundane--I am, and remain, grateful.

What a night in New York.

[photos courtesy of marlene marino and lee-sean huang.]

Speaking of which ...

... encountered this a couple of weeks ago and neglected to write about it, probably because I was writing about something else. But now the NYT's got it, and good.

Simply put, if you're in or near or headed to New York--see it, feel it, touch it, and heal yourself from the mediocrity.

'Twas Passing Strange.

Listen to a few of the songs--legally, no less.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Anime, Manga & Cosplay in NYC Tomorrow Night

Just added another artist to tomorrow's event at Kinokuniya NYC. If you're anywhere near the shop on Bryant Park, please join us.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Manga, Anime, Cosplay: Kinokuniya&TokyoPop present Japanamerica NIGHT, 2/27

Japanamerica has just been released in an expanded and updated paperback edition. To celebrate, Kinokuniya New York (on Bryant Park) and TokyoPop are teaming up for a big in-store event THIS Wednesday, February 27, starting at 6 p.m. Admission is FREE.

The event will take place on the 2nd floor near Japanese cafĂ© Zaiya in Kinokuniya Bookstore, 1073 6th Ave (btw 40th & 41st St), New York NY 10018 (new main NYC store), +1-212-869-1700, open Monday–Saturday 10:00–20:30, Sunday 11:00–19:30. Map:,+New+York,+NY+10018,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title


The evening will feature a cosplay event and contest for all attendees, TokyoPop original manga creators Hiroki Otsuka (artist of Boys of Summer), June Kim (12 Days), James Barry (Warriors, the manga), Melissa De Jesus (Sokora Refugees), a reading and manga panel, and a book signing by all the artists and author Roland Kelts. There will also be manga discounts and special prizes.

TokyoPop Announcement.

Anime News Network Announcement.

A PDF flier is here:

Please join us for a diverse and richly entertaining celebration of Japanamerica–Japanese Pop Culture and the Americans who love it!


Hiroki Otsuka (artist of Boys of Summer):
Hiroki Otsuka (artist) was born in Shiga, Japan in 1974. He studied graphic design at The Tokyo Designer Gakuin, Aichi, Japan. He lived in Tokyo for two years before deciding to move to the United States. After a brief time in San Francisco, he settled in New York City and currently lives in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. He has created erotic comics for various publishing companies in Japan under his name and the pen name Pirontan. Some of his most memorable comics have been I Love Shock and Pirontan 21.

Melissa De Jesus (artist of Sokora Refugees):
Melissa graduated from The School of Visual Arts in 2002 with a BA in Animation. Though Sokora Refugees is her first graphic novel, Melissa has worked on numerous projects as a member of the all-girl Estrigious Studios. Their credits include publishing their own illustrations and comic books and animating a short for the feature film Super Troopers. Melissa was also involved in the online animation for Urban Box Office in 2000 and is currently teaching a Cartooning class for children at LaGuardia Community College in New York.

James Barry (artist of Warriors the Manga):
James L. Barry received his MFA in illustration at New York City’s School of Visual Arts in 2004. In addition to creating the original comics Punzel and The Last Prophet, James has illustrated numerous textbooks, album artwork and is a frequent contributor to the Rabid Rabbit Comics Anthology. He is thrilled to work with TOKYOPOP and Harper Collins in bringing the Warriors universe to manga. James grew up in Nashville, TN with the kittypets Cinder and Maui and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. You can see more art and read all about James at his Web site, and connect with him using his profile on


June Kim (artist 12 Days)
June Kim is an illustrator and cartoonist. Before coming to New York, June Kim studied Japanese language and literature at college in Seoul Korea. Upon finishing her junior year, she came to New York to study cartooning at the School of Visual Arts. Since graduating in 2002, her comic work has been published in a few highly acclaimed anthologies such as New Thing Vol.2, but she is most well known for her work on Australian rock band JET’s debut album cover, as well as contributing illustrations to Flaunt magazine, Teen People, and Tokion. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, and when not working as a freelance illustrator, she can be found slowly chasing her dream to become a full time cartoonist. Her chase can be witnessed at

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Congratulations due: TEKKON KINKREET wins Japanese Academy Award for Best Animated Picture

Vast and sincere kudos to:
Taiyo Matsumoto--original artist and writer, Michael Arias--director, Anthony Weintraub --screenplay (pictured above), Eiko Tanaka, Shinji Kimura--and the entire Studio4C team.

Honto ni omedetou gozaimasu!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Japanamerica in San Francisco, Wed., Feb. 6: The Japan Society

Flew out of the one warm and sunny day in Tokyo into an even warmer, brighter San Francisco. Every time I arrive here I'm a twenty year-old again, strutting down Sutter with a gin high. Long story.
Eight hours is preferable to 11, 12, 13 or 14 in the air. But it's still a night's sleep lost--and 17 estranged hours.
Lovely lunch with Berkeley pals and dinner with Herr Schodt, Chairman Tezuka.

Tomorrow I will speak alongside Mariko Fujiwara at the behest of the Japan Society. Talk starts at 6 p.m. at the Delancey Screening Room on Embarcadero:

If you're in the Bay Area, swing by. I plan to be awake and out of my hotel by then. Books, too.