Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Japanamerica at the Clark and in the Berkshires

Join us on Thursday amid the lilting hills of the Berkshires for this--Japanamerica!

See you soon?

Japanamerica and New York Anime Festival

NYAF was awesome on Sunday, though it sucked being there on two hours' sleep from the red-eye from San Francisco. Still, my cohorts were sharp as missiles.

Anime Masterpieces and Japanamerica

I became a Jedi, or an Ewok, among my esteemed colleagues--Susan Napier, Fred Schodt and Ian Condry at the West Coast launch of Anime Masterpieces on Saturday afternoon. (Man, try flying across country in two days. Does something fresh to your head and bowels.)

Japanamerica ends happily?

I followed the Kinokuniya gig the next night with a one-off appearance at the glorious Amanda Stern project called The Happy Ending Reading Series. I was unkempt and disheveled, as was the audience, but this was a fresh opportunity to bring the book downtown, where other nightliners giggled and encouraged, albeit sarcastically.

Japanamerica backstage, NYC and SF

Years ago there was a runty little advert from Schlitz Beer (remember it?) about how it takes a lot of people to put The Who on tour. Oh, it's right here: Schlitz & The Who.

I remember thinking: ya, right! Because it was a piss-lame beer company sponsoring a rock band whose members (aside from the now-late bassist) had given up drinking entirely, or nearly so, and would never drink Schlitz.

But now we're all a lot older, and I do recognize that it takes a lot of good people to make book tour(s) work, and I've just finished a string of engagements that would not have happened without generous support from great folks--sans beer.

We started last week at Kinokuniya NYC for the launch of a gorgeous book, Art Space Tokyo, with an illustrious panel whose pic you can see above.

I remain honored to have been invited, and can only hope that my middling comments on Takashi Murakami added to the better parts of the evening.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Manga Diplomacy?

Taro Aso, Mr. Manga, or Rozen Aso, is Japan's next PM. Some thoughts on his ascendancy and soft power in my latest column for the Daily Yomiuri here.

From sun-swept San Francisco.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

(desperately) Seeking a Happy Ending ...

Many thanks to those of you in attendance at Kinokuniya last night--terrific crowd, and as I suspected, I learned a good deal more from my co-panelists than they probably learned from me. It was also a pleasant surprise learning that so many in the audience had actually been to Tokyo, and lovely meeting friends new and old and signing some books.

I'm now prepping for the Happy Ending Reading series this evening at 302 Broome Street, info is HERE.

Starts at 8, doors at 7. If you're in town and near Soho, do swing by for a drink, some language and live music.

Tomorrow I'm off to San Francisco to launch Anime Masterpieces at UC Berkeley. Info is HERE.

And then, "with blood in [my] eye" ( P. Townshend), it's back to NYC for the New York Anime Festival on Sunday:


State of the Anime Industry, Roland Kelts, Moderator, 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM, Anime Panel Room (1A06)

Japanamerica, Roland Kelts, Featured Speaker, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Manga Panel Room (1A24)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Going Bi-Coastal, or Postal, in September

I'm a cave-dweller now, needing to wrap some projects before the coming week+ of events on both coasts. I intend to add a few explanatory details later, but for now, here's the rundown. If you are in New York or San Francisco, please join us, assuming time and inclination are proportional:

>>Tuesday, September 23, 6 p.m. ART SPACE TOKYO Launch Event & Panel Discussion @ Kinokuniya Bookstore, Bryant Park, 1071 6th Avenue, NYC:

Info: Art Space Tokyo site

>>Wednesday, September 24, Doors @ 7 p.m., Show @ 8, Happy Ending Reading Series, Reading & Live Music, Happy Ending Bar, 302 Broome Street, NYC:

Info: Happy Ending Music & Reading Series site

>>Saturday, September 27, 2-5 p.m., Anime Masterpieces West Coast Premiere, Lecture & Screening, Panel & Live Discussion, University of California, Berkeley/Pacific Film Archive, PFA Theater, 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA:

Info: Anime Masterpieces site; UC Berkeley site

>>Sunday, September 28, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m., New York Anime Festival, State of the Industry Panel Discussion and Japanamerica Presentation, Jacob Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street, NYC:

Info: New York Anime Festival site


State of the Anime Industry, Roland Kelts, Moderator, 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM, Anime Panel Room (1A06)

Japanamerica, Roland Kelts, Speaker, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Manga Panel Room (1A24)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Booked in Brooklyn; Swimming in Salinger

Downtown Brooklyn's Cadman Plaza, upon whose benches I used to sip coffee and stare into pigeon sweeps a lifetime ago as a fac-boy at Saint Ann's, was hot on Sunday. It was even hotter at the focal points of the sun, where the booth (table, really) for A Public Space seemed strategically centered.

So I arrived late, shielded by cap and sunglasses and dashing frequently to the shaded southern leg to hover beside the ChinMusic Press booth (table, actually), grateful for bouts of companionship with Craig and Ashley and the alibi of looking busy and engaged rather than just overheated and hiding.

After the early afternoon fire, it was great convening with Brigid, meeting Steven and Kelly and Renee, and sipping then strolling with Barry along the promenade.
I scurried back to bury myself in Salinger's Nine Stories, and, of course, reencounter Seymour's suicide in "Bananafish." Now finishing an essay on the book for Shibata's Monkey Business literary journal in Japan, it's hard not to think of such levels of intelligence, and of writing and the pain that surges through the best of it, and of my selfish feelings of a prematurely bookended world in Foster Wallace's sudden absence:

'the ceremony of innocence is drowned;
the best lack all conviction, while the worst
are full of passionate intensity.'

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brooklyn Book Festival, Free copies of Japanamerica / The Diving Pool from A Public Space

Back in town for the autumn season and gearing up for this Sunday's Brooklyn Book Festival. I will be at the booth for A Public Space from 1 - 3 p.m., where a limited number of free copies of Yoko Ogawa's The Diving Pool and Japanamerica will be offered to fresh subscribers.

For those who wish to have their books defaced, I will gladly sign copies of Japanamerica, but no more of The Diving Pool. Ogawa-san politely asked me to cease and desist.

See you on Sunday.