Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Otakon 2011 update

With Otakon, the East Coast's largest annual anime convention, merely a day away, here's the preliminary schedule for my panels:

7/29/2011 10:00 AM 11:00 AM - Japanamerica Book Intro & Background

7/29/2011 4:00 PM 5:00 PM - Japan's Apocalyptic Imagination

7/30/2011 12:00 PM 1:30 PM - Multi-Polar Pop Culture

7/31/2011 12:00 PM 1:30 PM - Japan's IP Challenge

Copies of Japanamerica will be on sale throughout the convention, thanks to the largess of Jim Vowles, Connor Cochran and tireless publicist Siobhan Paganelli, and there will be at least two official book-signing / meet & greet sessions. Oh, and anime auteur Makoto Shinkai (5 CM Per Second) will be on hand--worth admission alone, as they say.

See you under the sun at Baltimore's Inner Harbor.


Kristy said...

May I ask what happened with the Japanamerica panel on July 29th? I was really looking forward to hearing you speak and had queued for quite a while to get in. Time passed, you did not appear, and the staff gave us no update on what was going on (I think it was the frustration of not knowing that was getting to the audience).

I waited, thinking it was probably a transportation issue, and you were just running a little late, but after waiting half an hour, half of the allotted panel time, I left. I figured at that point material that is already so rich for discussion as to have difficulty being confined into an hour timeframe would be impossible to cram into 30 minutes or less.

I was unable to attend your other panels due to a conflicting schedule, so I sincerely hope I get a chance to see you at a future event!

Roland Kelts said...

Of course you may ask, Kristy. You have every right to do so, and I sense your reasonable frustration. I'm sorry.

Your question affords me the opportunity to humbly apologize to you and to others who waited in line and at the venue on July 29. Otakon hosts numerous stellar guests, panels and performances, and my absence wasted your time.

I am deeply sorry.

On the morning of the 29th, I awoke ill. Sleep-deprivation during the days leading up to Otakon, a speaking engagement earlier the same week in Tokyo, and the flight to NYC and connection to Baltimore crushed me. Owing to a glitch with my US mobile phone on the morning of the 29th, Otakon's staffers could not contact me, though they tried.

In short: my absence at the first "Japanamerica" panel on Saturday was entirely my fault--not Otakon's. Indeed, the staff and my hosts were first-rate throughout the weekend.

I presented three solo panels, two press sessions and five book-signing events thereafter, but I understand that you could not attend them. I appreciate your efforts to attend my first panel-- and, again, I apologize for being AWOL.

Finally: I, too, hope we can convene at a future event. Thank you very much for your kindness and understanding.

Kristy said...

Firstly, I'm so sorry to hear that you fell ill, and I sincerely hope you are feeling better now!

Secondly, thank you so much for your gracious and detailed reply. Alas, sometimes technology fails us. Our staff did not formally let us know that they were trying to contact to you, so we were at a bit of a loss for what was happening at the time, but it sounds like everyone was trying their best!

Sometimes these things happen regardless of best laid plans, and while I'm disappointed I was unable to attend your panels this time around, I will definitely make it a point to stay tuned to your next nearby appearance. I'm sure when I do get to attend, it will be just as insightful and compelling as your writing!