Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pikachu thanks you

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NYC, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Japan takes Salem @ The Peabody Essex Museum

"Manga Nation" at The Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.
My thanks to Kirun Kapur & Dawne Shand of The Tannery Series, Jennifer Evans and her team at PEM, and Robin Brenner.

The audience in the East India Marine Hall, est. 1825.

Book-signing w/Robin Brenner. 
(photos by Brigid Alverson)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Off to Boston to talk Manga Nation at PEM, 11/21

Dig out your Astoboy and put on your Pokemon ears.

It's time to join the Tannery Series for a discussion of manga and anime, the Japanese cultural imports that have taken America by storm. You know? Soulful robots, gender-bending plot lines, punk-haired heroines and heroes with stars in their eyes?

But “Manga Nation: Japanese Design and American Pop Culture” will go beyond the usual notions of cartoon and costume, fantasy and reality, to explore ideas about public and private selves and what the popularity of manga in the United States reveals about the changes in American identity.

The program is slated for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Peabody Essex Museum, which has become something of a home away from home for the series, which was founded by Port residents Kirun Kapur and Dawne Shand three years ago and, naturally, got its start at the Tannery. The Peabody Essex brought the series into the PEM fold this year, saying the series represented cool cutting-edge programming that will offer guests interesting ways of engaging with the world and their own creativity.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Is Anime over in America? My latest for The Japan Times

Fan base: This year's New York Comic Con drew some 133,000 attendees, yet only 9 percent of its content was devoted to anime and manga. | NEW YORK COMIC CON / REEDPOP

Has anime lost its cachet in America?
NOV 12, 2013

I had been invited to host a Q&A with renowned “Gundam” creator and sci-fi novelist Yoshiyuki Tomino at The New York Anime Festival. But when my handler and I arrived at the designated room, we found it empty and dark. “Over here,” a staffer called from across the hall. “Too many people.”

The auditorium we entered was cavernous — the largest room in the city’s biggest convention venue, the Jacob K. Javits Center — and its seats were filled from front to back, with a string of fans and photographers lining the perimeter. My handler escorted me backstage to greet Tomino, who was squinting through the curtains as he scanned the room. He turned to me and said: “I am very surprised.”

Live in Boston/Salem Mass, for The Peabody Essex Museum, 11/21

Think Astroboy, Speed Racer, and Pokemon

Soulful Robots
Japanese Street Culture Invades Salem
November 21, get ready for gender-bending plotlines, punk-haired heroines and heroes with stars in their eyes! Two Manga and Anime experts will explain what your kids are reading and what you'll be reading next.

The Tannery Series returns to PEM with Roland Kelts (Japanamerica) and Robin Brenner (Understanding Manga and Anime).  They'll take us beyond the usual notions of cartoon and costume, fantasy and reality, to explore ideas about public and private selves and what the popularity of Manga in the United States reveals about the changes in American identity.

As always, the wonderfully warm and unconventional PEM/PM evening will include music (VJ Beyonder Domela), craft (Manga drawing lessons), and an opportunity to visit PEM’s latest exhibit, “Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion,” which showcases the work of designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, who reshaped the world of fashion in the 1980s.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Last night in NYC -- Astro on the scene

Photographer and friend Stuart Freeman found that Astro Boy/Tetsuwan Atomu was keeping a close eye on me as I talked about his creator, Osamu Tezuka, last night at The Japan Society in New York City.  I was and remain humbled by their presence.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Talkin' Osamu Tezuka at The Japan Society of New York this Thursday, 11/7

Join me and NYC-based comic artist Katie Skelly for "The Life & Works of Osamu Tezuka" this Thursday, Nov. 7, at The Japan Society of New York.  Next year marks the 25th Anniversary of Tezuka's death. Learn why he is still the consecrated "God of manga and anime."

Wine and Japanese hors d'oeuvres will be served. Copies of my dear friend Helen McCarthy's The Art of Osamu Tezuka, Ryan Holmberg's The Mysterious Underground Men (by Tezuka), Skelly's Nurse Nurse, and Japanamerica will be raffled off.  Copies of Japanamerica will also be on sale, and a book-signing will follow.

Koji & Junichi-- the 2013 Boston Red Sox