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My San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Part 1

Wow, Comic-Con was a blast! I was trying to think of any complaints, but I honestly could not think of any that were actually con-related other than my poor aching feet, which I rested today. I only got to stay through part of Saturday, but I got a lot packed in. Here’s the highlights of what I did:

Preview Night: My night was a little relaxed. I met up with friends at the hotel, got our badges, headed into the dealers hall and bought things that people wanted me to buy before heading out to dinner. In more exciting news than what I ate for dinner, Vertical Inc. announced their license of Lychee Light Club by Usamaru Furuya. If you remember that name, CMX was set to license Furuya’s 51 Ways to Save Her before their sad and sudden closure and Viz has licensed Furuya’s Genkaku Picasso.

Thursday: I started my day with Top Shelf’s Manga For Grownups: Gekiga, Garo, Ax and the alternative manga revolution panel. Comic book writer Sean Michael Wilson and manga scholar Ryan Holmberg led the panel along with Top Shelf’s Leigh Walton. They talked about the beginnings of gekiga back in the 1950’s as an alternative to manga (in other words, the word gekiga replaces the word manga) and how this lead to the famous alternative manga mag Garo and it’s replacement Ax, an English version of which is out this month by Top Shelf. (Here’s my review.) They were also pleased to announce Cigarette Girl by Masahiko Matsumoto will be released by Top Shelf sometime in 2011.

A little while later, I stopped by the Fantagraphics booth to get my copy of A Drunken Dream signed by Moto Hagio. It has to be the most beautiful book I’ve bought in the last few years and I haven’t even gotten a chance to really read it yet. Please, please, please buy this book and let it be known to publishers that we want this kind of quality and these kinds of amazing mangaka on our bookshelves!

Next came the Best and Worst of Manga panel, led by Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter. The panel was a fantastic splash of excellent manga, god-awful manga (including one I worked on, Red Hot Chili Samurai *sob*) and a wishlist of manga the panelists would love to see. (And later in the con, there was wish fulfillment!)+ Unfortunately I was too busy being a fan girl to remember everyone on the panel or take notes, but the panelists included Deb Aoki of About.com, editor Shaenon Garrity of Viz and Jason Thompson of Suvudu.com. It was an excellent panel that filled the room instantly, so if you plan to go next year (which I recommend) make sure you get their early and hopefully it will be in a much larger room. EDIT: Here’s the list of the best and worst manga of this year in it’s entirety.

Right afterward was the Lost in Translation panel run by freelance translator and former Viz editor-in-chief William Flanagan. Panelists included Shaenon Garrity and Jason Thompson again, as well as many other manga industry freelancers. They opened up the floor to questions and gave a lot of helpful advice to people looking to break into the industry and opinions on the future of the industry, translating and scanlations.

That night I attended an anime and manga blogger meet-up at Analog Bar where I did way too much karaoke with Gia Manry of ANN and met awesome people such as Vertical Inc.’s Ed Chavez. If you want to get up close and personal with manga industry people, being a blogger helps a lot!

For brevity, I’m going to stop here and continue on my experiences at SDCC tomorrow. There’s just too much to put in one post!

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Anime Expo 2010: Days 3 & 4

Phew, I’m feeling a little bit better than yesterday, but more importantly, I have more time to write this post than I thought I did! Always a good thing!

Saturday:

Viz’s industry panel started off the morning by telling shonen fans everywhere that Shonen Jump‘s subscription price has dropped to $26.95 and, in case you are a Los Angeles anime fan, Stan Lee is having an Ultimo-only signing at the Grove Barnes & Noble on July 16th. (I think I’ll skip that one.)

New licenses included Mistress Fortune and Sakura Hime Kaden by Arina Tanemura, Oresama Teacher by Izumi Tsubaki and Ai Ore by Mayu Shinju.

Viz also announced the simulcast of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan starting this week on their website. You can already watch the first episode.

The Production I.G. panel was switched from Sunday to Saturday, allowing Production I.G. a better time slot, albeit fewer attendees. They announced the license of Loups=Garous, Broken Blade and (mistakenly announced) that Nozomi Entertainment had the license to the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie.

I attended the live recording of the ANN Cast, which you can listen to here. I didn’t have any good questions to ask, but you can hear me yell at the guy gunning for Princess Knight anime and manga releases that he may have been confusing the popularity of the Tezuka manga with the international fame of Riyoko Ikeda’s The Rose of Versailles. Guy hadn’t even heard of Vertical Inc. and their spectacular Tezuka line-up. What a shame.

Then the day was over, I had bought too much manga, and wound up attending an industry party that was a lot of fun. But I did manage to snap some cute pictures of cosplayers from the first two series I edited: Zone-00 and Sgt Frog! (Here’s another one.) New volumes of both those manga are due out this month, in case you are interested in my work.

Sunday:

Sunday was much more laid back. No big industry panels, still lots of people in the dealer’s hall because it was a weekend and my last round of manga buying. I was rather sad that I left without From Eroica With Love volumes 12 and 13, which I had sworn I’d seen on sale somewhere the day before, but I managed to buy volumes 14 & 15 instead.

It was a fantastic con for me, although I kept hearing whispers of low dealer registration for next year’s con and grumbles from the dealers themselves. I wonder how future Anime Expos are going to turn out if dealers do not want to return, but I hope the SPJA can do something to bring them back before that even happens.

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Anime Expo 2010: Day Two!

Phew! I’m a little behind on my AX reports, as you can tell. It was such a crazy-busy weekend for me that it couldn’t be helped and now I’m sick as a dog. (I’m sure it’s the Fourth of July’s fault, not the con’s. Stupid America day. Haha.)

I started the day off with the TOKYOPOP panel, run by my mentors  Lillian Diaz-Przybyl and Cindy Suzuki, as well as an intern. They had a few announcements such as the new Zinio online catalog, TP on OverDrive for library systems, the first two volumes of Demon Sacred being priced at $5.99 each. New license announcements included: Kirameki Gingacho Shotengai (The Stellar Six of Gingacho) by Yuuki Fujimoto, Eensy Weensy Monster by Masami Tsuda (the creator of Kare Kano), Sorairo Kaigen by Nanpei Yamada, Gakuen Heaven Endo ~Calling You~ and Gakuen Heaven Shichijo ~SWEET SWEET DARLING!~ by You Higuri, Stray Cat by Halco, Cabin in the Woods: Land of the Rising Terror written by TP editor Troy Lewter, Warau Kanako-sama (The Secrets of Lady Kanako) by Ririko Tsujita and Lives by Masayuki Taguchi.

Lillian also revealed while answering a fan’s question that she knows who has the license to the former TOKYOPOP title Sailor Moon, but cannot reveal who it is or any more details. Good news for anyone who’s a fan of Sailor Moon, I’m sure.

While walking around the dealer’s room with Cindy after the panel and gawking at tons of cute things, I bought myself this adorable Hetalia t-shirt. (The caption says I’m the Hetalia editor, but I’d just like to say that information’s incorrect. Oops!)

The Right Stuf/Nozomi Entertainment panel was next and fans were excited to hear that the company was releasing El Hazard: The WanderersGravitation, The Dirty Pair TV series, Antique Bakery, Sora no Woto, and The Revolutionary Girl Utena TV series (and it was accidentally revealed in another panel on Saturday that they have the Utena movie as well.) Whoo! A lot of the re-releases were either had video or audio remastering done for the new releases, so if you want crisper pictures and clearer audio, check them out!

The Anime News Network panel revealed that the news site is planning on streaming over 150 episodes of anime starting this week. Since anime and manga fans seem to like free goodies, I would suggest checking them out so that they’ll bring even more streaming anime to the site.

The FUNimation panel started off with a bit of interesting information: Dubs were more popular than subtitles for them and the largest group online were 13-17 year olds, putting anime fandom squarely in an age group that most likely doesn’t have solid sources of income yet. FUNi went on to announce the licensing of Master of the Martial Hearts (Looks very funny and fan service-y, like a funnier version of Ikkitousen), rescues of pretty much every Tenchi Muyo series ever made, Darker Than Black season two, Shakugan no Shana season two, Black Lagoon season three, Hellsing Ultimate and Trigun: Badlands Rumble. Simulcasts of the Moyashimon live action TV series, Shiki, Black Butler season two and Sekirei season two.

After the panel, a bunch of anime and manga bloggers and I headed over to L.A. Live for dinner, schmoozing and some beautiful atmosphere, which was a great way to end the busy day.

If time (and my cold) permits, I’ll try to get my day 3 & 4 review up tomorrow. ^_^

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