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9th October 2013

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New York Comic-Con Once Again


Evangelion 3.33 promotional art.

Arguably the last super major-con of 2013 is here as I will once again be attending New York Comic-Con. There isn’t a whole lot of Japanese-related content as expected, but there are still a few goodies to see

The Japan Foundation panels and the “Masters of Animanga” panel are definitely the highlights of the anime-related panels. Kodansha and FUNimation looks to be fun as there will probably be some Attack on Titan love going on there. The EVA 3.33 English dub premiere screening is going to be big too. NERV children, Titans, and Vocaloids running around New York, what fun!

However, it is quite apparent that looking for a big-time anime convention in New York will be a lost cause. Anyone looking for anime fun in Gotham will have to make due with the other various conventions in the East Coast and beyond. It is sad that the closest thing to an anime convention in metro NY is the Sakura Matsuri in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 

If anything, let’s be happy that anime and manga is still relevant in the West. Being a small niche isn’t so bad.

See you guys next week!

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Tagged: new york comic concomic book conventionsanime conventionnyccnycc 2013

17th October 2012

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The New York Comic-Con 2012 Retrospect!


New York Comic-Con 2012 during Friday night, October 12, 2012.

Forsooth, as I have returned from the crazy masses of pop culture fans that attended New York Comic-Con this past October 11-14. I can definitely say that it was a blast to be at as I have gotten to see almost all the Japanese guests that attended the event. The spirit of Tokyo was definitely thriving (albeit a small one) in NYCC.

The only problem I have is that the Jacob Javits Center (the building it’s hosted in) is still not the greatest convention center for a pop culture convention. When you have an organization like JManga complaining about the building, you know there are problems. As NYCC continues to grow and become even more like San-Diego Comic-Con, will there be any extra room for more than 116,000+ folks? Compared to San Diego, you have to travel a bit far to get to the good restaurants/bars around NYC and the Jacob Javits Center is much smaller than the San Diego Convention Center. However, NYCC seems to have more anime/manga-related content than SDCC. 

Another thing I realized after attending NYCC was how much I missed New York Anime Festival. While the likes of Danny Choo, Yu Asakawa, Yoshitaka Amano, Moyoco Anno, Masakazu Ishiguro, and Masakazu Katsura are very notable guests, how can NYCC top Danny Choo? Though we should leave it in the hands of folks like Japan Foundation to bring notable Japanese talent overseas. New York definitely deserves another anime convention as there are notable differences that make Japanese pop culture stand out compared to American pop culture. 

In any case, Japanese pop culture was still alive in the East Coast’s premier pop culture event thanks to the efforts of the Japan Foundation, Vertical Inc., SUNRISE, Viki, Dark Horse Comics, and JManga. すべてのありがとうございました!

Enjoy the photos below!

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Tagged: New York Anime FestivalNYCCNYCC 2012New Yorkcomic book conventionspop culture conventionsanime conventionsJapan FoundationJapanese pop culturephotosnew york comic con

14th July 2012

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Love Comics? Check Out “Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture”!


Rob Salkowitz's "Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture".

While browsing the library two weeks ago, an interesting book caught my eye in a instant. When I saw the magic words, “comic-con” and “pop culture”, on the cover, I knew I had to read this book. And boy, was it one of the most fun books I have ever read. Digital media expert (and huge comic book fan), Rob Salkowitz, has written an enlightening take on San Diego Comic-Con and the U.S. comic book industry in "Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture". He takes no prisoners as he goes over every aspect of what makes people love and hate the industry that has become popular with its elements of amazing art, vivid storylines, and iconic characters.

Rob goes through his entire 4-day experience at SDCC 2011 and shares his thoughts on a variety of issues concerning the future of comics. From transmedia to distribution (retail and digital) to attracting casual fans to globalization, you get to learn about the folks that make San Diego the place to be. One of the most interesting segments in the book was his talk about Twilight fandom coming to SDCC. As everyone knows, lots of women love Stephanie Meyer’s tale of sparkling vampires. Rob talks about how more women need to be more accepted by men at comic conventions and he also says that women are the loudest and most vocal fans in fandom today. I find this an interesting statement as it seems men are getting more psychologically frightened by the growing power of women by the minute.  

For those wondering if the book covers manga, Rob does talk about manga briefly. He chronicles manga’s rise and fall in the U.S. and how there hasn’t been a recent smash hit in quite some time. He goes on to say how manga is arguably one of the best ways to get the next generation of folks into comics. There is a mention about elements of manga style being used in American comics. 

A word of warning for those who read the book though: there are a lot of business terms used and it might be a bit overwhelming. It is written in a tone where it appeals to both business readers and pop culture fans. Though if you are trying to self-publish your comics/manga, it’s extremely vital that you at least have some business suave to survive. This is a good book to start with.

Overall, "Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture" comes highly recommended. Rob really shows off his passion for a medium that we all love. It’s amazing to see so much research done on how comics have grown and affected the entertainment industry in so many ways. Reading the book makes me wonder about the future of manga as it looks like it’s now or never to capture a global audience. Another concern is how much manga is accepted in the U.S. since it seems like it’s stuck in a dark alley at SDCC. The only thing I can say for certain is that fandom will always continue to the force to drive comics (and manga) forward. The more you encourage it, the more successful you will be. The book’s message very much leans toward that belief.

Here’s a teaser video to get you hooked into the book:

Let’s keep our pencils/pens/markers at the ready, shall we?

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Tagged: Rob Salkowitzbook reviewsmangapop culturecomic book conventionsbusiness of comicsfandom psychologycomic consdccsan diego comic con

22nd October 2011

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Photos from New York Comic-Con 2011


Enjoy the shots I took from New York Comic-Con 2011!

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Tagged: New York CityNew York Comic-ConNYCC 2011New York Anime Festivalcosplayanimemangavideo gamespop culture conventionscomic book conventionsanime conventionsphoto sets

28th September 2011

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Plans for New York Comic-Con 2011


New York Comic-Con 2011 logo.

Hey everyone, I just want to give a quick update on what’s going to happen regarding what I’m doing at New York Comic-Con.

First off, I will be attending the convention on Friday. I might attend the following panels.

"Unusual Manga Genres" (11:00am - 12:00pm) at Anime Stage

Sorry, Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Square Enix’s panel on the game is at the same time). I just don’t care about you at all.

"Is ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ A Superhero?" (12:15pm - 1:15pm) at Room 1B03 or "YEN PRESS" at Room 1A02

In my opinion, Lisbeth Salander is one of the most unique heroines in recent memory. I truly think that she’s a good role model for young girls who are struggling to survive. Though that Yen Press panel entices me too.

"Mythbusters: Anime Edition" (2:00pm - 3:00pm) at Anime Stage

This intrigues me to a huge degree as I have watched the TV show before with my cousin.

"Hiro Mashima & Kodansha Comics" (6:30pm - 7:30pm) at Room 1A24

I never was interested in Fairy Tail, but I am going to the panel to support Kodansha USA’s efforts.

"Vertical Inc. Industry Panel" (8:45pm - 9:45pm) at Room 1A03 

I love stuff from Vertical. THANK YOU FOR PICKING UP GTO: SHONAN 14 DAYS!

On Saturday, I will be cosplaying as Cold-Blooded Tough Guy Takasugi-Kun from 3Z Ginpachi Sensei and hopefully will be wielding the infamous "Patriot".

I will be attending the following panels:

"Sunrise" (12:00pm - 1:00pm) at Room 1A03 

I will be attending with a friend who will be cosplaying Tsukuyo to promote Gintama to everyone!

"Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3" (2:45pm - 3:45pm) at American Airlines Theater, Room 1A06

Phoenix Wright reveal (who I HOPE WILL BE REVEALED in this panel) will be EPIC.

"CBLDF: Defending Manga" (7:30pm - 8:30pm) at Room 1A23

If you consider yourself a serious manga fan, I highly recommend you check this panel out. Seriously.

Sorry, I will not be attending the Cosplay Masquerade, though I might sneak a peek and whack people with the Patriot.

On Sunday, this is what I hope to be attending:

"VIZ Media" (10:45am - 11:45am) at Room 1A23 

I should make a petition to bring back Gintama :P

"Tiger & Bunny" (1:15pm - 2:15pm) at Room 1A03

I will be attending this panel with a friend. One of my favorite animes due to its Western influence.

"Anime News Network Panel" (2:30pm - 3:30pm) at Room 1A15

One of my Google Reader sites and always a pleasure to visit. This will be my first time going to one of their panels.

So, I think that covers up my plans for the convention. Of course, things will be tentative. I will also be shopping for Gintama merchandise.

If anyone wants to meet me in person and talk about a variety of things, feel free to tweet me (if I have reception in that god-forsaken Javitz Center). For those who are interested, I have indeed moved into a new home and still trying to settle in. No home Internet right now and I am writing this entry at a library in Manhattan. I just realized how much I miss blogging and I hope to get back to it soon. In so many ways, Manga Therapy is “therapy” for me. I don’t want to take that for granted.

That’s about it for now. See you guys soon!

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Tagged: New York Comic-ConNew York Anime Festivalcomic book conventionsmanga panelsanime panelsJapanese pop cultureNew York events

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