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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shonen Knife at Asia Society

Emi Morimoto standing on her drums and Ritsuko Taneda rocking out.

New York, September 25 – As a part of their extravagant Yoshitomo Nara (奈良 美智) exhibition, Asia Society hosted a concert by Shonen Knife (少年ナイフ). Nara is a big fan of the band and designed some of their album covers including Happy Hour. In a larger sense, he has also credited punk music as being a major influence in his artwork.

In addition to the art exhibit, the performance was part of a new American tour that served as a coming out party for Shonen Knife's new drummer Emi Morimoto. She seemed to fit the band extremely well. Her drumming was exciting and filled with gusto.

Monday, October 25, 2010

AWA 2010: Shinji Aramaki and Friends

Con Attendees

Atlanta, September 18 – Being sandwiched between the summer anime convention season and New York Comic Con, I was initially hesitant about attending Anime Weekend Atlanta 2010. The two big draws for me were hanging out with some friends and meeting anime director Shinji Aramaki (荒牧 伸志).

Everyone is a Critic Panel (Left to Right): Paul Chapman (The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast), Gerald Rathkolb (AWO), and Daryl Surat (AWO)

The great majority of the convention was spent hang out with friends. Since AWA is more low key than other larger conventions, I actually got the chance to talk to people. I also had the opportunity to attend some interesting panels like Everyone is a Critic and the Podcaster's Roundtable.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NYCC 2010: Everyday is Like GR Sunday

Giant Robot Invades

New York, October 10 – The last day at New York Comic Con was much calmer, and I saw more children in the crowd. My game plan for most of the day was booth duty. I spent most of the day answering questions and promoting Giant Robot Magazine.

Sho'nuff visits the Giant Robot Booth

The booth had many different visitors. Most of the visitors to our booth were young artists looking to get involved with Giant Robot. I had long running conversations about Superflat, street graffiti, and the current art scene. I even ran into a few David Choe fans. They were hoping that Dave was going to be at the booth. Unfortunately I had to give them the bad news. On the other hand, younger booth visitors were looking for recommendation about everything. I was dispensing recommendations for anime, manga, Asian cinema, J-rock, and other related topics.

Monday, October 18, 2010

NYCC 2010: Saturday Funnies

Ultraman (ウルトラマン) Cosplayer

New York, October 9 – Saturday is probably the busiest day during the New York Comic Con. I arrived early for many of the interesting panels including the Spotlight on Harper Collins, Digital Comics & Distribution, and Sushi Typhoon.

Vampires, Witches, and Zombies. Oh my...

Spotlight on Harper Collins. Seated (Left to Right): Erika Tsang (editor), Margaret Ronald (author), Jeaniene Frost (author), and Pamela Palmer (author).

I popped into this panel to check out the announcements and support my cousin Erika Tsang. She is an Executive Editor at Avon Romance. The panel announced several supernatural romance fiction titles such as Majorie Liu's In the Dark of Dreams, Jeaniene Frost's Side of the Grave, and Kerrelyn Sparks' Vampire Mine. Despite the romance nature of the imprint, the line was filled with sexy vampires, powerful witches, and zombies invasions. The trend in romance fiction is leaning towards the supernatural with the popularity of book series like The Twilight Saga and The Southern Vampire Mysteries (True Blood).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NYCC 2010: Digital Revolution Will Not Be Televised... It Will Be Loaded into Your iPad

Digital Comics & Distribution. Seated (Left to Right): Ira Rubenstein (Marvel), David Steinberger (Comixology), Jim Lee (DC), and Micah Baldwin (

New York, October 9 – Lately much of the news from many comic book publishers are focused on their huge push into digital distribution. Due to the portability and high resolution of print, the publishing industry enjoyed a brief respite from the onslaught of digitization and piracy of their media. However, the proliferation of piracy on file sharing torrent networks and dropping revenues from unit sales have forced publishers to adopt a more aggressive approach towards digital distribution.

The panel included: Ira Rubenstein (Marvel's), David Steinberger (comiXology), Jim Lee (DC Comics), and Micah Baldwin (

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NYCC 2010: The Brave and The Geeky

Cosplaying Couple posing as Superman and Wonder Woman.

New York, October 8 – Due to a late night pre-con party, I arrived to the New York Comic Con 2010 late on the Friday afternoon. There weren't too many interesting panels except the Aniplex one. I had a difficult time finding the press office to pick-up my badge, and the volunteers at registration had no clue. I wandered a bit and eventually got my badge. I headed over to the Aniplex panel.

Aniplex of America

Aniplex PR team. Hiroe Tsukamoto (right).

As I was waiting for the panel to begin, Anime News Network (ANN) Editor Chris Macdonald sat right in front of me. I've run into him at other conventions over the summer. I greeted him, and we were trading war stories about this year's anime con season.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Best American Comics 2010 Book Launch with Neil Gaiman, Bryan Lee O'Malley and Gabrielle Bell

Left to Right: Neil Gaiman, Bryan Lee O'Malley and Gabrielle Bell.

New York, October 7 – Barnes and Noble Union Square hosted a book launching event for the Best American Comics 2010. The new anthology is a collection of the year’s best comics from professional, indie, graphic novel, and the web. The event was cleverly scheduled to coincide with the start of the New York Comic Con and tapped into the comic geek audience. The large event space was packed with fans.

The panelists for the event included: Jessica Abel (editor), Matt Madden (editor), Neil Gaiman (guest editor), Gabrielle Bell (contributor), and Bryan Lee O'Malley (contributor).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Accidently on 34th Street

New York, October 2 – It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and the television weather forecast promised an idyllic day. I couldn’t waste it, so I head over to Bryant Park to do some manga shopping at the local Japanese bookstores.

As I walk up to Herald Square, I was overwhelmed by a sea of Koreans with flags and Hanbok dresses. I found myself in the middle of Korean American Association of Greater New York’s (KAAGNY) autumn parade. I totally forgot about this parade, but it was a pleasant surprise. This kind of thing that only happens in New York City. The rich multi-ethnic culture and the pedestrian nature of the city leads to some amazing experiences.

Click on the image for higher resolution.

Since it was the 30th anniversary, the parade seemed exceptionally grand with huge floats and tons of spectators. It stretched from Harold Square (Koreatown) to Bryant Park.