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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).

The panel also addressed the re-branding of the EOS imprint to Harper Collins Voyager.

I crossed the walkway to the Digital Comics & Distribution panel. The panel was slow to start. Read the post here: Digital Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Sushi Typhoon: The Best in Japanese Gore Flicks

Marc Walkow (Overseas Marketing for Sushi Typhoon)

After the Digital Comics & Distribution panel, I raced down the convention center to the New York Anime Festival (NYAF) side. I didn't want to miss the Sushi Typhoon panel.

When I got to the panel room, I had a short chat with Marc Walkow from Sushi Typhoon and Subway Cinema. We talked about his involvement with Sushi Typhoon and the Tokyo Dolores (トーキョードロレス) pole dancing team. The sexy Cay Izumi (泉カイ), actress in Mutant Girls Squad and RoboGeisha (ロボゲイシャ), is a featured dancer on the team.

As the panel started, Marc had a few technical difficulties but recovered quickly. He showed trailers to upcoming Sushi Typhoon films such as Noboru Iguchi's (井口昇) Karate Robo Zaborgar, Tak Sakaguchi's (坂口拓) Yakuza Weapon, and Yoshihiro Nishimura’s Helldriver. He also talked about a possible Takashi Miike (三池 崇史) film in the works and plans to make Yudai Yamaguchi's (山口 雄大) Deadball.

Exhibition and Artist Alley

In the mid-afternoon, I had the chance to wander around the exhibition floor and enjoy some of the booths. After I got around the madness that was the Square Enix (株式会社スクウェア・エニックス・ホールディングス) booth, I ran into a familiar sight.

I was glad to see Uglydoll peeps who are good friends of Giant Robot Magazine. They were super busy selling their toys and promoting their brand.

As I made my way deeper into the fray, I found several glass display case filled with Special Master Grade Gunpla (ガンプラ). I must be in the Bandai (株式会社バンダイ) booth. The detailed modeling in the Gunpla was pretty sweet.

I crossed over into the Small Press section to find the folks at the Vertical Inc booth. Mister Ed Chavez, Market Director, was enjoying a delicious overpriced breakfast burrito from the food court. Ioannis Mentzas, Editorial Director/Executive Vice President, was fingering his Tec-9 in case someone wanted to start some static with Chi (チー).

On th opposite side of the same exhibition hall, they had the Artist Alley. NYCC always has an Artist Alley packed with professionals and quality amateurs. I walked directly over to Whilce Portacio's table. He was very influential to my drawing style in the early 90s. I was particularly fond of his magnificent run in X-Factor (#63-69). He seemed shy and didn't talk to any fans. I just hung out and watched him sketch some doodles.

Around the corner, I found another great comic book artist named Mark Texeira. Texeira, a New Yorker, made some brilliant runs in both the Wolverine and Ghost Rider series. He was busy with a commission.

Further down the aisle, I ran into Cliff Chiang. He's currently kicking ass on the Green Arrow and Black Canary series. He's a very cool illustrator.

I doubled back around and return to the main exhibition floor to visit the Giant Robot booth. I found a Space Pirate Captain Harlock cosplayer checking out the booth too. The booth was a joint promotional effort between Scion Motors and Giant Robot Magazine. Scion assigned a marketing person to run the booth, so I decided to give her hand. I spent the rest of the afternoon answering questions about Giant Robot Magazine and GR sponsored events like the Scion 6 Installation.

Towards the evening, I once again made my way over to the NYAF side for some late night panels.

Vertical Inc: Tezuka and Beyond

Left to Right: Ed Chavez (Market Director) and Ioannis Mentzas (Editorial Director/Executive Vice President)

Vertical began the panel with the highly successful Chi's Sweet Home (チーズスイートホーム) series. Chavez discuss various marketing and licensing opportunities including a US Chi Web Portal and Wall Posters. They also talked about other established titles like Twin Spica (ふたつのスピカ).

In addition, Vertical announced several new licenses. They acquired two new titles from the Osamu Tezuka (手塚 治虫) collection. The first is Ayako (奇子) which is slated for release on November 30, 2010. The second Tezuka title is The Book of Human Insects (人間昆虫記) which is scheduled for a July 26, 2011 releaese. In an effort to stretch the scope of their catalog, Vertical has added several seinen and gekiga titles. They announced the acquisition of two works by Usamaru Furuya (古屋兎丸). The first Furuya license is the Lychee Light Club (ライチ☆光クラブ) that is currently scheduled for a spring release. The other one is No Longer Human (人間失格). In a recent press release, Vertical has stated that the NYAF announcement of the No Longer Human license was "pre-mature". For more details on the Vertical licenses, please check Manga: NYAF 2010: Vertical Adds New Tezuka, Furuya Manga to 2011 Line-up.

After the Vertical panel, I quickly headed over to the Gay for You? Yaoi and Yuri Manga for GBLTQ Readers panel. Read the transcript here: Manga: NYAF 2010: "Gay for You?" Yuri & Yaoi Manga for GBLT Readers

Unusual Manga

Left to Right: Erin Finnegan, Noah Fulmor, and Ed Chavez.

The very last panel of the day was hosted by Erin Finnegan (Otaku USA and ANN's Shelf Life). Erin was joined by Noah Fulmor (husband) and Vertical's Ed Chavez. They discussed the bizarre array of manga releassed in Japan including religious manga, salary man manga, curling manga, and others. For more information check out the Ninja Consultants Podcast.

Left to Right: Noah Fulmor and Ed Chavez.

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