Showing posts with label anime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anime. Show all posts

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Post reviews ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya’

Not a Disney princess story

[in print in the Express as "A fairy tale made for grown ups"; 'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya' movie review]

By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post October 31, 2014, p. EZ 34 and Express, p. 22

Chloë Grace Moretz gives voice to the title character in the dubbed version of the animated "The Tale of Princess Kaguya." (Hatake Jimusho/GKids)

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Mother-Daughter anime pilgrimage to Japan

A special guest post by Arlington's Karla Hagan.

Japan.  Where else would an anime- and manga-loving fifteen-year old choose?

Erin chose Japan to visit, out of anywhere in the world, for her special fifteen-year old Mom-daughter trip.  That’s how we came to visit in late June and early July. Japan is a paradise for lovers of the graphic and comic arts. We went into a drug store and Erin recognized a manga character on a package of razors. Snoopy and Betty Boop were commonly-found American comics characters (Tokyo Skytree Snoopy, anyone?). Every town, village, or attraction we visited had its own cartoon mascot (known as a yuru-kyara). Even the remote village of Koya-san, a UNESCO World Heritage site founded in 805 A.D. as the center of Shingon Buddhism that took us a bullet train, two separate rail lines, and a cable car to reach, had a yuru-kyara (it looks like a Buddhist mushroom). There are yuru-kyara for causes like recycling. At least one Japanese prison has them. (In 2013 a Guinness World Record was set for the most number of people dressed as yuru-kyara dancing together.  Because apparently that’s a Guinness World Record category.)

We had great experience traveling in Japan, and we saw three things in particular that may interest readers of this blog: The Kyoto International Manga Museum, the Studio Ghibli Museum outside Tokyo, and the Moomin House Café in Tokyo.

The Kyoto International Manga Museum  [photo 1 – Erin outside Manga Museum]

The Kyoto International Manga Museum is set up as part traditional museum with informative displays, and part reading and research library. They have lectures, workshops, and classes. The building, while not large by Washington, DC museum standards, is an old schoolhouse and is interesting in its own right. There is a café and a small museum shop.

Their collection entails nearly 300,000 items related to manga, according to the museum. To Erin and me, the more impressive part of the museum was the reading library aspect.  They have about 200 meters (about 650 feet) worth of shelving holding nearly 50,000 manga volumes. This photo of Erin browsing the books shows how the manga is accessible and available to grab from the shelves.  [photo 2 – Erin browsing Manga Museum shelves]  I’m not sure how you get to the higher levels in this picture – I didn’t see a ladder – but they were not behind glass. There were manga volumes available to read on all three floors of the museum. They had manga from around the world - also available to pull from the shelves to read - but ComicsDC editor Mike was not impressed with their North American selection [photo 3 – Manga from Around the World].

They have very affordable annual passes for kids that allow unlimited visits - about US$12 for elementary aged children and US$36 for middle and high school aged children (US$60 for you adults). I had read online before visiting that lots of school children go there to hang out after school and read manga. They have a children’s reading room that is comfortable and nice.  We were there at a time that was most likely during their school day (when isn’t it during the school day for a Japanese student, with their cram schools and such?) and there were only a few kids. There were mostly Japanese adults there, men and women. Seniors even. Manga in Japan is truly for everyone.

One neat thing you can do at the museum is get a manga portrait of yourself done. Erin and I sat down together for a portrait and I’m so glad we did. It’s one of my favorite souvenirs from the whole trip. [photo 4 – Anime Karla and Anime Erin] The artist was Nakahara Kasumi. The lettering at the top in purple and blue is our names spelled out in Japanese phonetically. It’s funny to me that she drew Erin flashing the peace sign. Erin did not pose that way. Instead it was a flourish Kasumi added -- and I know exactly why. It’s because whenever you see Japanese school children – and we saw this all over in Japan – taking a photo of each other at a shrine, a temple, in the city, anywhere, they always, and I mean ALWAYS, pose flashing a peace sign. Boys, girls, teens, kindergartners. Every kid, every time in photos. It was cute that she drew Erin that way too.

Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, outside Tokyo

Studio Ghibli is familiar to any fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films. The Studio Ghibli Museum is an amazing place. It is lovely and understated and touching and beautiful, just like the movies. It just might be the sweetest place on Earth. It is a place for children, like a less commercial, less saccharine Disney World. There were lots of small doors and low windows and displays. But it is also a place that adults who like Ghibli movies will appreciate as well.

Unfortunately there were no photos allowed inside the museum, so these photos are all outside. There were so many details to discover, like the soot sprite window in the Totoro ticket booth that greets you at the entrance [photo 5 – Karla at Totoro ticket booth], all the beautiful stained glass windows with Ghibli characters and scenes, the Jiji-shaped (the cat from Kiki’s Delivery Service) faucet handle on a sink outside, the art nouveau/steampunk water fountain and bench. Mayazaki’s movies so effectively use scene to create a mood, and so does the Ghibli Museum. The style of the museum is an odd-sounding English country/steampunk/art nouveau mix that somehow melds together in an evocative and beautiful way.

Inside the museum were displays about animation and the creative process for the Ghibli team. There was a FULL-SIZED plush catbus that kids could play on (but only young kids- don’t for a second think we weren’t jealous!). I sure do wish I could have gotten a picture of that! We saw a short film that is only shown at the Ghibli Museum called Mei and the Kittenbus, based on the My Neighbor Totoro characters. The film was about Mei, a baby catbus, and Totoro, and it was sweet and touching and fun. I’m going to tell you a secret we learned in the movie, and it is the most wonderful thing: there are more catbuses besides the My Neighbor Totoro one! In the movie not only was there was a kittenbus, but there was also a bullet train catbus and a steam ship catbus! (Or should that be catbullettrain and catsteamship? At any rate, it was FANTASTIC!)

The Ghibli Museum restaurant is a real treat in and of itself [photo 6 – Totoro at The Straw Hat Café]. We waited for about 45 minutes to get in, but once we did it was all worth it. The style inside the restaurant, called The Straw Hat Café, is particularly English country. The food was served on adorable dishware with Ghibli characters and embellished with Ghibli flags [photo 7 and photo 8 – The Straw Hat Café food]. If you go and want to take home the cute flags, save them from your food because they sell them at the restaurant for $6 for a set of four! On the patio outside the restaurant, they sell beer that is only available at the Ghibli Museum [photo 9- Ghibli beer] – which, unfortunately for my husband, I couldn’t take home unopened.

If you are in Japan and at all a fan of Studio Ghibli films or of design, I highly recommend the Studio Ghibli Museum. One note, though: you cannot walk up and buy your tickets at the museum. You must purchase them in advance. I was heartbroken to tell a Swedish family we met in another part of Japan who were headed next to Tokyo and who had an interest in visiting the museum that I had purchased the tickets two months before our trip. Locals can buy tickets in stores like Lawson’s, but if you are planning to travel there you should definitely buy them before your trip. In the US you can buy tickets through the travel agency JTP USA. While getting tickets does take some advance planning, ticket are not expensive compared to American theme park experiences (I’m looking at you, Disney!): US$19 for adults and cheaper for younger ages. Also be aware that the films change; they have a rotating array of short films shown only at the Ghibli Museum, and it’s not always Mei and the Kittenbus that is showing.

One Studio Ghibli footnote from our trip that shows what Ghibli films can mean for the Japanese: we had a wonderful visit to a hot springs bath village called Shibu Onsen in the “Japanese Alps” in Nagano. The village was very old with all wooden buildings. It had nine different hot springs baths that you could visit for free if you were staying in one of the inns in the village. Picture traditional wooden Japanese architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, and being able to walk from one end of the village to the other in about ten minutes. Our innkeeper was a lovely woman named Keiko, and when we checked out of the inn she noticed the Totoro paper fan I was holding that I had gotten at the Studio Ghibli gift shop. With delight, she asked if Erin and I knew the film . Finally we realized she was asking about Spirited Away! If you’ve seen it, you know it is a film about adventures that happen in and around a traditional Japanese style bathhouse. Keiko shared with us that the film is very meaningful for people in her village because it features the culture around baths that exist in Japan, and because that bath culture is such a big part of her village. She excused herself and went back into her office to get something. When she came out she was carrying a figure of No-Face from the movie! We posed with her and No-Face for a picture in front of her inn before saying goodbye. [photo 10 – Keiko, No Face, Karla, and Erin in Shibu Onsen]

Moomin House Café, Tokyo [photo 11 – outside of Moomin House Café]

Located inside the Tokyo Skytree shopping complex, the Moomin House Café is an absolute delight for fans of the graphic arts in general or of Tove Jansson’s series of books for children about the Moomin family in particular. Jansson illustrated the books herself, creating an array of interesting and personality-laden characters. The Japanese are very big fans of the Moomin books, which I knew before visiting Japan. When I heard there were Moomin cafes there, I knew we had to go.

The food is prepared in the most kawaii way! [photo 12 – Moomin House Café menu]  All the food, both sweet and savory, is prepared including shapes from the Moomin universe. We ordered dessert there: Hattifattener madeleine and pudding in a souvenir mug for Erin [photo 13 – Hattifattener madeleine and pudding in a souvenir mug] and a whopper of an assembled dessert for me that including Hattifattener and Moomin-shaped cookies and a Moominhouse cake [photo 14 – Crazy Moomin dessert].  It was almost too kawaii to eat.  Almost. J At one point when I had gotten up to go look around at the gift shop, the waitress came and set the Snork Maiden down next to Erin. You can see Little My in the background, sitting at the neighboring table. Like everywhere else in Japan, service was excellent, and the servers at the Moomin House Café made sure that all the customers had a guest Moomin family member at their table at one point or another during their meal.

We had our share of other great experiences. Visiting temples and gardens. Eating excellent sushi. Riding the super-efficient, super-clean, super-awesome bullet trains. Going to cat cafes (it’s a thing in Tokyo). Scratching our heads at the Robot Restaurant and at all the people wearing surgical masks. But even visiting these three places alone I think made the trip worthwhile for an anime- and manga-loving fifteen year old, and her mom as well.

Karla Hagan teaches physics by day and only occasionally has a comics blogger alter ego (ok, never before). She is totally qualified to write this blog post by virtue of living three doors down from Mike.  The comics are strong with that one.

Friday, April 12, 2013

April 13-14: Samurai Champloo anime marathon at the Smithsonian

DateSaturday, April 13, 2013, 11 am
VenueFreer Gallery
Event LocationMeyer Auditorium
CostFree; walk-in.
Related EventsTour: Arts of Japan
Related Exhibition   Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer's Japanese Illustrated Books

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

April 13: Samurai Champloo anime marathon

DateSaturday, April 13, 2013, 11 am
VenueFreer Gallery
Event LocationMeyer Auditorium
CostFree; walk-in.
Related EventsTour: Arts of Japan
Related Exhibition   Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer's Japanese Illustrated Books

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Meet a Local Con Organizer: Ron Barba of AnimeUSA

101_4614 Deadpool
The Convention season has started again, with anime and manga focused-Katsucon having been at National Harbor last month, and Emerald City Comicon kicking off the comic book cons in Seattle this weekend. Six months ago, I attended AnimeUSA at the Washington Marriot Wardman Park, where it had moved after being in Crystal City in Arlington. The following interview was done with one of the con organizers, Rob Barba, for a Washington City Paper article that didn't gel. But everyone I see at AnimeUSA looks like they're having a great deal of fun, so perhaps it's not too soon to start planning to attend this September's event.

Mike Rhode: How’d you personally get into comics?

Rob Barba: I'm the writer for a webcomic, Claude & Monet (; due to its anime style, I felt working with a convention would be a good way to gain both exposure and experience. The former I've got, but the latter my cup runneth over. I can honestly say that in my eight years of working with Anime USA, it's been a worthy experience.
MR: How is AnimeUSA different than a standard comics con?

RB: We focus both on manga, manwha, and manhua (Japanese, Korean and Chinese comics, respectively) as well as webcomics. In the former case, these are the basis of anime, which has been on the rise for a number of years. For the latter, it will be the future of how comics are produced, and we felt it was important to be at the forefront of exposing our audience to this medium.

MR: How many years has it run, and how many years have you been a part of it?

RB: Anime USA has been around since 1998. I joined in 2004, after I moved into the area.

MR: How many people did you have?

RB: We had an attendance of roughly 3800 people. While this number is roughly the same as last year, we believe that the move to the new hotel as well as the tragic events of Hurricane Sandy had an effect on our attendance. We plan for greater growth next year.

MR: How did the weather such as Sandy and the following Noreaster affect 2012's con?

101_4604RB: Quite a bit, to be honest. The result was a wholesale cancellation of various panels, vendors coming from the north, and even many of our own staff. As mentioned before, attendance took a hit because of it. Still, I believe we did our best to regroup and move forward for our fans.

MR: Why did you move to the hotel in DC this year?

RB: The Marriott was best suited for our needs after an exhaustive search for a new location. With a layout suitable for panels, workshops and the like; plenty of picturesque locations for cosplayer photography, and room to grow, we were hard-pressed not to chose this site. Combined with the attentive staff of the Marriott, it sealed the deal for us.

MR: Any guests you are particularly proud of having come in 2012? Favorite guests of past years?

101_4606RB: Phil Lamarr, as he is one of the largest guests we have had to date. Caitlin Glass is also a fan favorite. The list of favorites for previous years is too long to mention, but includes folks like Steven Bloom, Monica Rial and others.

MR: Is there anything special about 2012 not mentioned yet?

RB: If people enjoyed 2012, wait until they see what we have planned for 2013. While I can't comment due to contractual reasons, I can say that the marquee guest for next year will be one the fans have been clamoring for, for quite some time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

March 1: Oblivion Island anime at JICC

Animezing 2013
Oblivion Island
©2009 Fuji Television Network / Production I.G. / Dentsu / Pony Canyon. 
Friday, March 1st @ 6:30 pm
Current Exhibit: 
Nippon Through My Eyes: Japan as Seen by American Students 
Now - March 12, 2013 
Monday - Friday 
9:00am - 5:00 pm  

Our Location:
JICC, Embassy of Japan
1150 18th St., NW
Suite 100
Washington, DC 20036

16-year-old Haruka has lost the cherished magic mirror she received from her mother who passed away years ago. On her quest for the mirror, she meets a strange masked creature named Teo, who leads her to a magical world called Oblivion Island, the home of lost toys and treasures. As Haruka and Teo embark on an adventure through this strange land, they must contend with the island's greedy and sinister ruler, who wants the mirror's power for himself!

Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, the winner of the 2010 Japan Academy Prize Award of Excellence, will take viewers of all ages on a magical, colorful journey through a beautifully-realized world. Its eye-popping blend of state-of-the-art computer animation with Japanese folklore will delight both children and adults. Come join Haruka on her adventure, and discover the secrets of Oblivion Island! 

English | G | 100 minutes | 2009 | Directed by Shinsuke Sato

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please note that seating is limited and registration does not guarantee guests a seat. Registered guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis.  

Doors open at 6:00pm. No admission or re-entry after 7:00pm

JICC, Embassy of Japan | 1150 18th St., NW | Suite 100 | Washington | DC | 20036

Friday, November 09, 2012

AnimeUSA underway

I spent a few hours at AnimeUSA today and had a good time looking around at the art show, the dealers and the cosplayers. It runs for two more days. I've put some pictures up here and at Flickr.

Local cartoonists Jamie Noguchi, Tony Tribby and Alexa Polito have tables, as does the Snow By Night webcomic team.

101_4611 Jamie Noguchi

Jamie Noguchi, whose new book is Erfworld vol. 1.

101_4616 Tony Tribby

Tony Tribby, whose new book is 'Death is Good'.

101_4613 Alexa Polito

Alexa Polito, whose selling a minicomic sketchbook, 'Rough Sex vol. 1'.

...and there are the cosplayers too...


...I'm not sure that costume is anime/manga influenced, but the next one is Lady Deadpool from Marvel Comics...

101_4614 Deadpool

...and these are real police officers enjoying their surroundings.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 25 - Animezing: Children Who Chase Lost Voices

Animezing 2012
Children Who Chase Lost Voices
(c)Makoto Shinkai/CMMMY
Wednesday, July 25th @ 6:30 pm

Mark your calendars!

Treasures of Tohoku:
A Photographic Journey through Japan's Northeastern Region 
Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

JICC, Embassy of Japan
1150 18th St., NW
Suite 100
Washington, DC 20036

Wednesday July 25, 2012 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM EDT

Strange sounds in the darkness... Unearthly music from an old crystal radio... These are all the warnings Asuna Watase has before a simple walk to her clubhouse catapults her into a nightmarish adventure that will take her beneath the Earth to a lost land beyond the realm of the legend! Attacked by a strange monstrous creature, rescued by a mysterious stranger and pursued by a relentless enemy, Asuna finds herself enmeshed in a centuries old mystery that will bind her to a strange young defender and lead her inevitably, towards a secret that may hold the key to life itself!  

From Makoto Shinkai, the critically acclaimed anime wunderkind who's thrilled audiences around the world with the masterworks VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR and THE PLACE PROMISED IN OUR EARLY DAYS, comes an all new, dark and truly epic journey into a world you've never seen before:CHILDREN WHO CHASE LOST VOICES!

In Japanese with English subtitles. PG-13. 116 mins. 2011. Directed by Makoto Shinkai.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please note that seating is limited and registration does not guarantee guests a seat. Registered guests will be seated first. Open seats will be given to guests on standby when the program begins.

Embassy of Japan | 1150 18th St., NW | Suite 100 | Washington | DC | 20036

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some surprising local publications

I went to a couple of booksales this weekend and found some cartoon publications with local ties that surprised me.

The New Yorker isn't based here of course, but they do specialty books on demand. Here's a local one that was probably a fund-raising premium for the local public radio and tv station:

New Yorker WETA Book of Cartoons

The New Yorker Book Of WETA Cartoons
New Yorker Magazine
New York: Cartoon Bank, 2004

The University of Maryland's Terrapin Anime Society (TAS) produced at least 10 issues of this Tsunami fanzine:

Tsnunami fanzine 1-9

Tsunami fanzine 1-10

This Fandom Directory out of Springfield, VA was a complete surprise to me. The online version lives at FANDATA:

Fandom Directory 2001 directory

Fandom Directory Number 19 2000-2001 Edition
Hopkins, Harry and Mariane S.
Springfield, VA: FANDATA Publications, 2000

When I finally get all of my local books and comics arranged in one place, it will probably be at least a bookshelf and not the Six Feet of Local Comics I had expected. I bought about eight signed Herblock books this weekend too which will take up most of a shelf by themselves.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Dec 9: Howl's Moving Castle at JICC

A great Miyazaki movie.

© Walt Disney Pictures © Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.
Friday, December 9th @ 6:30 pm


Mark your calendars!


J-Film Series


12/15@ 6:30 pm


Commemorating friendship between Japan and the U.S. in the Year of the Dragon

Deadline: 12/19 





1150 18th St., NW  

Washington, DC 20036


(202) 238-6900 





Sophie, a diligent teenage girl working in her family's hat shop, finds her quiet life thrown into chaos when the dashing, mysterious wizard Howl comes into her life. Their friendship quickly catches the ire of the Witch of the Waste, who casts a spell on pretty, young Sophie, transforming her into a ragged old woman. Unrecognizable to her family, friends, and even Howl, Sophie seeks shelter in the magnificent moving castle, hoping to find a way to reverse the witches' spell. There she discovers that she is not the only one dealing with a strange transformation - Howl has a secret of his own.  


Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese animation director who wowed audiences worldwide with his Oscar award-winning film Spirited Away, brings another visually spectacular tale  to life on the big screen. Based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones, the Oscar-nominated Howl's Moving Castle is a flight of fancy for the whole family-transporting audiences to a distant land of dreams and scenes more beautiful than our own.


Japanese with English subtitles. Rated PG. 119 min, 2004. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.


This event is free and open to the public. Please note that seating is limited and registration does not guarantee guests a seat. Registered guests will be seated first. Open seats will be given to guests on standby when the program begins.

Embassy of Japan | 1150 18th St., NW | Suite 100 | Washington | DC | 20036

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

April 2: Anime at Cherry Blossom time in Freer Gallery



Saturday, April 2, 11 am|Freer, Meyer Auditorium


The Freer's ninth annual anime marathon is hosted by anime expert Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the US. It features a Miyazaki kids' classic, a cosplay contest, a Makoto Shinkai feature and sneak preview, and a tribute to the late Satoshi Kon, who visited the marathon in 2007.


 This event is cosponsored by Otakorp, Inc., and copresented with the DC Anime Club.



Friday, January 14, 2011

Summer Wars anime interview in today's Express

Destruction of Oz: Mamoru Hosoda's anime 'Summer Wars' illustrates the perils of a networked world.
Written by Express contributor Ryan Little
January 14, 2011

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dec 4: DC Anime Club Presents StarBlazers Marathon Press Release

DC Anime Club


  StarBlazers Marathon


On Saturday December 4, 2010 DC Anime Club will be hosting  a Marathon of the Anime classic Star Blazers with special guest voice actress Amy Howard Wilson who is the voice of the character Nova from Star Blazers
at 2:00pm-5:00pm at Martin Luthur King, Jr Memorial Library 901 G St NW Washington, DC 20001 Room A10.

About Star Blazers: Star Blazers is an American animated television series adaptation of the Japanese anime series, Space Battleship Yamato I, II & III ( Uchū Senkan Yamato?). Star Blazers was first broadcast in the United States in 1979. Significantly, it was the first popular English-translated anime that had an over-arching plot and storyline that required the episodes to be shown in order. It dealt with somewhat more mature themes than other productions aimed at the same target audience at the time. As a result, it paved the way for future arc-based, plot-driven anime translations.

About Amy Howard Wilson: Detroit native AMY HOWARD WILSON had the honor of being cast as the voice of Nova (Mori Yuki) in the classic 1970s anime series STAR BLAZERS, Season 1 - The Quest For Iscandar and Season 2 - The Comet Empire. In 1997, after many years of thinking about Star Blazers only as a fond memory, she was delighted to learn that there are fans around the world who still enjoy it. Since 2002, she's been recording and producing audio books; has formed a family friendly, full service audio production company called  studio V.O.I.C..E., and coined a new title CVO (Chief Vocal Officer). Amy recently entered a new joint venture with Writers Exchange E-Publishers - Please visit her website - http://www,



For more information please call (202) 262-2083 visit the DC Anime Club website at



About DC Anime Club:

DC Anime Club was established in 2003 to introduce and educate people in the Washington, DC area about East Asian culture, through viewing and discussion of Japanese animation (also known as anime) and Japanese comics (manga).

We also work to provide a positive, alternative activity to the youth in the area by exposing them to foreign culture, encouraging artistic expression and creativity, and providing opportunities for participation in community activities and leadership.

DC Anime Club is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. Contributions to DC Anime Club are tax deductible to the extent allowable under the law.

DC Anime Club has been featured in many newspapers and publications .

In addition to our bi-weekly meetings, the club holds an Art Show, a Cosplay Party fundraising event, and anime lectures at local schools . Our club works with the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan, Smithsonian Freer Gallery and DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival on their anime screenings. Our Marketing Team has helped promote performances for several Japanese bands such as Puffy Ami Yumi, Pine am, The Slants, The Captains and Ayabie.

DC Anime Club was founded by Chris Wanamaker (President), Jules Chang (former Vice President) and Craig Vaughn (Vice President) on Saturday June 5, 2003. We have a strong membership that continues to grow. 






Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Japanese anime music band played in DC last night

Well, I missed the Boom Boom Satellites at the 9:30 Club. How about you?

Boom goes the dynamite
By May Wildman
University of Maryland Diamondback October 12, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Satoshi Kon obit in Post, and the New York (Comics) Times

The Post had a little wire story obituary of anime director Satoshi Kon today.* Instead of worry about finding that, read animation historian Charles Solomon's excellent one:

Satoshi Kon dies at 47; Japanese anime director
His boldly original visions and technical sophistication made him one of the
most admired in contemporary animation. Among his films were 'Millennium
Actress,' 'Paprika' and 'Tokyo Godfathers.'
By Charles Solomon, Special to The Los Angeles Times
August 26, 2010

or the NY Times one:

Satoshi Kon, Anime Filmmaker, Dies at 46
August 26, 2010

and speaking of the Paper of (Comics) Record, this one in antiques might sneak by people, but an Edward Gorey collection's been donated to Columbia University and pop culture auctioneer Heritage Auctions is coming to Manhattan:

Restoring the Studio of a Meticulous Sculptor
August 26, 2010

Finally, Michael Cavna's got a bit on the Baltimore Comic-Con:

BALTIMORE COMIC-CON: Has it become the supreme antidote to San Diego?
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog August 27, 2010

*this one it turns out:

Japanese animated film director Kon dies at 46
By MARI YAMAGUCHI (AP) August 26 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Otakon 2010 in Baltimore this weekend

Their website has all the information. Including a pretty complex schedule.

And here's how they describe it:

About Otakon

Otakon is the convention of the otaku generation: by fans, for fans; and we're back for our 17th year in 2010!

Join thousands of your fellow fans as we descend on Baltimore to celebrate all anime, manga, and all facets of Asian pop culture!

Ever since 1999, we've taken over a sizable chunk of Baltimore's Inner Harbor for a 3-day festival celebrating the pop culture that's brought us everything from Astroboy to Yu-Gi-Oh, from the Seven Samurai to Spirited Away.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Post on The Last Airbender and an interview with the director

This is only online, and it's a very good interview with the director over the 'racial controversy' that's sprung up around the movie adaptation of the cartoon -

Talking with director M. Night Shyamalan about 'Last Airbender,' race and more
By Jen Chaney
Washington Post's Celibritology 2.0 blog July 1, 2010

and here's the paper's review -

It's easy to drift away from 'Last Airbender'
By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post July 1, 2010: C10