Hello from the other side

*clears out cobwebs*

*turns on flickering light bulb*

… Well. It’s been a hot minute, hasn’t it?

When last we posted something in this space … *runs quick calculation* … more than 700 days ago(!), we were beginning to coming to terms with the fact that we were dealing with the most profound health crisis to affect our generation. In the span of a few months, we went from this scene at Amazing Comic Con Aloha …

Artist Alley at Amazing Comic Con Aloha, Feb. 23, 2020. If I had known this would be the last in-person con I’d attend for more than 2 years, I probably would’ve gotten more pictures. And better ones. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.

… to attending virtual online events, like this screenshot captured during the first of what would be several mini-cons hosted by Comic Jam Hawaii.

Michael Cannon and Jon Murakami offer opening remarks at the first Comic Jam Hawaii Online Mini-Con, May 29, 2020. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.

Just like that, the Con-athon era gave way to the Great Introverting. It was the classic meme cry come to life: “INTROVERTS UNITE! … separately! … in your own homes!” … except everyone, from social cocooners to social butterflies, had to do it. 

It seemed like a good time to put the blog into hibernation for a bit. When to bring it OUT again, though, was another matter entirely. A peek into the Otaku Ohana drafts folder reveals a wasteland of abandoned posts resembling the environment of [fill in the name of your preferred post-apocalyptic wasteland-containing movie, TV show, book, or video game here]. There certainly wasn’t a lack of subjects to write about … it’s just that the time and desire to write about them just wasn’t there. Add in the grueling nature of pandemic news and the fact that pretty much ANY dialogue on the Intarwebz in recent years has a tendency to turn toxic at some point, and you can understand why I’ve had this image on file for use in group chats:

I’m not sponsored by Teeturtle or anything like that, but I must say their T-shirt designs capture how I’m feeling more often than not. I bought TWO shirts with this design! Image via teeturtle.com.

But nature is healing and we’ve been slowly emerging, albeit with masks on, several squeezes of hand sanitizer, a 6-foot radius of social distancing, and COVID-19 vaccination cards or proof of negative tests in hand. Large-scale events have been cautiously returning as well, starting with Maui Comic Con at the Maui Seaside Hotel and Geekcraft Expo at the Hawai‘i Convention Center last December. The “Pineapple Man and Friends” showcase of local comic artists has been running this month at The ARTS at Marks Garage, and next weekend brings the biggest test to date of the new normal: Kawaii Kon is BACK, BABY.

And now we’re back, too. (Well, Wilma is, anyway; Lancen is off teaching kids in Japan, and we hope he’s continuing to do well with that.) 

Granted, things will be different. In ramping up to write this post, I realized that Wilma and I have been writing about this scene for around 20 years now. Back then, we were eager young 20-somethings who wanted to share everything we could about the anime/manga scene and what was happening locally. Now, we’re in our mid-40s, solving our Wordles, calculating permanent partial impairment ratings of the left shoulder based on range-of-motion limitations, harassing lawyers to get that missing MRI report to help in doing said calculations, and deciding whether to get the Lego Super Mario 64 Question Mark Block or apply the money toward our 401(k) accounts instead. Adulting!

We understand our roles as leading-edge “influencers,” as I think the younger folk call it, are greatly diminished these days. Heck, I’d be happy if this post gets more than 20 hits over the next few days. We also know there are SO many more outlets where you can get your fandom news, both locally and on a grander scale.

So we’re not going to attempt to be the first with any news, or to be the most comprehensive source out there. We are, however, going to share whatever catches our attention … definitely on a more frequent schedule than 700+ days between posts. And if I break that promise, you can pelt me with Kirby merchandise whenever you see me in person to get me to write more. I’ll be sure to send Wilma occasional steaks, bowls of ramen, and shoyu chicken to encourage her as well.

Welcome back to Otaku Ohana. We have a lot to talk about. 

One thought on “Hello from the other side”

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