If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’ve managed to survive the first four months of one of the most cursed years in the history of humanity, AND yet another extended stretch between Otaku Ohana blog posts. I’d offer you a cookie, but it looks like the term “social distancing” is going to be part of our lives for a while longer, so to reward yourself, go support whatever local businesses you can instead, if you’re able. They could use the help.
So why have I been gone for so long? It’s a long story, and one that’s been sitting in my “drafts” folder for several weeks now. Maybe I’ll finish writing that and publish it some other time. Or maybe we’ll go another eight months between posts. I don’t know. The world’s gone crazy. KYAAAAAAAAAH
… umm. Ahem.
The point is, how are you coping with life these days? We’re entering another month of mandated sheltering in place; a month where we were supposed to have Free Comic Book Day and Kawaii Kon at that. The former is off the calendar for this year, while the latter is, for now, scheduled to do the Dragon Ball Z Fusion Dance with Comic Con Honolulu and take place Aug. 7-9, although we realistically could just be waiting for a legal “act of God” to kick in at some point.
There are a few ways to fill in those holes this weekend, though. Serving as a replacement for Free Comic Book Day is Alt FCD, a Facebook group that’s hosting streaming panels, comic creator Q&As, and — perhaps the biggest draw of all — a repository of dozens of free independent comics. The catch is that the group only exists for two days, today and tomorrow, May 1-2. So grab those comics quickly.
And then there’s Concellation 2020, the 32,000-plus-member Facebook group from which I bought the lovely con badge that you see at the top of this post. The tongue-in-cheek creation of Christopher Ambler, Concellation bills itself as “The SF&F con that’s always cancelled. Celebrate the con that never was – cancelled before it was even announced, Concellation 2020 is the event you wish you could have pre-opposed!” It’s been a great online venue to celebrate con culture and the various fandoms under its umbrella, and, for me at least, a nice way to break up a fair amount of doom and gloom that’s been constant on my Facebook timeline.
There’s so much more going on to keep people entertained in down times, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I just wanted to prove to myself that, y’know, I could still churn out one of these posts after so long. And apparently I can! Small victories. Hope all is well with you all, and hope to be back here again with another post sometime somewhat sooner…ish.
I’m not going to make any excuses — things have felt different around Otaku Ohana Central for the past few months.
It’s certainly not for lack of content. So much has come and gone since I last wrote anything in this space. There are many fragments of posts about various events sitting in the “drafts” folder and photos sitting in my phone, but I just haven’t been motivated enough to see any of them through to completion and publication. Lancen went off to teach in Japan as part of the JET program, and tag-team partner in fandom Wilma W. and I haven’t had much mental energy left to spare after work to write much of anything after we both left the paper.
It’s one thing to re-share various announcements on the Otaku Ohana Facebook page (still very much a thing!) or to post pictures from various events on my Instagram feed so you can live vicariously through what I experience (also still very much a thing!). It’s another matter entirely, particularly these days, to generate a few hundred words about things that I really care about and want you, dear dedicated reader who’s actually stuck around this long waiting for new content, to know about as well.
But hey! Guess what! Something’s finally motivated me to write something again! So here are a few hundred words about a thing etc. etc. etc.: Mini Con at McCully-Moiliili Library, an event I’ve covered for the past …
*checks notes* …
*rechecks notes* …
… WAIT WHAT 10 YEARS HOLY CATS I AM OLD.
Seriously, though, double-digit lifespans for pop-culture events are difficult to come by in this town. Only Kawaii Kon, which kicked off the modern era of such local events and held its 15th annual show earlier this year, has lasted longer.
Here’s what I wrote about the event in Cel Shaded (remember when that column was still A Thing?) in October2010:
Mini Con, running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the library, is being held in celebration of Teen Read Week, the Young Adult Library Services Association’s annual initiative to encourage literacy.
When I heard about Mini Con’s venue, I knew there was one person I had to get in touch with right away: Hillary Chang, the library’s young-adult librarian and acting branch manager. Those of you who stopped by the Hawaii State Library table at Kawaii Kon’s Artist Alley earlier this year might remember Chang as the librarian cosplaying as Yotsuba Koiwai, the eternally cheerful green-haired child star of must-read manga series “Yotsuba&!”
Chang is bringing in three local artists for a meet-and-greet:
» Audra Furuichi, co-creator and artist of the popular plush pup Web comic “nemu*nemu.”
» Jon J. Murakami, Star-Advertiser cartoonist, illustrator and creator of the “Gordon Rider” comic series.
» Kevin Sano, a T-shirt designer with Crazy Shirts who’s also done some designs featuring Kikaida and Kamen Rider.
“It’s more like a ‘Mini Artist Alley,’ but ‘Mini Con’ is so much easier to say!” Chang told me via e-mail.
By Hillary’s estimate, around 60 people attended Mini Con that first year. Last year, around 400 showed up. Other things changed over the years as well: Audra’s now the artist of the popular plush pup Star-Advertiser comic “nemu*nemu: Blue Hawaii”; Jon’s added the Ara-Rangers, Edamame Ninjas, and Wasabi Magazine’s “What’s Up, Wasa*bee?” comic to his repetoire; and Kevin’s moved from designing shirts to selling comics at Idea’s Music and Books in Kakaako.
All three of them will be back for Mini Con 10, happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the library at 2211 S. King St. Joining them are several other repeat guests — Brady Evans, Tara Tamayori, and Derick “7Sketches” Fabian — and this year’s new-to-Mini Con invitee, the Hawaii Saber Academy, taking Star Wars lightsabers and turning them into tools for a pretty good workout. Instead of Teen Read Week, they’ll all be helping celebrate a bigger milestone: McCully-Moiliili Library’s 50th anniversary.
You’ll want to go around and meet everyone, too; back for another year is the stamp card rally, where you can get a free comic book in exchange for a filled card. You can also enter to win a giant gift basket, and bid on original artwork, books, and other items in a silent auction.
Normally this is the part where I would recommend arriving early for the best parking spaces, carpooling, or taking public transportation, but there’s an additional option this year: The library’s giving out passes for free parking at Ross Dress For Less across the street (top level unreserved stalls only, second level away from entrance), so there’s that.
Questions? Call 973-1099.
Pop Culture Expo is a Go!
Meanwhile, in the rapidly expanding Mini Con-esque event category, both sides of Pearlridge Center — Phase 1Uptown Mauka and Phase 2Downtown Wai Makai — are hosting the Pop Culture Expo during business hours Saturday and Sunday. A number of fan-favorite artists and vendors from local convention Artist Alleys will be there — off the top of my head, I can think of Kawaii Mono, Trinigrafx, Roy Chang, Mana Comics, Headshot Heroes, and Michael Cannon. Cosplaying is encouraged, too! Admission is free.
Free Comic Book Day is on Saturday, and … well, there’s a lot to talk about. This format worked pretty well when I used it last year, and I’m all about keeping intact what isn’t broken (and perhaps even improving on it a bit), so let’s get straight to it, shall we?
On Saturday, various comic shops and libraries will be giving away a wide range of comic books as part of Free Comic Book Day. Some will even be hosting special events. It’s a tradition that’s run annually since 2002, and while some of the stores locally have changed over the years, the concept remains the same: give away comic books; expose readers to a wide range of series; get people into stores to peruse their stock.
This year’s event is tied in to the sequel to that little art film about a big bad giant purple dude, the aftermath of him wearing his pretty sparkly glove, and those guys who didn’t start the fire fighting him over it. You might have heard of it. It snapped its fingers and made pretty much every other movie playing in theaters disappear.
Oh, and while you’re picking up your free comics, don’t forget to buy something from your store of choice as well, While the books may be free for you, they cost the stores money to pick them up. And shop owners kinda need all the help they can get.
There are giveaways and events on five out of seven populated islands in the state (sorry, Molokai and Niihau). Many locations will be giving away bookmarks from a 210-bookmark(!) set drawn by Comic Jam Hawaii artists, samples of which I’m scattering throughout this post. Here are each island’s highlights.
The hotbed of local FCBD activity, as it has been ever since the store moved to Iwilei, is Other Realms (1130 Nimitz Highway, suite C-140). Festivities there run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Other Realms is hosting so many artists, I need to go into bullet-point mode to properly list them:
Marvel colorist David Nakayama (10 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Contraptor artist Free Isabelo
Cacy & Kiara/Highball & Pepe artist and Boudin sourdough aficionado Roy Chang
Game of Thrones illustrator Mog Park
Anh Vu and Josh Villanueva, two West Oahu artists being mentored by Mog who are really, really good. Seriously, here’s Anh’s Instagram feed, and here’s Josh’s. Soooooo much pretty pretty artwork. *grabby hands*
Mysterious Things artist Napua Ahina
Exillion artist DJ Keawekane
The first 50 customers through the door will receive an Avengers button pin. There will also be door prizes (must be present to win), and loyalty program members will get double points on their purchases.
Since it’s also Star Wars Day (May the 4th, get it?), Ludosport Hawaii will hold lightsaber combat demos at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and there will be demos and pick-up games of Star Wars: Legion.
Dragon’s Lair (95-1840 Meheula Parkway, suite E-10, Mililani) has its own set of artists offering artwork and free sketches from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Gordon Rider/Ara-Rangers/Star-Advertiser “Calabash”/Wasabi Magazine “What’s Up, Wasa*bee?” artist Jon Murakami, Bandit artist Kaci Horimoto, Dwayne Acoba, and Reid Kishimoto. All comics and graphic novels will be 25% off.
Collector Maniacs (3571 Waialae Ave., suite 102A, Kaimuki) is offering a bundle of comics worth at least $30 for free when you buy at least $25 of merchandise.
And finally, technically this isn’t really a Free Comic Book Day event, but Mana Comics will be represented there, so I’ll count it: City Square Shopping Center in Kalihi (1199 Dillingham Blvd., Kalihi) will be hosting the Star Wars Day-themed May the 4th Be With You from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by From the Heart Hawaii for discounts on neat nerdy collectibles, too! A portion of all sales will benefit Special Olympics Hawaii.
Other participants (public library category):
Aiea Library, 99-374 Pohai Place (where there’s still plenty of parking and a big horking sugar molecule out front)
Aina Haina Library, 5246 Kalanianaole Highway
Hawaii Kai Library, 249 Lunalilo Home Road
Kailua Library, 239 Kuulei Road
Kalihi-Palama Library, 1325 Kalihi St.
Kapolei Library, 1020 Manawai St.
Manoa Library, 2716 Woodlawn Drive
McCully-Moiliili Library, 2211 S. King St.
Mililani Library, 95-450 Makaimoimo St.
Nanakuli Library, 89-070 Farrington Highway
Salt Lake-Moanalua Library, 3225 Salt Lake Blvd.
Wahiawa Library, 820 California Ave.
Waikiki-Kapahulu Library, 400 Kapahulu Ave.
Waimanalo Public & School Library, 41-1320 Kalanianaole Highway
Waipahu Library, 94-275 Mokuola St.
Many of these libraries will have cosplayers stopping by for photo ops throughout the day.
Other participants (non-library category):
Choice Comics, 98-1268 Kaahumanu St., suite 104, Pearl City: 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Maui Comics & Collectibles (Queen Kaahumanu Center, 275 W. Kaahumanu Ave., Kahului), open from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., will be hosting a quartet of creators throughout the day: Fields of Eleria card game creator Aaron Nakahara from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kukui Project artist Todd Bernardy starting at 10 a.m., cosplayer Night Darling from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Disney artist James Silvani starting at 2 p.m. Cosplayers from Imagination Reality will be stopping by from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.
It’s been almost a year since Game Over Comics (277 Wili Ko Place, suite 233, Lahaina) debuted on Free Comic Book Day, and they’re back with more fun events from noon to 6 p.m., including 20% off everything in-store and raffle prizes every 30 minutes. Video gamers will want to come for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament starting at noon, and Tekken 7 play via Maui Gaming at 2 p.m. Star Wars Day tie-ins, hosted by Imagination Reality, include cosplay pictures at 4 p.m. and Jedi Training at 5 p.m.
Kahului Library, 90 School St. Learn how to transform old comics into neat accessories from 1-3 p.m. You can also bring in items like notebooks, pictures, and shoeboxes to cover in comic pages, too, in the art of decoupage.
Kihei Library, 35 Waimahaihai St. You can also meet James Silvani from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Lahaina Library, 680 Wharf St.
Makawao Library, 1159 Makawao Ave.
Enjoy Comics (Prince Kuhio Plaza, 111 E. Puainako St., suite 715) will be giving away swag bags with hidden-ticket prize giveaways and feature cosplayer appearances throughout the day, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Hilo Library, 300 Waianuenue Ave.
Kailua-Kona Library, 75-138 Hualalai Road. Artist/illustrator Wayne Lo will be drawing chibi art from 10-11 a.m. in the children’s room, followed by a workshop on drawing comic faces for teens in the young adult room from 11 a.m-noon.
We’re two weeks away from local con sempai Kawaii Kon kicking off at the Hawai’i Convention Center for its 15th year of ani-mayhem and manga madness. Many of you may be running around like headless chickens as I’m typing this, trying to finish up those last pieces of artwork, hemming those last seams for your weekend cosplay, and wondering when the powers that be will release a schedule so that you know when you can tell your friends, “Sorry, can’t go to lunch now, Aya Hirano’s speaking in Room 315.”
Well, I can help with that last part, at least. Because the Kawaii Kon 2019 smartphone app has quietly gone live on an app store near you, in both iOS and Android flavors. Here, have a spiffy-looking opening splash screen.
The app’s debut also marks the debut of this year’s schedule. It’s not the complete schedule — more events will be added in coming days — but there’s certainly more than enough to get started on your custom agenda (which you can also build within the app). Want to learn more about a panel? Click on it to pull up a screen with more information.
It should also be noted that the app seems like it’s a work in progress. Profiles of this year’s guests have been posted, as well as lists of artists in Artist Alley and vendors in the Dealers Room, but as of now, there’s no easy way to cross-reference where everyone’s going to be at a given point in time. If you’ve downloaded previous years’ versions of the app, you may have to re-register an account; I didn’t have a prior version on my phone to test this out, but it seems like this year’s app is a fresh download built on new infrastructure, rather than an updated version of last year’s app.
There’s still plenty to play with, though, and there’s plenty of time for new features to be added. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go cancel any lunch plans I had for con Sunday. Because, you know, Aya Hirano. *squee!*
We’re sorry to report the passing today of author, musician, journalist, historian, artist, and all-around great guy Burl Burlingame. That’s him in the red shirt above, in a photo I took from the last time I saw him: performing as lead singer of Motley Uke, a local ukulele rock band, at Anna O’Brien’s last August.
Burl’s death is worth noting in this space because of how much he meant to the local comic scene. As tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. reminded me while we were chatting online this morning, “If not for him, we wouldn’t have been able to grace the pages of a major metro paper with our anime/manga/game obsessions.”
Indeed, he was a key figure responsible for two developments that resonate to this day. The first was the creation of “Drawn & Quartered,” the column in the Sunday edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin where Wilma and I wrote much of our early material for the paper. As Burl wrote in the inaugural column:
There are two wholly American art forms: jazz music and the “comic” or graphic-based literature. Both are about a century old. There’s not much we can do about jazz around here, but we can take the comics medium seriously. It was born in the newspaper medium, after all, and the Star-Bulletin has always taken the lead in presenting groundbreaking strips, with “Mutt and Jeff” even before the Star married the Bulletin in 1912.
Which, in a single bound, brings us to this column. “Drawn and Quartered” will run every Sunday and deal with the graphics medium and its assorted spinoffs, byproducts and fallout, such as anime, video games, animation, comic books, collectibles, manga, cartooning, comics-influenced movies and television, and whatever else appeals to our glazed eyes.
“Drawn & Quartered” was one of the factors that led to the birth of my weekly anime/manga column, “Cel Shaded,” in 2005, which in turn led to the origins of the blog you’re reading right now. I’m also convinced that it was on the basis of what we wrote for “Drawn & Quartered” that an editor at Rough Guides saw fit to pitch to us an idea that eventually became my book, The Rough Guide to Manga.
The second development: locally sourced comic strips published in the Sunday paper. That started in the Star-Bulletin in mid-May 2001 with a comic drawn by a man Burl called “Hawaii’s jedi master of cartooning,” Dave Thorne, and continues to this day, with Jon Murakami’s “Calabash” and Audra Furuichi’s “nemu*nemu: Blue Hawaii” alternating spots in the Sunday Star-Advertiser.
Our sympathies and hugs go out to his wife, Mary, and their daughters, Amelia and Katie.
On Sunday afternoon, Blood of the Samurai director Aaron Yamasato formally unveiled his latest project: the Kauai Comic Convention, a single-day event to be held June 8 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kauai Marriott Resort in Lihue.
The first batch of announced guests include:
Carl Potts, comic artist and former executive editor at Marvel Comics
Sifu Mimi Chan, martial artist and model reference used for Disney’s Mulan
Hiroshi Kanatani, manga artist known for his work in Shonen Sunday and his illustrations of famous kaiju (including, of course, Godzilla)
Stacey Hayashi, screenwriter/producer of Go For Broke: An Origin Story, about the origins of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service in 1941
Sam Campos, creator of Hawaii’s own superhero Pineapple Man, whose latest work, Hawaiian Avenger Kanaka, debuted last weekend at Amazing Comic Con Aloha
Russ Ogi, local artist who’s used 3-D printing to create some really neat-looking samurai helmets
This is the sixth major pop culture convention planned for the state this year; the third to be held on a neighbor island; and, of course, the first one for Kauai in this modern con era.
Details are still sketchy, but keep checking the official con site, https://www.kauaicomicconvention.com, for more information as things develop. Potential exhibitors can apply for space there, too. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing about more.
Nine months in to my newfound freedom to attend pretty much ALL THE THINGS~! when it comes to local otaku culture, I’m finding the experience both exhilarating and exhausting. And that’s just counting the major con circuit. Here, for instance, is the bulk of my coverage of HawaiiCon, the fourth stop of Con-athon 2018 that happened a few weekends ago at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows on the Big Island.
I needed that bit of R&R. For while there may be only one more stop for the Con-athon circuit this year — Maui Comic Con, Oct. 26-28 at UH-Maui College — the schedule of special events going forward may be one of the busiest fall seasons I’ve seen in the past few years.
It’s fitting, then, that the season kicks off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday with one of the longer-running events of the modern otaku era: McCully-Moiliili Library’s ninth annual Mini Con. This year’s edition was already shaping up to be the biggest one yet even before the surprise news hit Wednesday evening of a Super-Secret Special Guest of Honor: Usagi Yojimbo creator (and, of course, Groo the Wanderer letterer) Stan Sakai. He’ll be signing books and drawing sketches in exchange for donations to the library, something he also did last November after a talk there.
Returning for another go-round are event mainstays Jon Murakami, Audra Furuichi (in a rare-these-days appearance!), Brady Evans and Kevin Sano. Here are some previews of what they’ll be debuting at this event:
Joining them this year is rising art star Derick “7Sketches” Fabian. He’s best known for his original sticker art, or “slaps,” that mash up characters from cartoons, anime, and comics with hip-hop and local culture. He even contributed a mural to this year’s POW! WOW! Hawaii jam in Kakaako. He has a trio of designs debuting on Saturday.
Night Darling Cosplay x 7Sketches
Also on hand will be representatives from the next mini-con event coming down the pipeline, NEET, which recently announced its autumn event will be held Oct. 12 at the nearby Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii; and Wasabi Magazine editor-in-chief Antonio Vega, who’ll be talking about the publication’s focus on Japanese culture and island life.
You’re going to want to meet everyone, too. Back for another year is the stamp card promotion, where attendees can go around getting stamps from the exhibitors, then turn in completed cards in exchange for free comic books and other stuff. Other activities, like showing volunteers your library card and filling out a program evaluation form, will net you a set of three Mini Con 9 pins.
Cosplay, as always, is encouraged, and a variety of anime, including Boruto and Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, will be screened. There also will be a number of craft activities and talks throughout the day.
Mini Con 9 is brought to you by the Friends of the McCully-Moiliili Library, Collector Maniacs and Hawaiian Graphics. The library is located at 2211 S. King St.; parking can be a bit tight, but it is possible to find some if you look hard enough. Any questions? Call 973-1099.
Also on the otaku calendar
Hawaii’s first UNIQLO opens: The Japanese clothing retailer renowned for comfortable, cheap attire and otaku-friendly T-shirt designs has been teasing local customers for several months now with a pop-up store near Ala Moana Center’s Centerstage. That experience is about to expand quite a bit, as the full-service store is scheduled to open on the third floor of the mall’s Ewa Wing at 9:28 a.m. Friday, 9/28. (Get it?) I understand some friends of the blog are members of the store’s opening-day staff, so lotsa luck and good fortune to you all.
Shirokiya Matsuri: The fourth monthly edition of the showcase for local crafters and entertainers hosted by emcee extraordinare Remy Zane is taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk complex, street level on the Ewa end of Ala Moana Center. It’s also Kids’ Day at JVW, so children ages 12 and under can get a free token to spend at one of the complex’s 100 bazillion gachapon machines. Seriously, look at how many there were in August:
It’s GachaponCon, yo.
My Neighbor Totoro in theaters: Chew on this for a bit: This story of two girls and the gentle forest spirits they befriend has been around for 30 years. Feeling old yet? Playing at 12:55 p.m. Sunday (English dubbed), 7 p.m. Monday (subtitled), and 7 p.m. Wednesday (dubbed) at the Regal Dole Cannery 18 theaters, 735-B Iwilei Road. Get your tickets here.
A little more than a day after Amazing Comic Con Aloha postponed its show scheduled this weekend. organizers have already announced replacement dates … as well as the first batch of guests. Set aside Feb. 22-24, folks, because Amazing’s now kicking off Con-athon 2019, with legendary artist George Perez and Power Rangers actor Jason David Frank among the first guests announced.
The official statement:
Amazing Comic Con Aloha! in conjunction with Collider is thrilled to announce that their show from this weekend that was postponed due to Hurricane Lane will be rescheduled to February 22nd to 24th 2019! They are also excited to announce that some of their scheduled talent from the postponed show will return to Honolulu, HI along with all new guests to be announced in the coming months. Avengers Infinity Gauntlet/Thanos creator Jim Starlin will return and will be joined by original Infinity Gauntlet artists George Perez and Ron Lim, appearing together in one place exclusively for the first time in several years at Amazing Comic Con Aloha! They will be joined by legendary DC/ Batman artist Neal Adams. Also, in a triumphant return to Amazing Comic Con Aloha!, Power Rangers star Jason David Frank will join us to celebrate 25 years of Might Morphin’ Power Rangers.
Further guest announcements will be coming over the next few weeks. Stay tuned to Amazing Comic Con website and socials for all the latest news.
” We were disappointed to cancel our original dates due to circumstances beyond our control but we are happy to be able to announce replacement dates expeditiously. Hawaii has been great to us and we can’t wait to come back in February 2019 with some of our original guests and all new talent to share their Aloha spirit with the people of Hawaii!!” said Jimmy Jay, Founder Amazing Comic Con.
Attendees who purchased tickets and packages for the original show will be able to use their already purchased tickets for the rescheduled dates including those who purchased tickets through groupon. Further instructions and alternatives will be posted to the Amazing Comic Con website in the coming days. Tickets will go on sale beginning after Labor Day starting at $25.
While Amazing may not be running this weekend, there are a number of activities and sales that have popped up around the island in case you have a con-shaped hole in your schedule that you’d like to fill. (The con’s Facebook page has even been resharing some event notifications as they come in.) Some highlights:
The third edition of the monthly Shirokiya Matsuri will be taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at Japan Village Walk, the street-level food court on the Ewa end of Ala Moana Center. This celebration of local and Japanese culture features crafters, an entertainment stage hosted by Remy Zane, and family-friendly activities. (That’s a picture of the first Shirokiya Matsuri at the top of this post.) As a bonus, there are plans for an impromptu Comic Jam in that venue as well, so you can fellowship and draw with a bunch of local artists if you’d like.
Artist Neal Adams has been popping up around the Rainbow Tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, taking and delivering commissions, signing autographs ($50 each) and selling art. Check on https://www.facebook.com/NealAdamsDotCom for details.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman will be making an appearance tomorrow at Other Realms, 1130 N. Nimitz Highway, suite C-140. Keep watching Other Realms’ Facebook page for details on that.
Kevin Sano of Sanoevil Collectibles has a bunch of comics that he was going to sell at the con this weekend at Ideas Music and Books, 670 Auahi St. The store’s open until 7 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow.
Fans of gunpla (Gundam models) can swing by Animeya and Collectibles (98-027 Hekaha St., Bldg. 3, Unit 19) for the August Gunpla Meet-Up from 3 to 7 p.m. tomorrow. Bring your favorite kits, show off your completed work, and get some tips from fellow fans.
Finally, Dragon’s Lair Comicsin Mililani (95-1840 Meheula Parkway; take the Mililani Mauka offramp from the H-2 Freeway to get there) has a weekend sale going on, with 20 percent off all current comics, board games, and trade paperback/hardcover comic collections, and 50 percent off the back-issue bins. The store’s open until 7 p.m. today and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. tomorrow; artist Michael Cannon will be hanging out and drawing sketches for a little while today as well.
Quick update on the developing situation with Amazing Comic Con Aloha: The three-day convention, scheduled to take place today through Sunday, has been postponed.
The official statement:
AMAZING COMIC CON ALOHA! RESCHEDULES CONVENTION DUE TO HURRICANE LANE SAFETY CONCERNS
Due to the circumstances beyond our control and the impending arrival of Hurricane Lane, Amazing Comic Con ALOHA! regretfully has to reschedule its planned show this weekend in Honolulu, HI.
“We watched the weather closely and as Hurricane Lane weakened we made a decision to utilize the vendors, talent and media that had made it to Hawaii to still move forward with our show but due to circumstances beyond Amazing Comic Conventions Control the convention center became unavailable for use. The safety of our attendees and guests is paramount to us. ” said Jimmy Jay, founder of Amazing Comic Con ALOHA! ” “We are actively rescheduling and look forward to returning to Hawaii in the very near future with the best Architects of Pop Culture!”
Information on rescheduled dates can be found at AmazingComicConaloha.com and on @AmazingComicCon Socials as soon as we have information.
Additionally, we will doing our best to get back to everyone today answering any questions or concerns you may have.
We thank you for your continual support. We love you, Hawaii.
This marks the first postponement of a major event since Taku Taku Matsuri was postponed two days before it was scheduled to take place in August 2014 due to the dual threats of Hurricanes Iselle and Julio.
Due to severe and variable weather conditions from Hurricane Lane, the Hawai‘i Convention Center and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) have made the decision to cancel the Amazing Comic Con, previously scheduled to run today through Sunday at the Convention Center. We regret the inconvenience this may cause to organizers, vendors and participants. The safety of our guests and staff remains our top priority as this storm approaches. Please contact the Amazing Comic Con directly for information related to the event.
This isn’t going to be your typical convention preview.
Amazing Comic Con Aloha, the third stop on the Con-athon 2018 circuit and the last 3-day geek con on Oahu for the year, is scheduled for this weekend at the Hawai’i Convention Center. It’s arguably the state’s largest comic marketplace, boasting a healthy lineup of local and national comic talent in the combined Artist Alley/Dealers Room.
The guest list has traditionally been stacked as well. This year’s pop culture roster includes actress Evangeline Lilly, fresh off her starring stint in Ant-Man and the Wasp;Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario in Nintendo’s long-running franchise; voice actress Tara Strong, the voice of Raven, Harley Quinn, Timmy Turner, Bubbles, Unikitty and Princess Twilight Sparkle, just to name a few of her roles; Justin Briner and Mike McFarland, repping the My Hero Academia dub; and Keith Silverstein, Chloe Hollings and Lucie Pohl, the voices of Overwatch’s Torbjorn, Widowmaker and Mercy, respectively. (Update 10:12 a.m., 8/23:Lucie Pohl has canceled.) Notable artists include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, legendary creators Neal Adams and Marv Wolfman, and a good selection of artists from the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance. (They have a special print available this weekend, too.)
There’s a pretty big elephant in the room, though — an elephant that’s currently at Category 4 and projected to make an impact on the state over the next few days. That’s the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s latest projected path of Hurricane Lane as of 5 a.m. today at the top of this post.
It’s sent 99 percent of the state into lockdown mode. City, state and federal offices are keeping non-essential workers at home and cutting off services. Schools are closing. Sporting events, the Greek Festival, Blaisdell shows, Honolulu Museum of Arts programming and movie screenings are being postponed or canceled. Heck, even Zippy’s is closing. (Here’s a complete list.)
That other 1 percent? Amazing Comic Con Aloha. Con organizers have repeatedly insisted on social media that #TheConIsON and that they’ve been in constant contact with the proper authorities to ensure the show goes off as scheduled. In fact, VIP members and those who bought premium ticket packages can pick up their passes on the second floor of the Ala Moana Hotel from 6 to 8 p.m., then make their way over to Nocturna Lounge at Waterfront Plaza/Restaurant Row for a pre-show mixer.
I have mixed feelings about all of this. I’m stopping short of urging that people not go, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the rest of the state is effectively shutting down to prepare for Lane, and that other organizations and venues have deemed the risk too great to proceed with their scheduled events. Something is going to happen over these next few days. The questions are, to what extent? For how long? And how much are we willing to risk our safety for stuff that’s nice to have, but we don’t necessarily need to have?
Here’s where I stand: Con-athon community, I love you guys, but I’m just not willing to commit to attending this weekend. As a result, you might not see my usual flurry of con updates on my social media channels. I’m admittedly someone who looks at things in terms of worst-case scenarios, and Lane just looks too scary right now to leave my shelter-in-place for at least Friday, and probably for Saturday, too. We’ll see about the aftermath on Sunday. I’d love to be proven wrong, but we’ll just have to play the waiting game for that.
There will be other events like this down the line. I just urge you all to use your better discretion in deciding whether to attend.