The Otaku Ohana Best-to-my-Knowledge Local Guide to Free Comic Book Day 2019

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?

The concept!

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.

FCBD 19 bookmark sample 4
Bookmarks drawn by Alan Low. (Courtesy Comic Jam Hawaii)

The comics!

There are 53 of them in a variety of flavors, from A Sheets Story to Zagor: The Alien Saga, with a bunch of mainstream properties and indie darlings and yes, even manga in between. You can find a complete list on the Free Comic Book Day website.  If you need help choosing — can’t expect to pick up all 53 comics at one place, after all! — Glen Weldon at NPR has his annual handy guide on what to seek and what to skip.

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.

The participants!

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.

OAHU

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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.

Oh, yeah, and don’t forget: You still can’t spoil the Endgame there.

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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.
  • Gecko Books, 1151 12th Ave., Kaimuki: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Westside Comics and Games, 590 Farrington Highway, #538, Kapolei: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
FCBD 19 bookmark sample
Bookmarks drawn by Robert Jacob. (Courtesy Comic Jam Hawaii)

MAUI

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.

Library participants:

  • 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.

FCBD 19 bookmark sample 2
Bookmarks drawn by Megan Enos. (Courtesy Comic Jam Hawaii)

BIG ISLAND

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.

Library participants:

  • 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.
  • Thelma Parker Library (Waimea), 67-1209 Mamalahoa Highway
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Bookmarks drawn by Michael Cannon. (Courtesy Comic Jam Hawaii)

OTHER ISLANDS

Kauai library participants:

  • Hanapepe Library, 4490 Kona Road
  • Princeville Library, 4343 Emmalani Drive

Finally, representatives from Lanai Library will be at the Saturday Market at Dole Park from 8-10 a.m.

Good luck and stay safe getting those comics, folks.

Aloha to a friend of local comics journalism

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.

“Miss Hokusai” returns for a week

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Hmmmmm. That great wave certainly looks familiar. Courtesy GKIDS Entertainment.

Miss Hokusai’s Hawaii premiere earlier this month sounded pretty sweet. As the leadoff feature for the Honolulu Museum of Art’s monthlong Japanese Cinema spotlight, this anime, focusing on the life of the lesser-known daughter to famed artist Katsushika Hokusai, O-ei, got a lovely welcome: preshow pupus, artists drawing on paper fans and auctioning them off, Darin Miyashiro playing the koto. And a good time was probably had by all.

I write “probably” here because, like most things scheduled for Saturday nights, I was working my usual night shift at the Star-Advertiser and thus couldn’t go. Fortunately for me and those of you unable to attend, though, there’s going to be another screening of Miss Hokusai … or, to be more accurate, another 33 screenings.

That’s because the movie’s playing at the Consolidated Kahala theaters in a full-on limited engagement starting today. It looks like it’s sticking around for at least a week, according to Consolidated’s site; we’ll see Tuesday whether it lingers for longer. So the standard disclaimer applies: The sooner you can see this movie, the better.

You can also see it with its English dub or original Japanese audio with English subtitles; check out the Ota-cool Incoming calendar for exact times, but in general, the dubbed version is being shown at matinees, and the subbed version has the late afternoon/evening slots.

Here, have the trailer again.

Other weekend notes

  • Haven’t seen Shin Godzilla, the latest installment in the Godzilla franchise as directed by Evangelion director Hideaki Anno, yet? You have one more chance: 12:50 p.m. Saturday at the Regal Dole Cannery 18 theaters. Get your tickets here.
  • idkwhat2wear and Kawaii Mono are going to be part of the Season’s Best Craft & Gift Fair this weekend at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. Hours are 5-9 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3, but here, have some $1 discount coupons. Also, be advised that parking late Saturday might be a little tight because of that evening’s Big Bang show. Wow. Fantastic, baby.
  • NEET, the mini con at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii that I wrote about yesterday, released a more comprehensive list of vendors a few hours after I published my post. (Oh hey, Michi’s Toy Box and artist Reid Kishimoto are going to be there, too!) You can check it out here. Wish I could attend, but alas, work calls.

The Mini-ficent Seven

A number of you who use Facebook probably know about its Memories/On This Day feature, where their little algorithmic thingamabobs and doohickeys dig down deep in your timeline and pull up posts that you might’ve forgotten existed about a week after you posted them.

Today, this memory popped up on my timeline.

Four years ago already ... maaaaaaaaaan ... Photo by Jason S. Yadao.
Four years ago already? Maaaaaaaaaan. We’ve gotten so much more … umm, *vintage* since then. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.

And it reminded me, “Welp, blogger boy, your HawaiiCon vacation’s over, time to get back to work and write a new post.”

Here’s why: The latest edition of Mini Con will be held four years and two days after I posted that picture. This is one of those events that your friendly neighborhood otaku blogger’s been covering for a long time — this is its seventh year, in fact, making it the second longest continually running event I’ve covered, behind only Kawaii Kon.

This year's edition of the Mini Con flyer, by Audra Furuichi. Courtesy image.
This year’s edition of the Mini Con flyer, by Audra Furuichi. Courtesy image.

The formula that McCully-Moiliili Library branch manager Hillary Chang has followed every year is simple, yet effective: Bring in artists Jon Murakami, Audra Furuichi and Kevin Sano as the foundation; supplement with at least one more rotating guest; host a stamp rally and give away prizes throughout the day; give patrons a chance to cosplay.  (This year’s rotating guest is artist Mark Gould, a member of the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance who’s done a fair amount of freelance work over the last few years, including covers for Slave Labor Graphics’ Model A and contributions to Christopher Caravalho’s Aumakua: Guardians of Hawaii books.)

Not everyone has the time, money and/or energy to attend one or (for the most hard-core crazy among us) several of the otaku conventions held around the state every year; Mini Con’s existed as an option for people to get a free taste of convention life, a slice of Artist Alley in a library setting. This is also going to be Audra’s last event as a vendor for this year, so this will be your last chance to pick up some nemu*nemu merchandise or some of her lovely, lovely original artwork from her in person until … well, Kawaii Kon next spring, I reckon.

All of this is happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the library, 2211 S. King St.; parking at the library is limited, so either plan on showing up early, go across the street to Ross Dress For Less (which has graciously opened up its lot for use by library patrons) or bring a handful of coins to feed the meters. For more information, call 973-1099.

Anime Matsuri Hawaii schedules post-Thanksgiving treat

Anime Matsuri logoIt looks like 2015 will be the year you snarf down your turkey, brave the sea of humanity descending on various retail establishments for the sake of cheap TVs and bath towels … and then turn around and attend an anime convention.

Anime Matsuri Hawaii — they of the website countdown — took a bit of time after that countdown expired to do some internal housekeeping, but they finally launched their website, hawaii.animematsuri.com, this afternoon. With that launch, we now know that the newest player in the local pop-culture convention scene will be operating out of the Hawai’i Convention Center during the first few days of the Christmas shopping season — Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 27-29.

Some of the other highlights:

  • Heidi Shimada, who’s been part of Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club locally, is listed as Anime Matsuri Hawaii liaison. She’s also been serving as Anime Matsuri’s guest relations director.
  • Look for the standard anime con accouterments, including a Japanese fashion show, a tea party, a concert, a cosplay contest and a maid cafe. There’s also going to be a car show; “AM Idol,” a talent showcase equivalent to Kawaii Kon’s Karaoke Competition; and “Club AM,” a nightly rave running from midnight to 3 a.m. I just hope the car show’s in a separate area from the convention proper, because the last time there was a convention/car show hybrid, it didn’t really mesh well.
  • The first two guests listed on the website are cosplayers Stella Chuu and Reika.

Pre-registration prices for three-day passes have also been released; the sooner you get your passes, the better, of course. That page I linked to in the last sentence shows a table of increasing rates as the con nears, but here’s what you need to know for now: Through April 15, adult passes will cost $40; the rate for groups of 10 or more people start at $35 per person; and the VIP-level Superpass, limited to 150 attendees, is $110. Passes for children ages 6-12 will be $20 through Oct. 15. Would-be vendors and Artist Alley sellers, we’re still waiting for registration information for you.

Obviously, there’s much more content to dig through, but I have a Kawaii Kon preview article that I need to write. Busy busy busy! A full press release is below. (3/20 note: Press release has been revised to the latest info.)

Houston, TX, March 20, 2015 – Anime Matsuri, the ninth largest anime convention in North America, is proud to announce the debut of its second convention. Anime Matsuri Hawaii (AMHI) will take place on November 27-29, 2015, at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Pre-registration will open with the launch of the new convention’s website for individuals interested in purchasing their passes in advance.

Anime Matsuri is excited to bring the production value it offers to attendees of its Houston convention, out to Hawaii. AMHI main events will include a Japanese fashion show, tea party, car show, concert, cosplay contest, and Club AM. Also featured will be a maid cafe, various panels and workshops, vendors, industry guests, voice actors, and cosplay guests from all over the world. With this expansion comes many opportunities to provide unique experiences to individuals who are unfamiliar with the company, as well as the most dedicated fans. Anime Matsuri is fortunate enough to enjoy a fantastic community of attendees that it hopes to extend to AMHI.

“My husband, John Leigh, and I founded Anime Matsuri almost a decade ago. We have been privileged to be among the pioneers promoting anime and Japanese culture over the years, connecting people and companies in the East to the West. During a work trip to Hawaii a few years ago, we were astounded by the hospitality and general care that we received from complete strangers. Our growing friendship with the local communities in Hawaii have helped connect us to networks that have allowed us to expand our event. Thank you for this opportunity to further strengthen anime and Japanese culture in Hawaii. We look forward to working with existing organizations, cultural events, charities, local businesses, and fans to bring a new and unique experience to Hawaii,” said Deneice Leigh, founder and chairman of Anime Matsuri.

Anime Matsuri is an annual anime, Japanese culture and related arts convention based in Houston, Texas. We strive to bring the latest and greatest from Japan’s catwalks, anime studios, and concert stages to our own backyard here in the United States. Anime Matsuri’s inaugural event began in 2007. Since then, the convention has grown to over 19,000 unique attendees. With so many in attendance, we have recently made the George R. Brown Convention Center our permanent home. Here we will host our three-day festival on April 3-5th, 2015.

 

Hop on the express lane to Kawaii Kon

kawaii-kon-logoAs of this post, we are now exactly three weeks away from opening day for Kawaii Kon 2015. That heavy sighing, whimpering and sobbing in the corner that you might be hearing right now? That’s coming from anyone directly involved with the anime con — staff members, vendors, Artist Alley artists, photographers, cosplayers, friendly neighborhood anime/manga bloggers — who read that first sentence and realized that they are so very much not ready.

But it’s coming, this song is playing in the backs of our minds, and someone out there, someone has to be looking forward to March 27, when our anime addiction as a crazed community united flares anew for three days at the Hawai’i Convention Center. So let’s take a deep breath and take a look at some recent con-related news highlights:

A new guest! A famed Animaniacs trio is now complete with an announcement that came earlier this week. Sorry, it’s probably not that trio that you’re thinking of … Tress Macneille, the voice of Dot Warner, still isn’t coming. But the writer behind a bunch of classic Animaniacs episodes and songs, Randy Rogel, is coming. Not only is this Rogel’s first visit to Kawaii Kon, he’s also the first Emmy award-winning guest to attend; he won Daytime Emmys for Animaniacs in 1996 and 1997, and Batman: The Animated Series in 1993. I’d expect live performances of “Yakko’s World” and “Wakko’s America” are pretty much locks now.

Honolulu Festival graphicA preview of what’s to come! The Honolulu Festival, the annual showcase of Pacific Rim cultures, is happening this weekend, and Kawaii Kon, as always, will be sharing space among the kids’ games, entertainment, food and craft booths and art displays at the convention center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. This is your final chance to pick up a three-day pass at a discounted rate ($50 general, $40 children ages 5-12). MangaBento will bring art activities and photo booth cutouts; there will also be games, activities and prizes galore. Stick around Waikiki on Sunday for the Grand Parade down Kalakaua Avenue starting at 4 p.m. and the offshore Nagaoka Fireworks show starting at 8:30 p.m.

GR 10th coverA 10th anniversary preorder! Has it really been 10 years since the adventures of Hawaii’s hapless hero Gordon Rider, drawn by Star-Advertiser “Calabash” cartoonist Jon Murakami, debuted on a whiteboard sitting in Mechahawaii in Kaimuki? Yes, it has, and time flies, and I’m starting to feel really old again. To celebrate the milestone, Jon’s releasing a 10th anniversary art book — 100 full-color pages filled with tributes by 70 artists including “Luann” artist Greg Evans, “Winged Tiger” artist Phil Yeh, and “Heavy Metal” and “Elephantmen” artist Axel Medellin. (Lorenzo Trinidad, son of late great Star-Bulletin cartoonist Corky Trinidad, showed me what he submitted for the book the other week. It looked pretty sweet.) Copies are $30 and will be released on the con’s first day, March 27; preorder now at www.jonjmurakami.bigcartel.com, and not only can you pick up the book at Jon’s Artist Alley table, you’ll also get a bonus 2.5-by-3.5-inch sketch card. Also available for preorder there: Issue 8 of the Gordon Rider comic, for $5. (Can’t make it to con? You can also have those mailed out to you.)

A free-stuff reminder! You have a state library card, right? Of course you do, because while you’re doing the newish-media thing and reading this blog, you also appreciate good old-school print media as well. Anyway, do not forget to bring your card to con, because you can bring it to the library table in Artist Alley — it’ll be in the same area as Jon’s table and Michael Cannon’s Artildawn offerings! — and get free stuff. You’d think it would be a no-brainer by now, but you would not believe how many people I’ve seen that don’t have one while I’ve been sitting in with Aiea young adult librarian Diane Masaki at that table. Kids these days, I tell ya.

The Cel Shaded Report, 6/14: Bento box weekend

To get the obvious first thought out of your mind right away: No, Bento Rakugo is not, as I first thought when the offer came in from my freshly minted Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction, a new place in town where you can pick up a plastic box with some teriyaki chicken, assorted tsukemono and rice with a nice dusting of furikake and an ume stuck in the middle.

What Bento Rakugo is, though, is a nifty local troupe that shares humorous stories in the style of traditional Japanese rakugo. In rakugo, a single storyteller sits on a pillow before an audience and creates a compact narrative world — sometimes with multiple characters — with just a few intonation shifts and a paper fan and a cloth as props.

Here’s what it looked like at Waipahu Library on Wednesday.

rakugo

It’s a show that can appeal to audiences young and old, people who may wander into the room just curious about what’s going on and friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger trying to huddle incognito in the back alike. If the format holds for future performances, artistic director/group co-founder/emcee Yasu Ishida will introduce the concept of rakugo and perform some magic tricks, then the storytellers will go up and perform three to four stories, all within the span of an hour that passes way too quickly. They’re a bit like long-form jokes building up to a big punch line, but the storytelling aspect adds so much more depth to it.

Here’s what it looks like in action with one of the Bento Rakugo players who also showed up at the Waipahu performance, Serina Dunham.

Love her voice. I feel like she could be a great anime voice actor, in the vein of, say, Hilary Haag. But I digress.

Bento Rakugo has two more performances this weekend on Oahu — 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Aiea Library (99-143 Moanalua Road) and 3 p.m. Sunday at Kaneohe Library (45-829 Kamehameha Highway). Then it’s the neighbor islands’ turn — Molokai Library on Monday, Mountain View and Kona libraries on Hawaii island on June 26, Lanai Library on June 27, and Keaau and Naalehu libraries on Hawaii island on July 17. Check with those libraries for times. And if you want to learn more about the group, visit bentorakugo.wix.com/home.

By sheer coincidence, this weekend is a big one for another group with “bento” as part of its name: MangaBento.

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Sunday — which also happens to be Father’s Day, so best wishes to all you dads out there — is opening day for the anime/manga artist collective’s annual exhibit, Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy. I’ve seen some of the setup pictures that the group’s been posting to its Facebook page, and the display area looks very similar to previous years. (You can find my recap of last year’s Nakamaboko exhibit here, here and here.) I, for one, can’t wait to see the new artwork and share it with you in my annual series of Flickr galleries

The group will be hosting an opening reception from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Art School’s mezzanine gallery … and as those of you who are veterans of the opening reception circuit know, such events mean there will be food. In this case, your servers will be coming from Yu x Me: Maid Cafe and Host Club, cosplaying as characters from Adventure Time. And they will be serving, among other delectables, bacon-wrapped meat “cupcakes” with a mashed potato “frosting.” If that doesn’t say “perfect food item to share with Dad on Father’s Day afternoon,” I don’t know what does.

If you can’t make it to the reception, you have through July 14 to see the exhibit. As I mentioned in last week’s Cel Shaded Report, you can visit Tomo-E-Ame as a free complement to the Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor exhibit over in the Honolulu Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.manga-bento.com.

Ota-cool incoming!

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meetings during Summer Session 1 (through June 28) in Kuykendall Hall, room 306. Screenings TBA. Fridays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Aiea Library Anime Club: This month, librarian Diane Masaki is screening Summer Wars at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. Saturday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists is on the road again for its second meeting in June, heading to Aiea Library (99-143 Moanalua Road) to put their own spin on the young adult summer reading program theme, “Beneath the Surface.” They’re taking July off, so this will be your last chance to jam with a bunch of talented artists for a while. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 22.

Friends of the Library of Hawaii 66th Annual Book Sale: Every summer for about a week, the McKinley High School cafeteria turns into an oasis for fans of classic media like books, CDs, DVDs, videotapes … you know, all that stuff that people say the digital age is steamrolling over. Cherish the classics and support the Friends, I say. FLH members get two days’ worth of preview sales, June 20 and 21; Hawaii State Federal Credit Union members can join in on the preview sale fun on June 21; for the rest of us, the sale runs June 22-30. Visit www.friendsofthelibraryofhawaii.org/index.php/fundraising/annual-booksale and start planning your trip.

Future attractions

Dave Thorne Celebration of Life: Remembering the life and work of the “father of Hawaii cartooning” with a gathering at Bay View Golf Course (45-285 Kaneohe Bay Drive). July 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Taku Taku Matsuri: A summer festival with an anime/manga slant at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu. Aug. 25.

Oni-Con Hawaii: Featuring guests Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot, and the return of Nobuo Uematsu and the Earthbound Papas in concert. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $40 for a three-day pass. Artist Alley applications also being accepted (it’s $110 per table, which includes two three-day passes). Hawai’i Convention Center, Nov. 1-3.

Kawaii Kon 2014: Guests include voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh. Preregistration open now; $37 for a three-day pass for children ages 5-12, $42 general admission. Hawai’i Convention Center, April 4-6, 2014.