Get your comic on with freebies statewide

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a movie based on a comic book series, is now out in theaters on this, the first weekend of May. And you know what happens when movies based on comics get released around this time of year: It’s time to promote the heck out of comics. Woo hoo!

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 manga-related offerings include excerpts from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, Dragon Ball Super and Boruto from Viz, and excerpts from Attack on Titan from Kodansha Comics. Here’s this year’s list of what’s available; keep in mind that not all titles will be available at all locations. And try to buy something, will ya? While the books are free for customers, they aren’t for the retailers ordering them, so a bit of paid patronage certainly goes a long way in showing your appreciation for what they do.

Anyway! To the giveaways and events!

Comic book store events

Dragon's Lair flyerDragon’s Lair in Mililani (95-1840 Meheula Parkway, space E-10) will feature five, count ’em, five artists doing free sketches: Dwayne Acoba, Andrew Gutierrez, Kaci Horimoto, Reid Kishimoto and Jon Murakami. All current comics will be 25 percent off, with trade paperbacks and hardcovers going for 15 percent off. They open at 10 a.m.

Other Realms FCBD flyerOther Realms in Iwilei (1130 Nimitz Highway, suite C-140) will feature Free Isabelo, Roy Chang, Dowyne “DJ” Keawekane and Napua Ahina doing free sketches and paid commissions. First 50 people through the door will get a free button pin featuring the Tick and his trusty sidekick Arthur. There’s also going to be keiki face-painting (featuring SkinWars season 3 contestant Kyera Dalesandro), hourly door prizes, appearances by Legion of Shadows Hawaii cosplayers … and, of course, comic specials, with double points for Member Rewards card holders. They open at 10 a.m.

As far as I can tell, Choice Comics in Pearl City (98-1268 Kaahumanu St., suite 104) has the most liberal giveaway terms: a 10-comic limit per customer. They open at 10:30 a.m.

At Westside Comics and Games out in Kapolei (590 Farrington Highway, unit 538), you can get a maximum of three books … or you can sub out books for limited-edition Funko Pop and Heroclix figures. They open at 10 a.m.

Other stores on Oahu hosting FCBD giveaways include Collector Maniacs (3571 Waialae Ave., suite 102A) and Gecko Books & Comics (1151 12th Ave.), both in Kaimuki.

Two of the biggest players in comics on the neighbor islands are bringing their A games as well. Maui Comics & Collectibles in Kahului (333 Dairy Road, suite 102), celebrating its second anniversary, will feature James Silvani, author of Draw-a-Saurus and a comic artist whose series include Darkwing Duck, The Muppets, Ducktales, How to Train Your Dragon and Animaniacs, and Todd BernardyKukui Project artist, doing free sketches and signings. Also part of the festivities: the Second Annual Bruce Ellsworth Memorial Charity Auction. You can get some free samples at Mr. Pineapple next door, too! The festivities get underway at 10 a.m.

Finally, over in Hilo, Enjoy Comics (45 Pohaku St., unit 201) will have free grab bags with comics and other goodies for the kids, as well as giveaways throughout the day, starting at 10 a.m.

Library giveaways

20170503_162206Fifteen libraries on Oahu and nine on the neighbor islands will be participating this year; just show them your library card and you can get a comic (or maybe even two at some libraries!) for free. They’ll also have bookmarks (drawn by Michael Cannon this year), and most of the libraries will feature appearances from cosplayers from the Pacific Outpost of the 501st Imperial Legion, Rebel Legion Hawaii and the Costumers Guild of Hawaii.

Your starting lineup on Oahu: (deep breath in)

And on the neighbor islands: HiloKailua-Kona and Thelma Parker Memorial Public & School Library on the Big Island; Kahului, KīheiLahaina and Makawao on Maui; and Princeville on Kauai. Lanai Public & School Library will be represented at the Saturday Market from 8 to 10 a.m. at Dole Park.

Special events

nemu*nemu cartoonist Audra Furuichi will be signing and sketching at McCully-Moiliili Library from 10 a.m. to noon…ish. She’ll also have copies of nemu*nemu books available for the taking. Don’t feel like driving all the way out there? Her books will also be part of the FCBD assortments at — deep breath in again — Aiea, Aina Haina, Kailua, Kalihi-Palama, Kapolei, Liliha, Manoa, Mililani, Salt Lake-Moanalua, Waikiki-Kapahulu, Waimanalo, Waipahu and Wahiawa libraries on Oahu, and Hilo and Kahului on the neighbor islands. There’s a limited supply, so get them while you can. Distribution methods also may vary; Aiea’s young adult librarian/Face of Hawaii Ingress ™ Diane Masaki tells me she’ll be raffling off sets throughout the day.

Mililani Library will be hosting a free screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story starting at 2 p.m. We are the Force, and the Force is in us.

James Silvani will be signing and sketching from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kihei Library on Maui. Looks like he’ll be stopping here before moving on to Maui Comics & Collectibles in the afternoon.

Local artist, storyteller and educator Keith U. McCrary will be hosting a cartooning workshop starting at 10 a.m. at Makawao Library on Maui. The program is geared toward ages 6 and up; children must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver.

Kailua-Kona Library will be hosting a cosplay contest in their Young Adult section, open to students from the 4th through 12th grades. Cosplay from any source is welcome! Registration runs from 10 to 10:30 a.m., with the competition (featuring audience participation!) running from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Two winners will each get a $25 Regal Cinemas gift card, perfect for seeing selections from the upcoming GKids Ghibli Film Fest.

Comic book Christmas has arrived anew

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Congratulations, dear otaku! You’ve managed to survive the first four months of the year. Here, have some cookies … err, comics.

Indeed, with all that’s been happening in the real world and its cascade of bad news, we’ve made it to the annual national celebration of comic book culture, Free Comic Book Day. On Saturday, various comic shops and libraries will be giving away a wide range of comic books. 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 what’s available. Put another way, it’s like a comic Christmas.

The books this year run the gamut from summer blockbuster source material (Avengers, Suicide Squad, Captain America) to pop culture icons (Archie, Doctor Who, Strawberry Shortcake, Sonic the Hedgehog) to cool little niche titles that you might not recognize now but might just end up being the next series that you slavishly follow every month. Manga fans, the books you’ll want to look for are Kodansha Comics’ Attack on Titan Anthology preview and a pair from Viz, Pokemon Pocket Comics and the One-Punch Man/My Hero Academia combo sampler. You can find a complete list of what’s available here; just remember that the sites celebrating Free Comic Book Day rarely, if ever, have every book in stock. Don’t forget to patronize your local stores and stick a few dollars in their cash registers, too; while the books are free to readers, they aren’t for the stores.

So where can you go? With six stores and 14 libraries on Oahu and a smattering of locations on the neighbor islands, you certainly have options this year.

Comic book stores

The biggest celebration in the state looks to be at Other Realms (1130 Nimitz Highway, suite C-140) in Iwilei, with cosplayers, gifts for children in cosplay, discounts, door prizes and a FCBD Spongebob Squarepants pin for the first 100 customers. Special guests include Free Isabelo, founder of Live Free Die Free (LFDF) Comics and creator of The Contraptor; Gary Turner, a local TV commercial producer and creator of I, Mage; and the creative team behind Kipaku Kai. Midweek cartoonist, Cacy & Kiara creator and Pepe the Chihuahua kalbi wrangler Roy Chang’s also going to be there, drawing caricatures of people as Funko Pop figures. You know, kind of like this.

roy chang funkofied drawings

… and yes, that is your friendly neighborhood otaku blogger in the upper left corner with a convention badge, funny cosplay hat and phone running Ingress at the ready. I love it.

Dragon’s Lair (95-1840 Meheula Parkway, suite E-10) in Mililani will be hosting artists Jon Murakami, Michael Cannon and Reid Kishimoto, who’ll be doing sketches throughout the day and handing out bookmarks drawn by Comic Jam Hawaii members. I don’t think I’ve ever spotlighted Reid’s artwork in this space before, so here, have some Disney Princess bookmark samples drawn by him.

fcbd bookmarks

Over on Hawaii island, Enjoy Comics (45-201 Pohaku St.) is teaming up with Hilo Public Library and using the day as an opportunity to promote literacy through comics. Comics will be available at the store and at the library, and the library has a special display showcasing local and national comics that will be up all month.

Also giving out comics: Choice Comics (98-1268 Kaahumanu St., suite 104) in Pearl City; Westside Comics and Games (590 Farrington Highway, #538) in Kapolei; and Collector Maniacs (3571 Waialae Ave., suite 102A) and Gecko Books (1151 12th Ave.), both in Kaimuki. Maui readers can visit Maui Comics & Collectibles (333 Dairy Road, suite 102) in Kahului.

FCBD 2015
Various cosplayers and one Face of Hawaii Ingress ™ gather for a picture at Free Comic Book Day 2015 at Aiea Library. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.

Libraries

If getting to a comic book store is too much of a haul for you, your neighborhood library might be able to help. Participating libraries include Aiea, Aina Haina, Hawaii Kai, Kailua, Kalihi-Palama, Kapolei, Manoa, McCully-Moiliili, Mililani, Salt Lake-Moanalua, Waianae, Waikiki-Kapahulu, Waimanalo and Waipahu on Oahu; Princeville on Kauai; Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina and Makawao on Maui; the Lanai Library booth at the Saturday Market in Dole Park on Lanai; and Hilo, Kona and Thelma Parker on Hawaii island.

The libraries will have Comic Jam Hawaii bookmarks, and they’ll have a selection of the following comics:

  • Archie #1
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Avengers #1
  • Bongo Comics Free-For-All (Simpsons)
  • Boom! Studios Summer Blast (featuring Mouse Guard, Adventure Time and Lumberjanes)
  • Captain America #1
  • Dark Horse All-Ages Sampler (featuring The Legend of Korra, How to Train Your Dragon and Plants vs. Zombies)
  • Suicide Squad #1
  • DC Super Hero Girls
  • Doctor Who: Four Doctors Special
  • Grumpy Cat
  • Pokemon Pocket Comics
  • Dark Horse Serenity/Hellboy/Aliens
  • Spongebob Freestyle Funnies
  • Strawberry Shortcake #0

In addition, cosplayers from the 501st Imperial Legion, Rebel Legion Hawaii and Hawaii Cosplayers Guild will be showing up at Aiea, Aina Haina, Kapolei, Manoa, Mililani, Salt Lake-Moanalua, Waikiki-Kapahulu, and Waipahu libraries on Oahu, Makawao on Maui and Thelma Parker on Hawaii island. Lawrence Muleh, a Maui teacher, artist, illustrator, creator, and children’s book author, will be teaching a drawing workshop at Makawao Library at 2 p.m. But the luckiest library in the state has to be Kihei, who’ll be hosting comic artist James Silvani from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among his credits: artwork on Darkwing Duck and Animaniacs comics. Seeing as how those are two of my favorite series ever, I am so jealous of you right now, people of Kihei.

Ota-cool Incoming: The merry, merry month of May

If April was the month of anime, with Kawaii Kon and Consolidated Theaters’ Studio Ghibli Festival capturing the attention of local otaku, then May has to be the month where comic culture takes center stage. The Hawaii Comic & Toy Expo kicks it off, Amazing Hawaii Comic Con puts a nice little bow on it, and there’s Free Comic Book Day and a smattering of comic artist appearances in between to keep us all busy.

But that’s not to say it’s all comics; anime/manga fans have some events to look forward to this month as well — a new movie, idkwhat2wear’s annual clearance sale and the return of an annual festival on Maui are just some of the events to look forward to in the next few weeks. I’ll go into greater detail on some of these coming attractions in future posts, but there’s a really busy weekend coming up, so let’s get around to that right now:

Islandwide Spring Crafts and Food Expo: Otherwise known as “the craft fair where idkwhat2wear unloads ALL THE THINGS.” See, every year there’s one show where Karl Miyashiro and Terri Dux blow out their discontinued T-shirt styles at $6 per shirt. These are styles that usually sell for $19-$21 apiece, so yeah, that’s a pretty healthy chunk of savings change. This photo posted to the idk Facebook page reveals they have … oh, a few shirts.

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Please save Terri from impending cotton-crushing doom and buy some shirts; they’ll be at booth 705. While you’re at the show, go visit Kawaii Mono with their line of origami jewelry, charms and more at booth 408. Admission: $5 general, $4 military families and seniors ages 65 and older, free for children ages 13 and younger. (Be warned: With The Book of Mormon still at the concert hall and comedian Kevin Hart in concert at the arena Saturday and Sunday, parking in the neighborhood is going to be tight.) Blaisdell Exhibition Hall (777 Ward Ave.); 4-9 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

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Hawaii Comic & Toy Expo: Yes, there will be comics, toys and collectibles being sold by more than 40 dealers. But there will be special featured guests in the house, too. Guest of honor Scott Williams is a local boy and University of Hawaii alumnus who’s worked as an artist and inker for Marvel and DC, frequently collaborating with talents like Jim Lee and Frank Miller. Joining him at the show will be local artists Jon Murakami, Kevin Sano, Christopher Caravalho, Andy Lee and HeadShot Heroes. Admission: $3. Ala Moana Hotel (Hibiscus Ballroom), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month at Pearlridge Center; this time around, they’ll be in the center court on the Downtown side of the mall. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Also worth noting: The Friends of Aiea Library will be holding a book sale at the library (99-374 Pohai Place) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; there will be plenty of parking. And where there may not be anything directly related to otaku culture at this year’s Hawaii Book and Music Festival, at the Civic Grounds near Honolulu Hale downtown, it’s still worth checking out anyway. Because local literature and music never go out of style. That runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Elsewhere around town

Maui Matsuri: A kickoff celebration for Maui’s annual celebration of Japanese culture — featuring taiko performances, karate demonstrations, coloring contests and Hello Kitty — will be at the Queen Kaahumanu Center (275 W. Kaahumanu Ave., Kahului) from 6:30 to 9 p.m. today. It’s just a little taste of what will be happening a little over a week from now at UH-Maui College, with food booths, entertainment, and contests for cosplayers, video gamers and artists inspired by the anime/manga art style. Maui residents, go check out mauimatsuri.com and register for some of those contests now! Presented by the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui. Saturday, May 7, 2-9 p.m.

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Free Comic Book Day: It’s almost time for the Annual Comic Book Summer Blockbuster Movie to be released to millions of eager American fanpeeps (*cough*goTeamIronMan*cough*), which means it’s also time for your annual enticement to visit your local comic book store/distributor of choice and pick up a whole stack of free books. Various locations statewide; Saturday, May 7.

Mother’s Day: Don’t forget about your mom. She helped shape you into the person you are today. Also, eat your veggies and don’t slouch, dear. Sunday, May 8.

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Free Isabelo appearances: The founder of Live Free Die Free (LFDF) Comics; creator of The Contraptor, a steampunk-inspired tale about a Secret Service agent looking for his brother’s murderer and the conspirators behind President Lincoln’s assassination; and artist behind the “Steam Royals” series of pop culture icons reimagined with a steampunk twist will be appearing at Other Realms (1130 Nimitz Hwy, suite C140) on Free Comic Book Day and on Wednesday, May 18, and Enjoy Comics in Hilo (45 Pohaku St., unit 201) on Sunday, May 15. He’ll also be at Amazing Hawaii Comic Con … see below for some more details about that show.

Joe Rubenstein on Maui: The longtime artist/inker best known for his work on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s four-issue Wolverine miniseries in 1982 and his inking on The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe for more than 20 years will be visiting Maui Comics and Collectibles in Kahului (333 Dairy Road, unit 102). Get your autographs and commissions there! Wednesday, May 18.

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Project Itoh: Harmony: In this theatrical anime being released stateside by Funimation Films, a mass suicide has rocked the globe, but there’s something about the motives behind the event that seem eerily similar to what Tuan Kirie and her friends attempted when they were teens. Is her old friend Miach Mirie behind the deaths? And if so, how could she be, considering she supposedly died all those years ago? Hmm. Consolidated Ward Stadium 16 theaters, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, and Wednesday, May 18. (I must say, May 18 is shaping up to be a really busy day.)

Cosplay Figure Drawing: Join Mangabento’s Devin Oishi as he leads a six-session series on figure drawing with a key twist: All of the models will be cosplayers. Students can cosplay and interact with the models as well. It’s a fun, informative way to brush up on skills including visual measurement, selecting materials and anatomy. Cost: $150; preregister at https://secure.honolulumuseum.org/auxiliary/Reserve.aspx?p=260. Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St.), room 200; 6-9 p.m. Fridays starting May 20 through June 24.

Amazing Hawaii Comic Con: It’s the second stop of the unofficial official Con-athon 2016! This year’s edition may not have Stan Lee, but it does count among its guests Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, DC Comics everything extraordinaire Jim Lee, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, and amazing/astonishing/uncanny/fill-in-your-own-adjective-here X-Men writer Chris Claremont. They’re also targeting us otaku this year, with guests who’ve done voice work for Dragon Ball Z (Sean Schemmel, the voice of Goku! Chris Sabat, the voice of Vegeta! Chuck Huber, the voice of Android 17!) and Street Fighter. Hawai’i Convention Center, Friday, May 20-Sunday, May 22.

Local manga exhibit crosses over to JCCH

One of the highlights of last year’s otaku calendar was “Crossing Cultures: The Art of Manga in Hawaii,” an exhibit curated by Pen & Ink Works founder Brady Evans that traced the history of manga locally, from its origins in Japan to its influences on the local fan community. I spotlighted it twice in this space during its run, once before it opened, once before it closed. It was a great opportunity to look at original artwork from the featured artists and learn about their creative processes.

I’m still trying to figure out how they let this dork in the building to be part of the exhibit, though.

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CrossCul-JCCH-Invitation-1But let’s say you weren’t able to make it out to see the exhibit last year. It happens; maybe you were too busy during the time it was up between Sept. 6 and Oct. 2, or maybe the drive over the Koolaus to the Windward side didn’t agree with you. Fortunately for you, there’s a second chance coming up to see it, as the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii over in Moiliili hosts its revival starting Saturday. (Members and invited guests can get a sneak peek at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with Brady leading a walkthrough at 6 p.m.)

Brady recently told me that there’s been a healthy chunk of new content added to the exhibit to make a visit worthwhile to those of you who did visit last year. The highlights:

  • Kyunyo, the doujinshi artist featured in the Kawaii Kon section last year, is getting her own spotlight space this year. Pages from her latest work, “Define” — inspired by the anime series Magi — and a copy of the book itself will be on display.
  • Last year’s exhibit had a “Guide by Cell” feature, where visitors could call a number and hear some of the artists talk about their work. New recordings have been added, so this year, you can listen to Audra Furuichi (nemu*nemu), Jordan Takemoto and Tara Tamayori (Hachi Maru Hachi) and Stacey Hayashi (Journey of Heroes) along with last year’s lineup of Brady, Rose Dela Cruz (exhibition label illustrator), Jon Murakami (Gordon Rider), Roy Chang (Cacy & Kiara and the Curse of the Ki’i) and Patsy Iwasaki and Avery Berido (Hamakua Hero).
  • Roy and Audra have painted new murals. Here, have some photos Brady took of their work in progress.

  • The Kikaida section has been beefed up, with more memorabilia — including vintage Kamen Rider, Go-Ranger and Kikaida figurines! — from Scott Shinsato on display.
  • The Alphonse Elric and Persona Teddy costumes have been retired in favor of Voltron, also by the same artist. You might have seen it walking around Kawaii Kon last month.
  • “Meet the Artist/Author” sessions include Patsy and Avery (both of whom are flying in from Hawaii island!) to talk about Hamakua Hero (May 17. 2-3 p.m.) and Stacey talking about Journey of Heroes (May 24, 2-3 p.m.) There’s also going to be a Comic Jam & Artists Showcase with the artists from Comic Jam Hawaii from 1 to 3 p.m. May 31.

The exhibit runs through June 7 at JCCH (2454 S. Beretania St.), The community gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays; admission is free. Ingress players, there’s a portal on site as well as several others within walking distance (all of which consistently hit max-level 8 under Resistance control, sigh). For more on the exhibit, visit hawaiimanga.com.

Ota-cool Incoming!
(special weekend of May 3-4 edition)

The return of “Crossing Cultures” is just one of the events happening in what’s turned out to be a really busy weekend not just for events with an element of otaku-ness in them, but in general. Unrelated to our discussion here, there’s Spam Jam, AARP’s paper-shredding event in Aiea, a craft and gift fair at Recreation Center 5 in Mililani, a neighborhood garage sale in Waipahu mauka of the Leeward Y, near Waipahu Uka Neighborhood Park … yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on. And that doesn’t even count the fact that Sunday’s Star Wars Day (May the 4th, get it?). Here are the highlights.

Ninth Annual Hawaii Book & Music Festival: It’s going to be a busy weekend for Brady and some of the other “Crossing Cultures” artists/authors, as Hawaii Manga — with Brady, Stacey, Roy and the Hachi Maru Hachi gang — will have a booth as part of the annual celebration of local authors and musicians. Swing by the festival’s Author’s Pavilion around 4 p.m. Sunday and you can see Brady, Stacey and Jon talking about the exhibit and manga in Hawaii, too. On the Civic Center grounds near Honolulu Hale; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

FCBD_nodateFree Comic Book Day: Stefanie Nakasone did a good job in our print edition (subscription required) summarizing what’s going on, but for those of you who don’t want to click through, here’s a quick, Twitter-attention-span summary: Saturday. Free comics. Four stores (Westside Comics and Games, Gecko Books, Collector Maniacs, Other Realms), 17 libraries (12 on Oahu, plus Hilo and Thelma Parker Memorial on Hawaii island, Kihei and Lahaina on Maui, and Princeville on Kauai). Go get some (keeping in mind that not all of these books will be available at all locations).

And now, courtesy of The Face of Hawaii Ingress ™, Diane Masaki, here’s who’s showing up where for Free Comic Book Day at the libraries. Unless otherwise noted, all appearances will be at 10 a.m.:

Aiea: Hellboy, Powergirl, Supergirl, White Power Ranger, maybe Cyclops
Aina Haina: Batman and Kamen Rider
Kalihi-Palama: Angel (X-Men: First Class edition), Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, maybe Cyclops
Mililani: Wolverine (plus two surprise guests), Batman, maybe Luigi
Lahaina: Scout Trooper from the 501st Imperial Legion
Kapolei: Members of the 501st Imperial Legion (2-4 p.m.)
Salt Lake: Member of Team Rocket, Jubilee, maybe Cyclops

idkwhat2wear T-shirt blowout: The (take a deep breath here) 17th Islandwide Spring Crafts and Food Expo for Mother’s Day (aaaaaand exhale) is also happening this weekend. I mention this here is because frequent anime con exhibitor/friend of the blog idkwhat2wear will be clearing out T-shirts at this event for $5 each. To drive this point home, this picture appeared on the idk Facebook page late Wednesday afternoon.

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… yeeeeeaaaaah, that’s a lot of shirts.

Find them in booth 705 at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. $4 general admission, $3 military members and seniors 65 and older, free for children ages 13 and under. 4-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Kodomo no Hi: Sure, Children’s Day is technically on Monday, but Sunday’s as good a time as any to welcome back a JCCH event that skipped last year. Jon will be exhibiting at this event, and MangaBento will have a booth set up with various activities for the kiddies. Audra’s also going to be there to promote the Crossing Cultures exhibit from 11 a.m. to noon. They’ll be part of a day that will also feature entertainment, cultural and martial arts demonstrations, the traditional children’s kimono dressing and a keiki kendama tournament. (Your friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger once tried one of those kendamas at the behest of the Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction. It … didn’t go very well.) At the center, 2454 S. Beretania St.; admission is free. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Hawaii Comic & Toy Expo: More than 20 dealers will be on hand to happily take all the money you have … umm, I mean, heartily encourage and nourish your various collectible and comic passions. Also in attendance will be artists Sam Campos, Andy Lee, Theodore Lee, Kevin Sano and Kanila Tripp. Admission is $3; children under 5 are free. Visit www.hawaiicomictoyexpo.com. Ala Moana Hotel (Garden Lanai room), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month at Pearlridge Center; locations within the mall may vary. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The Cel Shaded Report, 5/2: Comics comics comics COMICS!

Iron Man 3 opens on Friday.

Star Wars Day — “May the Fourth be with you,” get it? — is on Saturday.

And comic book geekery, let’s face it, can just be downright fun.

So it is that we’ve come to the annual celebration of comics, downright fun and WOO HOO FREE STUFF known as Free Comic Book Day, happening on Saturday. It’s one of those days when even comic creators can be fans. Why, here’s team nemu*nemu, Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga, with McCully-Moiliili librarian Linnel Yamashita from FCBD 2012.

Audra Furuichi, Scott Yoshinaga and Linnel Yamashita

Of course there will be regular comics — you can scan the full list of possible giveaways (keeping in mind that not everywhere will have the full range of comics) here. Here’s a picture that Aiea Library young adult librarian Diane Masaki sent along of some of the comics that she received to distribute to the various libraries (more on that in a bit).

FCBD 2013 comics

But as the anime/manga blog of record in the Star-Advertiser blogosphere, I’d be remiss if I didn’t show you Viz’s manga contribution to the comic party: samplers from Dragon Ball (that’s the original series, showing Goku as a young boy) and Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration (Nobuhiro Watsuki’s remixed take on his samurai series, currently being serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump USA).

Dragonball and Rurouni Kenshin Restoration

FCBD_nodateSo where can you go to get your comics? Several comic book stores are participating:

  • Collector Maniacs, 3571 Waialae Ave., ste. 102A (Kaimuki)
  • Gecko Books, 1151 12th Ave. (Kaimuki)
  • Other Realms, Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd.
  • Jelly’s, 98-023 Hekaha St. (Aiea) and 670 Auahi St. (Kakaako)

If you visit any of these stores, don’t forget to throw some money at them and buy something in appreciation, too — supporting local small businesses is always a good thing.

Also participating will be 16 libraries, spread out across four islands — 10 on Oahu, three on Maui, two on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai. Not only will there be free comics available, there also will be various cosplayers from the Pacific Outpost of the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion of Hawaii and the Costumers Guild of Hawaii at some branches. You can expect anyone from Stormtroopers to Homestuck characters to superheroes to Resident Evil STARS Rebecca Chambers and Jill Valentine to show up. The appearances were coordinated by Diane, who also said, and I quote, “Don’t forget to bring your camera!” (Yes, that quote was in a press release I was handed. Yes, I actually asked her to repeat that line for me, verbatim, so I could include it in here. I’m just all about journalistic integrity like that.)

I’ve learned some rudimentary HTML coding and cobbled together a handy table with the participating libraries, addresses and phone numbers, and whether they’ll have special cosplayer appearances. (Times are subject to change.)

Address Phone number Cosplayers?
Aiea 99-143 Moanalua Road 483-7333 Yes (10 a.m. and mid-afternoon)
Aina Haina 5246 Kalanianaole Highway 377-2456 Yes (2 p.m.)
Hawaii Kai 249 Lunalilo Home Road 397-5833
Kailua 239 Kuulei Road 266-9911 Yes (noon)
Kalihi-Palama 1325 Kalihi St. 832-3466
Kapolei 1020 Manawai St. 693-7050 Yes (10 a.m.)
Liliha 1515 Liliha St. 587-7577 Yes (10 a.m.)
McCully-Moiliili 2211 S. King St. 973-1099 ***
Mililani 95-450 Makaimoimo St. 627-7470 Yes (2 p.m.)
Waimanalo 41-1320 Kalanianaole Highway 259-2610 Yes (10 a.m.)
NEIGHBOR ISLANDS
Hilo (Hawaii) 300 Waianuenue Ave. 933-8888
Kihei (Maui) 35 Waimahaihai St. 875-6833
Lahaina (Maui) 680 Wharf St. 662-3950 Yes (11 a.m.)
Makawao (Maui) 1159 Makawao Ave. 573-8785 Yes (11 a.m.)
Princeville (Kauai) 4343 Emmalani Dr. 826-4310
Thelma Parker (Waimea, Hawaii) 67-1209 Mamalahoa Highway 887-6067

And then there’s McCully-Moiliili, where there’s a series of three asterisks instead of a regular dash in its row because branch manager Hillary Chang has a whole program planned to go along with the free swagfest. At 10:30 a.m., cartoonist Ray Friesen will talk about Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken, an all-ages graphic novel series that’s actually one of the series featured in Top Shelf Comix’s Top Shelf Kids Club anthology being given out during FCBD 2013.

Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., local anime/manga-inspired art group Pen & Ink Works will be hosting a sketch meet, demonstrations and games. Drawing supplies will be provided; just bring enthusiasm and a creative spirit. And since members Brady Evans, Tara Tamayori and Rose Dela Cruz also happen to be three-quarters of the creative team behind local manga anthology Hachi Maru Hachi, they’ll be joining writer Jordan Takemoto and talking about the process of putting the latest issue together.

Show them a manga page you’ve drawn — whether at the sketch meet or elsewhere — and you can get a postcard with some official Hachi Maru Hachi art, too. Here’s an idea of what they look like.

HMH postcards

I’ll update this post if there’s any more news of FCBD events or online giveaways, but for more on the day itself, visit www.freecomicbookday.com. And don’t forget: Be polite and stay within whatever limits each venue sets for the number of comics you can snag for free. No one likes a greedy person getting in the way.

Update 5/3, 2:40 p.m.: Freebie added to the Aiea Library festivities: Trading card packs, featuring art by some of the Comic Jam Hawaii artists.

Update 5/3, 6:30 p.m.: Lime Media Hawaii is offering free digital copies of Hawaii Star Manga Project issue #5. Visit www.limemediahawaii.com. Also, don’t forget to bring your library card if you’re visiting the libraries for your free comics.

Update 5/4, 7:15 a.m.: Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald has previews and recommendations for every single FCBD book available today. It’s a great guide to take on the go if you have the technological means to do so! Part 1 covers Gold sponsor books, while part 2 and part 3 cover Silver sponsors.

Also through May 5, Nao Yazawa — the manga artist whose series include Wedding Peach and Moon & Blood — is offering her 77-page autobiographical  manga, Go Go Nao-P!, for free on Kindle devices. (After that, it’ll cost $2.99.) According to Anime News Network, Yazawa has said the English version seems to be working only on Fire and Paperwhite models at the moment; I’ve tested it through the Kindle app on my iPad, and it works fine. It’s a collection of 4-koma manga that she first published on her blog starting in 2010. She even translated it to English herself, so while the sentences are a bit stilted, it’s still an impressive feat.

The last days of Poppy Hill (no, really this time)

poppy hill newI’d have to imagine that with the English dubbed version of Studio Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill entering its fifth week at the Kahala 8 theaters, these are the final days for this film’s run in Hawaii. Then again, I said that in last week’s Cel Shaded Report, and we all know how that prediction fared. It’s a bit more cut-and-dry for the Japanese audio/English subtitled version that quietly landed at the Pearlridge West 16 theaters, though. You have six more chances to see it — three today, three more over the weekend — because that version is being nudged out after Sunday. (Looking at the schedule, I think it’s to free up an auditorium for another set of Iron Man 3 screenings on weekdays.) (Update 5/3, 2:40 p.m.: It’s already gone in favor of more Iron Man 3 screenings. Sadness.) Such is life, though, and I certainly applaud Consolidated for bringing in the subbed reel in the first place.

Here are your showtimes, via Fandango. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.

Kahala
Friday and Saturday: Noon and 2:10 p.m.
Sunday: 2:10 p.m.
Monday through Thursday: Noon and 2:10 p.m.

Pearlridge
Friday through Sunday: 10:30 a.m.

Ota-cool incoming!

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month at Pearlridge Center; locations within the mall may vary. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meets every Thursday and Friday in Kuykendall Hall, room 305. Catch Cyborg 009, Kuroko no Basket and Hanasaku Iroha on Thursdays, or Magi, Psycho Pass and Toriko on Fridays. Social time/announcements 4:30 p.m.: screenings 5 to 7 p.m.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200). Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. May 12.

Future attractions

Maui Matsuri: Annual Japanese festival held on the University of Hawaii-Maui College campus. May 11.

Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy: MangaBento’s 2013 exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, June 16-July 14.

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

Oni-Con Hawaii: With guest Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $35 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.

The Cel Shaded Report, 5/3: Freebies assemble!

2012 FCBD logoSo there’s this really big movie opening this weekend. Really big. Several superheroes from recent movies rolled up into one giant juggernaut of a movie big. So big that the Associated Press began its weekly box office earnings story earlier this week by talking about how many hundreds of millions of dollars it made … and it hadn’t even opened yet in the United States.

Indeed, if you haven’t seen any of the other movies that have been out for a while, this weekend might be the best time to catch some of ’em, because it’s a given that all the theaters screening The Avengers will be the ones crammed full of people. The fact that it’s a big weekend featuring a blockbuster movie based on a popular comic book series also can mean only one thing: It’s time for the return of Free Comic Book Day, that one day out of the year when most comic book stores — one three-store chain in Virginia excepted — promote sequential art by giving away books by the boxful.

Four comic book stores are participating on Saturday:

  • Collector Maniacs, 3571 Waialae Ave., ste. 102A (Kaimuki)
  • Gecko Books, 1151 12th Ave. (Kaimuki)
  • Other Realms, Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd.
  • Jelly’s, 98-023 Hekaha St. (Aiea)

If you visit any of these stores, don’t forget to throw some money at them and buy something in appreciation, too — supporting local small businesses is always a good thing.

Thirteen libraries across the state are participating as well — 10 on Oahu, two on Maui, one on Hawaii island. (Sorry, Kauai — just as with The Secret World of Arrietty screenings, looks like you’ve been shut out again.) Some will also be hosting special events. The sites:

  • Aiea (99-143 Moanalua Road) — 501st Imperial Legion visits from 10 a.m. to noon; from 3 to 5 p.m., the gang from Comic Jam Hawaii, a group of local cartoonists that meets regularly for fellowship, drawing and creative brainstorming, will be at the library for a Free Comic Day Jam. The public can join in, too.
  • Aina Haina (5246 Kalanianaole Highway) — Oahu FanForce, a group with members cosplaying as various Star Wars characters, visits from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • Hawaii Kai (249 Lunalilo Home Road)
  • Hilo (300 Waianuenue Ave)
  • Kailua (239 Kuulei Road) — 501st Imperial Legion visits from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Kapolei (1020 Manawai St.) — Rebel Legion Hawaii visits from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • Kihei (35 Waimahaihai St.)
  • Lahaina (680 Wharf St.)
  • Liliha (1515 Liliha St.) — Rebel Legion Hawaii visits from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • McCully-Moiliili (2211 S. King St.) — Rebel Legion Hawaii visits from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Mililani (95-450 Makaimoimo St.) — 501st Imperial Legion visits from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Waianae (85-625 Farrington Highway)
  • Waimanalo (41-1320 Kalanianaole Highway) — 501st Imperial Legion visits from 10 a.m. to noon.

While there aren’t any giveaways of Japanese manga — you’ll just have to resort to the increasing number of chapter samples available year-round on legal manga sites like jmanga.comvizmanga.com and pretty much any manga publisher website you can think of for that — there are a few properties that manga fans may be interested in, including Archie Comics’ Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog books and OEL (original English language) manga Voltron Force: Shelter From the Storm from Viz and The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel from Yen Press. As for properties without manga ties, I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for … well … a bunch of other titles that I don’t have the time and energy to hyperlink at the moment, but you can pretty much guarantee that if it’s tied in to some cartoon, Mouse Guard or Moomins, I’m interested. A complete list is available at http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/981; note that the locations listed below won’t necessarily be carrying all these titles.

UPDATE, 5/5: I’ve gotten word of several neat online-exclusive freebies that will be available during Free Comic Book Day as well. For one day only, Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga are offering digital copies of nemu*nemu volume 1; not only do you get the first year of strips as they were printed online, you’ll also get commentary from Audra and Scott, character profiles and bonus sketches. (And trust me, Anpan and Nemu looked very different from how they look now.) Visit hensh.in/c0 and click on the banner at the top of the page.

Meanwhile, the gang over at Lime Media Hawaii is offering digital copies of Hawaii Star Manga Project issue no. 5. This giveaway’s not limited to just today; it’ll be available until the long-in-gestation sixth issue is released. Included are installments of the comics “The Hylanthean,” “The Tobias Wah Chronicles” and “Children of Aumakua,” as well as the continuing prose saga “River of Stars [:another realm].” Visit www.limemediahawaii.com and follow the links.

Anime around town

nakamaboko2MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists is hosting the “Coloring With Copics + Manga Mania” workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, 1111 Victoria St., room 201. There will be demonstrations of Copic and other popular Japanese markers, as well as an art jam session in advance of the group’s “”Nakamaboko: Working Together” exhibit opening next month. (This is also a great time to remind you that you have until May 23 to submit work for that exhibit. More details in this post.) Cost is $10; bring your own drawing materials. Visit www.manga-bento.com.