Actually, I didn't go to any panels. I stayed in the Exhibit Hall to help cover Company B's booth, to thank my friend A for staying up with me the night before.
I do like selling merchandise. I wish my clients would ask me to help out at their booths at conventions. Of course, I would be pushing the products I was involved in.
Company B's Y-san told me that the Juvenile Orion illustration books were down to what they brought to Comic-Con. Wow! So they're almost sold out... So if you still haven't gotten it yet, please do!
While I was at the booth: My graphic designer friend F came by to say bye (she lives in NorCal). We talked a bit about the projects we're both working on, and about Yaoi Con, because that's the next time I'll get to see her.
AoD staff reviewer M came by to say goodbye, and we talked a bit more about Comic-Con and other stuff.
And my potential client, R from Company JCP came by to say hi. We only knew each other through email, so... He actually came to the Company B booth to say hi to someone else, but found me instead. So it was by lucky chance we got to meet. I also got to meet R's partner S-san.
I got home at 3am in the morning.
Anyway, that's it for 2007 San Diego Comic-Con. 2008 San Diego Comic-Con will be from July 24 to July 27. It will probably sell out again, so remember to register early!
Saturday, the busiest day. Although it says on the Comic-Con website that all days are sold out. So all days would be equally busy, no?
I checked tennis scores before I left, and unfortunately Kei lost. But he went to the quarterfinals in his second ATP tournament, and that’s REALLY good.
Anyway. Off to Comic-Con.
I went to the Exhibit Hall first, because that was where I could catch my breath. The hallways, panel rooms, even the spaces under the stairs were packed with people.
I went to the first half of the State of Animation Industry panel. Almost everyone in the room were animators, and I felt out of place.
But I did like that one of the panelists stated that hopefully animation will be seen as entertainment for adults, and not just kids. I would like to see an anime movie with mature themes like Paprika (and not just because I worked on it) get nominated for the Oscars, rather than movies with animal characters voiced by Hollywood actors. Although I guess I shouldn’t be saying something like this when I haven’t watched Cars or Monster House or whatever else that was on the Oscars list.
Anyway. I had to get out of the panel because I was really, really hungry. So I had some nachos, something I’ve been craving for a while. The cheese was cold and the chips were salty, though.
Then I went to Company DR’s panel.
They licensed Gyakuten Saiban! (Well, one of the manga, at least).
It’s too bad I’m not working on it, but it’s okay. Spreading the Gyakuten Saiban love is good enough for me.
They didn’t announce anything new that I worked on, but they did introduce Yozakura Quartet.
I then went to a panel called The Hero Initiative: I’m Supposed to Retire on This!? This was actually my best panel of the con. It's financial information for professional comic people, but I thought it would be useful to me because I’m self-employed too, much like comic writers or inkers. It was run by a financial advisor and a tax preparer.
I knew most of the information already, but I did get new information and I’m really grateful. They had a raffle giving away stuff, and I actually won something...a DVD called “Marvel Then and Now.” I would’ve preferred the IRS or entrepreneur book (or a tutorial DVD provided by the IRS), but it’s cool; I’m happy I won. (I never win those things).
At night I went to the Company YP party. I got to yell (there was loud music in the background) to Tania and Kurt, as well as MangaCast Ed and AoD reviewer M and his lovely wife.
I came back to the hotel and immediately looked up tennis news, and Blake lost to Querry. What an upset!! I was cheering for both (well, Blake more than Querry). Good job, Sam!
Tomorrow it's finally over, and I don't have much planned, so I might just stay in the hotel and work. (And watch tennis).
I woke up from a dream where I killed Hilary Clinton dressed in pink with a deadly weapon.
Then I got ready and went to Comic-Con.
The first panel I went to was Meeting the Writers of Crayon Shin-chan. This was actually my first time seeing Shin-chan in English. I had seen Japanese episodes a loooong time ago when they were popular.
Gee, I didn’t know how much freedom they had. But it was funny and well done.
I then went to the Exhibit Hall and helped Company BV sell some FREEDOM DVDs. Maybe it’s the plot about government conspiracy that gets people interested? By the way, if you buy it from their booth you will receive an autographed FREEDOM DVD insert by director Morita. So check it out!
I then went to Company T’s panel with my graphic designer friend F. They went through a load of information, so please check out anime news sites for that.
F and I returned to the Exhibit Hall, shared a hot dog, and talked about the industry for a while. Then she had to go get in line for an autograph, so I helped Company B stamp cards for the stamp hunt. There I ran into Rich from Anime Vegas. Hopefully I can go this year.
After that I went to Company B’s panel. I sat with Ed from MangaCast, who did a really good job covering the panel. Please check it out here.
The audience thought the title “Sex Friend” was funny. I hope they like it...I’m working on it soon.
And the jankenpon game was really fun. I think everyone enjoyed it.
They gave away Kon Kon Kokon stickers at the end. I didn’t take one, but instead I chatted with Stephen from Company G. We promised to have a karaoke night among industry people now that the convention season is almost over.
I stayed in the room for the Company 7S panel. I didn’t know that they had announced the title I worked on previously. It’s Voiceful, one of their Strawberry line. It is a story about a girl and a singer who gives her courage.
And I stayed again for the Company YP panel.
With the Light #1 will be coming out in September, but please remember that it might not be in the manga section at some stores. It might be in Child Development or something similar.
That’s it for Day 2.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention yesterday I saw SatoP (producer Sato) from Company G. I told him that we talked at the flower viewing for Company G back in March, but he didn't remember. Which I figured, because he was under the influence. (And who isn't at a flower viewing?)
I met up with my graphic designer friend F, and went to Company YP to meet up with Kurt and Tania. I've known Kurt for a while now, but this was my first time meeting him. They are very friendly.
For them, I gave Tania a Pichon-kun plushie and a Sushi Azarashi cell strap to Kurt. Too bad Kurt's cell phone doesn't have a cell strap hole.
We looked around the Exhibit Hall a bit, but since F and I are both around 5' tall, we were pushed around a lot.
I then went to some panels.
I really enjoyed the DC Crossover panel, because all of the panelists are writers. I like writers.
They said that it was interesting how Comic-Con has grown so big that it is like Sundance, and Hollywood has shut down for the weekend to be down here.
I liked the "movie executive jokes" they made.
I went back to the Exhibit Hall and was hanging around the Company B area. Then a guy came along and he was wondering if he should buy Delivery Cupid. I overheard him, and I told him the series was cute and funny, and I should know because I translated it.
Then he bought the book and asked me for an autograph.
I felt really bad that I was tainting his book, but he insisted, so I signed it. This isn't the first time someone actually asked for an autograph (I swear, it's not worth ANYTHING guys!). A fan of KAMUI asked me once too. But this was the first time I wrote on a product...
I just hope he enjoys the book.
I met the president of UART (they make really good figures...please check out the Paprika one!), editor-in-chief of Wani Books (they have titles such as Mahoromatic, Ikki Tousen, etc) and a property rights person from SE. (I think he's a manager, but his business card is very humble). From the US side, I met the buyer from B&N books, and a producer from Geneon.
I'm really tired because I didn't take a nap today, which I usually do at home. Working freelance does spoil you.
Oh, and Kei won at Indianapolis today! I can't believe he won the 2nd round! My friend spoke to him after the 1st round match, and he actually has allergies AND has a cold, but he still won. Go Kei!
So for lunch I treated myself to something more expensive.
I went to Anthony's to get clam chowder and a grilled salmon sandwich. I got a side of white rice (it comes with a choice of white rice, french fries, etc), and it made me laugh that they attached a packet of soy sauce with it. I should've brought umeboshi.
Then off to Comic-Con. There was a short but fast line for the Professionals line, and for some reason my guest pass name was messed up. I registered my best friend Huy, but the lady said, "And your guest, Jason, is here?"
I was like, uh...no. It should be a Chinese name.
She said I had to get in a different line to fix that, but I didn't because Huy is not here anyway.
This was my first year going to the Preview Night, and my goodness, it's packed!! I guess it's because the Exhibit Hall is the only thing that's open, and people are eager to get their hands on stuff today so that they can focus on panels for the rest of the weekend.
Here are some pictures from the Exhibit Hall. I couldn't take much, because of the number of people around.
These are lobsters with faces on their crotches.
Banners of Alita and Kai at Company B.
Pops displayed at Company SE.
Spread the Gyakuten Saiban love! I guess the third one is coming out in October. Wow, that's fast. This third one is my favorite one, because it connects stories from the past (like, way back...I didn't remember some of the storylines).
And I finally got to meet my editor from Company DR! I gave her a Coo cap as a small gift of appreciation.
It resembles the hat Ao wears in Yozakura Quartet, and I remember her saying in her newsletter that she wanted to cosplay. This hat is an easy way to cosplay. People can wear it to the office on Halloween or something.
Y-san is a person I met a Anime Expo. Although we're 10 years apart in age, we hit it off immediately.
It's too bad she's in San Francisco now, but at least we communicate via Mixi (a Japanese social networking site). And we promised we'll see each other at Yaoi Con.
Anyway, currently we are talking about the Glass Mask.
I wonder how many people understand what we're talking about? Here's an excerpt (translated):
SatsumaPotato Joining the Tsukikage Troupe must be tough. I can't have bamboo sticks wrapped around my body to learn the movements of becoming a doll.
Y-san I'm currently practicing not to blink. But I can only do it for a minute, max. It's hard to master the "water" act in The Miracle Worker, since I don't have a washing machine at home.
SatsumaPotato I think it's dangerous to do it the Ayumi way. I would recommend Maya's way using the water balloon...
Y-san I guess I would get electrocuted. Ayumi Himekawa is amazing not to die.
SatsumaPotato I think Ayumi is more humanlike compared to Tsukikage sensei who doesn't die no matter how many seizures she has, or no matter how many times she coughs up blood.
H-san In order to become one with your role, you should be like Maya and say, "I'm a doll, I'm a doll, mumble mumble mumble..." and have white eyes.
If you're going to be in a play, please let me know. I'll become Masumi Hayami and take a purple rose. You have to tell me ahead of time, because the local florist told me that purple roses need advance notice.
I think we can go on forever. The Glass Mask has soooooo many references.
The Propel commercial with the song "Under Pressure" running in the background reminds me of the new Transformers.
San Diego Comic-Con is next week, and I already have my list of panels to visit.
Friday is the busiest day, and I think that's because most of my clients have a panel that day.
I'm also going to the Warner Brothers thing that day, even though they will not be doing anything "The Dark Knight" related. I am really disappointed in that...I heard that they are doing something at Wizard World Chicago instead. Shiku shiku... By the way, the Dark Knight will be released in theaters in a year from today.
I was at SDCC only for two days last year, but this year I will go for all 4.5 days (including Wednesday's preview night).
And of course, I'll be taking work to keep myself busy in the hotel.
First, I got Ghost Hunt #8. This is the first time reading GH #8, but it wasn't scary at all because I know what happens in #9. I think it was nice of Company DR to send me #8 when I didn't work on it. (Well, I did work on some pages when they wanted me to confirm some missing translations).
By the way, Ghost Hunt #8 and #9 takes place in Kanazawa. Kanazawa is one of the places in Japan that I feel have many murders and stuff (in fiction, not in real life). This is not based on facts; it's just perception. I know I shouldn't say this because I get a little annoyed when people from Japan would say, "Don't you get shot in Los Angeles?"
Geez. I just live next doors to drug dealers and gangster wannabes, that's all.
The other book I got from Company DR is KAGETORA #6.
This is a cute volume because Kagetora and Yuki's love develops. Well, they have a bunch of obstacles...
From Company B, I got the sample for Delivery Cupid.
I guess it's going to be available at Otakon this weekend, so please check it out...if you're over 18. Minors can't read it yet!!
Another book I got was KAMUI #8. There is a kiss between two characters... Now guess which two! Hint: the two are the same sex.
I guess there's not much information out there on Yozakura Quartet, so I'll give random info here.
Hime, Kotoha, Ao, and Akina are all part of the Hiizumi Everyday Life Consultation Office. They solve problems in the town the police can't handle. Hime has super-human powers, Kotoha has the ability to materialize her words (for example, if she says "microphone," a microphone will pop out of nowhere), and Ao can read people's minds. What can Akina do? Since it'll be a spoiler I'll keep that a secret for now.
Currently there is a fugitive trigger-happy psycho on the loose, and the Hiizumi crew take on the case. This psycho was able to escape prison by jumping over a 10-meter high wall, which is why the Hiizumi decide to handle the case.
Can Hime, Kotoha, Ao, and Akina catch the psycho? What's the secret of the Seven Pillars that stand in the town? Who's the mysterious cat-eared man with glasses? Is the hat Ao wears the same brand as the one Coo (from Di Gi Charat) wears?
...Please read the manga to find out! (Disclaimer: Reading volume 1 will not answer some of these questions).
By the way, this is my Xth manga with a character named Hime.
Since I have a little bit of a break before my next deadline, I'll introduce a manga I like.
It's called Kiyoku Yawaku, an omnibus manga series by shojo master Ryo Ikuemi.
For those of you who don't know Ryo Ikuemi, she is one of the "kanban" manga artists for the magazine Cookie. The other "kanban" artist for Cookie is Ai Yazawa. This means that Cookie will use either one of them to generate sales for that month's issue.
(Kanban literally means "sign" or "(advertising) display;" kanban musume would mean "poster girl.")
Anyway, back to Kiyoku Yawaku.
It's a collection of different love stories. Sometimes it ends happily, sometimes it doesn't.
The second story in volume 1 is about a love triangle + 1. Kanna, Haruta, Maya + Asami. Pretty sad. I think the Kanna, Haruta, Maya story is in every volume... Until volume 4. (I didn't get volume 5 yet).
So I'll talk about them.
People who don't like spoilers, please don't drag and read below.
Kanna and Haruta are childhood friends. Now that they are in high school, they're not sure if they're just friends anymore.
In high school they meet Mayama (Maya) and Asami, and the four become good friends.
Maya and Haruta are in love with Kanna, Asami is in love with Haruta, and Kanna just doesn't know. But since Maya is the one making moves on her, she thinks she might like Maya.
They night Maya and Kanna sort of "get together," Haruta dies in an accident.
Asami doesn't forgive Maya and Kanna for being together on the night Haruta died, and Maya and Kanna just feel bad about everything.
Volume 2. Skip to the future, and Maya meets a girl named Ai. (In this story, the story is told from Ai's point of view).
They get closer but then they coincidentally bump into Kanna.
In volume 3, the story goes back to the past. The story is about Ichie, a girl who liked Haruta, and Haruta's cousin Kiyo. Of course, Kanna appears in this story too.
My favorite arc is the Ichie & Kiyo story. It's actually the longest one in the series too. But the Ichie & Kiyo story wouldn't have been good without the Kanna + Haruta + Maya story. And that is why this omnibus manga is an omnibus manga.
Anyway, I really don't do justice to the manga by introducing it here.
Let's just hope Company V or someone will license it and bring it over.