Her face is iconic worldwide. Everywhere you go, you can find Hello Kitty on nearly every product imaginable – dolls, pencils, candy, and even laundry baskets. In fact you can quickly scan my room and count more than a handful of Hello Kitty items (and much more with a thorough search). As such, it was a surprise for us to discover that this iconic character has never been in her own comic book/manga/graphic novel. Well this is going is going to change very soon.
Viz media ( the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga, graphic novels and anime in North America) has joined forces with Sanrio to develop an original graphic novel series as well as a limited edition single-volume comic. The single-volume comic Hello Kitty: Fashion Music Wonderland will include an exclusive cover by Jacob Chabot and will feature art by Victoria Maderna, Ian McGinty and Chabot. The stand-alone comic will debut at the 2013 Comic-Con Show in San Diego. The graphic novel series Hello Kitty: Here We Go will be released Fall 2013 and will be rated A for All ages.
“Hello Kitty has places to be and friends to meet! Join her as she explores an underground realm, chases an unsavory cake thief around the world, climbs the Himalayas, travels back in time, and discovers that sometimes, the best place to get away from it all is between the pages of a good book.”
AM2 (Animation, Music, and Manga) are looking for attendee models (male and female) to strut down the AM2 runway for various Japanese brands (Putumayo, Sikh) during the three day convention event at the Anaheim Convention Center. Interested parties can register online and those selected will receive a one (1) day fast-pass/Passport and will receive all benefits associated it for themselves and a friend. All participating models selected MUST show up for a scheduled fitting prior to the event.
Deadline to be considered is May 15th, 2012. More info and model registration can be found here.
Located in Anaheim, California – AM2, established in 2010, is a multi-day (3 days) 24 hour event with no general attendance/badge purchase requirement and is aspiring to be a key meeting place for fans that share a common interest in Asian music, Animation/Anime, and Comics/Manga. Nominal fees are charged for certain activities that attendees choose to participate in. AM2 will be held on June 15-17, 2012 at the Anaheim Convention Center in sunny Anaheim, California. More information can be found at www.am2con.org.
Nothing says spring like cherry blossoms. And if you’re in the East Coast this weekend, you’re in luck. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which has more than 200 Japanese flowering cherry trees — the most diverse array outside Japan — will be holding its annual Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival. On May 1 and 2, come out and join tens of thousands as they revel in spring’s most picturesque display.
But it’s not just a botanical wonderland. The festival has evolved into a celebration of the best of both traditional and contemporary Japanese arts and culture — and you know what that means. Cosplay! Short for “costume play,” cosplay has become an integral part of any celebration of Japanese culture. Gawk at lush cherry blossoms and cosplayers alike, all while enjoying dance, martial arts, food, manga, workshops, demonstrations, and guided tours of the Garden’s Japanese-inspired plant collections.
There’s a lot going on in just a weekend, but highlights include:
* Traditional taiko drumming, as well as the more modern COBU, a taiko drum-meets-rhythmic footwork team founded by and featuring members of STOMP!
* Concerts by Brooklyn-based Japanese gypsy rock band Kagero
* Thrilling karate demonstrations and original action drama by Samurai Sword Soul
* One of the more popular events is the Sakura J-Lounge, which has been expanded to feature even more manga, anime, and cosplay culture,
including a “high tea” for the Victorian maidens and boho Bo-Peeps; a para para party with New York’s best anime dancers; and a stunning fashion show that demonstrates how creative cosplay can be.
And of course, there’ll be plenty of traditional Japanese arts and music like ikebana (flower arranging) and Japanese cuisine.
For festival hours, admission and schedule, check out the festival’s official site.
All photos courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.