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Anime Boston | Convention report

by  in Comic News Comment
Anime Boston | Convention report

Anime Boston is a fan con, not a big industry con, so it has a great cosplay scene but not a lot of manga news. While I don’t follow anime, I am reliably informed that a lot of the costumes this year were based on Hetalia: Axis Powers, so that may be the Next Big Thing; coincidentally, Amazon is listing the manga as a September Tokyopop release (Amazon is not 100% accurate, so I’m waiting for confirmation on that). Also: Someone was cosplaying as Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials. And Jesus was there; since it was the day before Easter, maybe he had some time off. (There’s a Catholic chapel next to the entrance to the Hynes Convention Center, and the mingling of churchgoers and cosplayers is always amusing; I wonder if any of the priests were startled to see their boss heading toward the doors.)

People were certainly lining up enthusiastically for the anime screenings and there were plenty of panels on cultural topics, including Japanamerica author Roland Kelts, who spoke about the cross-fertilization of Japanese and American culture. I didn’t have time for any other panels, but I did spend some time in the Artists Alley, which always seems to feature some interesting cartoonists, not necessarily of the manga variety. This year was no exception.

Dirk Tiede was there, and by Saturday evening he had already sold out of the third volume of Paradigm Shift. Dirk recently wrapped up a story arc and is taking a bit of a break while he tours the Midwest — the next time I see him will probably be at C2E2 — but he hopes to launch the new arc in the late spring.

The Oswald Chronicles, by JD Calderon, is a series of richly illustrated prose novels and comics about a mouse and various magical creatures who all live in midtown Manhattan. I was drawn to their booth last year by the look of their art, and the same thing happened this year. It’s a very attractive series, and they have a couple of sample prose stories online, but alas, no comics.

I picked up the first volume of Atomic Robo, which my friends were enthusiastically recommending, and Scott Wegener was kind enough to autograph it for me.

Garth Cameron Graham blogged that he was doing a panel titled “Steampunk to Cyberpunk: a History,” and I’m sorry I missed it, but I picked up his card and will be checking out his webcomic Finders Keepers.

Sky Pirates of Valendor, by Everett Soares and Brian Brinlee, features sky pirates, zombies, exploding ships, and a divorced couple who are forced to work together. What’s not to like? I was drawn in by the colorful cover of their trade paperback and bought a copy; there are samples up on their website.

At the same booth, Susan Soares handed me a copy of Iconic, an anthology of short comics based on characters from history and literature. It’s an interesting collection, featuring stories about Cuchulainn, Mark Twain and John Henry, among others, all written and illustrated by members of the Comicbook Artists Guild.

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