UPDATE: A number of manga creators have tweeted messages to their fans in English.
Bisco Hatori, creator of “Ouran High School Host Club” and “Millennium Snow” and yaoi manga artists Ayano Yamane (best known for the “Finder Series”) and Hinako Takanaga (“Challengers,” “Little Butterfly”) all tweeted that they are safe.
“Yotsuba&!” creator Kiyohiko Azuma tweeted pictures of a toppled CD rack and broken anime figures, but was apparently unharmed.
Former “Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane” artist Takeshi Miyazawa, who has been living in Japan while developing a career as a manga artist, posted at his blog:
It started with my lamp and monitor shaking and then pretty much consumed my entire apartment. It was difficult staying on my feet. Pots were falling off their hooks and papers were all over my floor. The only thing I could do was hide under my work table. I counted at least 5 aftershocks all pretty significant.
The 8.9 magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast of Japan earlier today, and the tsunami that followed, have been the subject of a flurry of tweets and news updates from comics creators, translators and bloggers in Japan and the affected areas. The aftershocks are continuing as of this writing, as is the flow of news through social media.
Tokyopop CEO Stu Levy, who arrived in Tokyo two days ago, described the experience in a blog post at America’s Greatest Otaku:
My apartment rattled, rolled and kept shaking for what seemed like forever. Very, very scary. We’ve all been on Twitter and Facebook and skype – the cell phones aren’t working!
People are so nice to each other – helping out. Hotels are letting people all stay there because the trains are stopped and even Apple is giving away free iPhone charges for people. But Tokyo has it good – the incredible damage up north in Miyagi and Iwate is horrifying. The ocean has drowned the cars and buildings, washing them away.
The offices of Manga University, a small American publisher of manga and how-to books located north of Tokyo, suffered some damage, but in a direct message via Twitter, CEO Glenn Kardy said no one was hurt.
Brian Michael Bendis and his family are currently in Hawaii, but he reassured his Twitter followers that he was safe on high ground. He described the experience in a series of tweets:
every time you sort of calm yourself down the tsunami alarm blares across the sky
we’re still safe, 1/2 hour away from the first waves, but we are not in the evac zone. we can here the waves. and they are loud. alarm now.
the ocean is damn louder, roaring, and it just got much colder. everyone still safe. most sleeping. i’m poppa bear tonight
Matt Fraction and his family are also in Hawaii, watching the tsunami countdown on TV to a backdrop of civil defense sirens. “water levels are up, surf starting to crash. on shore in Waikiki. tsunamis are, apparently, a process,” he tweeted earlier this morning.
Manga translator Matt Thorn, who lives in Kyoto, far from the earthquake’s center, tweeted that he is safe. “It’s far less deadly (so far) than the ’95 Hanshin quake, but it just goes on and on, hitting a very wide area,” he added.
Matt Alt, translator of “Dorohedoro” and author of “Yokai Attack!,” lives in Japan with his wife Hiroko and was interviewed by CNN and the New York Times, but his tweets about the smaller aspects of being in a quake really brought the reality home:
Hiroko as always was on top of things. “Open the doors so they don’t get stuck! And grab our shoes, bring them inside!
I knew “this was it” when a Japanese person told me to bring shoes inside house. It’s funny how little things like that stick with you
Hiroko is telling me to sleep with jacket in close reach tonight. It’s little things like this they teach you in earthquake drills, I guess
Anime News Network has posted a list of anime and manga events that were canceled because of the earthquake.