Editor’s note: Today we kick off a series of lists aimed at fans attending the San Diego Comic-Con next week. Watch for more of them each day up until the con begins.
Anime and manga make up a vital but ultimately small cross-section of the San Diego Comic-Con. That being said, there are still plenty of ways for the average Naruto (or Bleach, or Sailor Moon, or what have you) fan to get their otaku on without too much trouble. Here are but five suggestions:
1) See the great Hayao Miyazaki in person. The finest animator ever (take that Windsor McCay!) and quite possibly one of the greatest filmmakers alive today will be at Friday’s DisDisney: Animation Panel to preview portions of his latest film, Ponyo On a Cliff. Pixar’s John Lasseter and Patton Oswalt will also be there, but who cares about them? This is the chance to see the master in person. I think you have to turn in your Pocky and start reading Ultimates 3 if don’t go to this one.
2) Visit the Fanfare/Ponent Mon booth. You’ll no doubt be perusing the exhibitors’ area frequently during the show. But in between your visits at Viz and Tokyopop booths, may I suggest seeing what Euro-Japanese publisher Fanfare has to offer? They have a pretty strong line-up of books coming out this year, many of them by the stellar Jiro Taniguchi. I’d also recommend stopping by Drawn and Quarterly’s booth to see if they have preview copies of any of their upcoming manga releases, like Red Snow.
3) Attend a Viz panel. They’re the biggest kid in the publishing playground these days, and, as a result, publishing some of the most interesting and vibrant manga around. You’ve got quite a few panels to choose from this year. My money would be to go for Saturday’s talk on the new IKKI Web site — I’m curious to hear what that deal means for the company down the road. But there’s also the general panel Friday where they’ll no doubt be revealing all sorts of goodies, or the Shonen Jump (also Friday) where you can hear Stan Lee talk about his new Ultimo series.
4) Attend another panel of some sort. If I were attending the con (sigh) I’d definitely want to check out the “Best and Worst Manga” panel (Thursday), if for no other reason than just to hear what Deb Aoki and Tom Spurgeon have to say about Black Jack. I’d also be stopping by the “Lost in Translation” panel (again, Thursday) to hear about just how tough a job translating manga exactly is. Elsewhere, Yen Press and Del Rey will be holding panels to preview their upcoming releases, but I’m curious to see what CMX has planned for the coming year, since a lot of folks have been wondering if that imprint would go the way of DC’s Minx line.
5) Catch some anime. A wealth of anime programs will be running every day during the con. What better way to take a load off of your weary feet than catching 30 minutes of Hayate the Combat Butler, Ah! My Buddha or Ninja Nonsense? I can’t think of one.