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You see that guy behind the table reaching for the porns?

He is a good man.

You see the guy behind him? He is an asshole.

That booth makes me very very sad.

Bet you a donut there was not ONE SINGLE TABLE with copies of Aura Battler Dunbine, Galaxy Railways, or Star Blazers to be had.

OK, *maybe* the Funimation table bothered to put some Galaxy Railways box sets out. MAYBE.

And which is the REAL porn? That booth, or the giant Black Lagoon banner at ADV's booth (seen in the background), where the main chara has her cootchie just about hanging out and in your face with the REALLY BIG PISTOL to draw your eyes towards her heavenly triangle...

Having looked through those boxes, I can pretty much say that's the real porn.

Expo apparently was pretty badly handled:

It looks like the one I'll be making it to soon is going to be just as bad. At least AWA has its reputation intact.

By the way, how's Galaxy Railways? I watched a bit once and it seemed like someone thought 999 should be about repairing trains instead of having adventures with them. Could be wrong.

Well, that's the same fellow I buy my Chosen Ame from, so I'll wave cheerfully at the scene. I did see a dude who was selling some old issues (1983-84) of THE ANIME for only $5.00 apiece. But as for Anime Expo and Japanese pride, when oh when will foreigners learn to appreciate the more refined things about Japan, such as tea ceremony and flower arranging? Not these shameful cartoons!

Tea ceremony and flower arrangement are vastly overrated elements of Japanese culture that are irrationally praised by pretentious academic wannabe anthropologists. Seedy otaku subculture is still culture.

Even if Black Lagoon--which is a Geneon release, not an ADV one--WAS porn, it wouldn't be especially good porn since Revy has one of the single most hideous tattoos of all time. Even The Rock hasn't quite gone that far yet! I guess we should thank our Lucky Stars (OH BURN) that she's at least a fully grown woman as opposed to yet another jailbait loli, but that's not changing the fact that the total amount of Black Lagoon porn in my possession is zero.

As for availability of Dunbine et al, I'm sure plenty of dealers had stuff like that in their clearance bins since nobody wanted them. Just not the final two volumes of Dunbine, is all. However, Tim Eldred reports that as massively gigantic as the Anime Expo dealer's room is, NOT A SINGLE DEALER had Volume 1 of Phoenix.

Whatever happened to the notion that all these huge sales of Naruto and Bleach would supposedly subsidize the Viz Signature lineup? Doesn't common sense dictate that you print more copies of Volume 1 of any given series than anything else? People won't find out that the volumes are standalone if they're never inclined to even start the thing since they can't find the beginning. It's like when you go into the bookstore and they only have Volume 10 of something, thus limiting the amount of potential customers to people who already have 1-9.

Still, I think that one interview excerpt encapsulates THE TRUTH more succinctly than I could have ever hoped. Mainly because there aren't exactly very many (if any) actual Japanese people at the anime cons around here.

I stand corrected on Black Lagoon. The back of my mind knew it was Geneon, but those booth banners SCREAM ADV and their NATPE booth.

As I posted on the D-fest list Daryl, to me the shameful thing was Viz didn't have a booth in the dealer's room specifically to SELL those lonely not Naruto or Bleach manga titles, the 'hard to sell' things that need that extra push, that bump. But I'm sure they'll be at SDCC, and they won't have Pheonix at that booth either....

Galaxy Railways is a 'Man's Journey'show in the best Matsumoto tradition. It's got lots of angst and stuff. I've classed it as the best of his 'post 1999' projects, head and shoulders above such crap as DNAsights and Maetel Legend. Now if I could only find anything past vol.2....

And now you know why I quit going to AX years ago: it's A-Kon without the charm.

But seriously — asking a Japanese in America if one of these geekfests makes him kvell patriotically isn't fair. My guess is that the guy in the interview probably wouldn't have been too thrilled with the upskirt cosplay photo action at Comiket, either. Hey, all I know is that f I were in France and a monster truck show was going on in the ParisDome (or whatever), I probably wouldn't be feeling much warmth about the old red, white 'n' blue.

Steve: you can forget finding the Oldie Moldies at a con dealers room. It's hard enough to turn a buck these days selling NARUTO crap — no dealer is going to waste shelf space on any of the stuff from our day. The kids hate that stuff. The real opportunity to PROFIT! at the cons is not by selling anime stuff, anyway. Anime has become, at best, peripheral in the whole, vast configuration of things. What sells is merchandise geared to the Total Otaku LIfestyle — you know, the crap I push. That's a trend that's going to continue. We are not selling anime anymore. We are supplying the artifacts of a new culture — a Pacific Culture. These kids don't think of themselves as anime fans; to them, it's just life. And I think that's great.

I sure do wish more dealers would carry the '60s and '70s stuff, though. I have great nostalgia for the Expo '70 years. Oldbruce is OLLLLLLLLLLD...

But Bruce...they're not selling Japanese (or generic Asian) Culture...they're selling faux trappings.

Where's my Telephone Pole Gang happi coat?

Where's my big ass bowl hat as worn by Tenkai in Dagger of Kamui?

Hells, boy, all I saw at JAFAX was damn COOLIE HATS...and small cheap ones at that! Swear to god I expected to see a bunch of VC in black jammies and truck tire sandals to start coming up the campus...make me dive for the Foo Gas trigger and reach for my Mike 16...if it's Mattel it's Swell...I see a red door and I want to paint it black....

The Pacific Culture I'm talking about is a shared, trans-oceanic pop culture. It has little to do with capital-C Culture; it is what used to be known as "fandom" but is now much bigger and more important than that, As for the VC hats, it would make an interesting cosplay. I myself would consider cosplay if someone could make me an authentic Shield Society getup a la Yukio Mishima...

I have pointed out that Yoshinori Kobayashi draws himself in a way that resembles Bruce, yet in actual life he looks like Ed. This is very mysterious.

Not only U.S. manga graphic novels were Braddock: Missing In Action at AX, but even Japanese tankobon were fairly scant. Instead dealers were emphasizing artbooks, which no doubt have a higher profit margin. In any event Southern California is already reasonably served for Japanese bookstores (and the largest group of AX attendees are still local; Expo is the largest con in part simply because Los Angeles is the second-largest city) so perhaps it wasn't felt as such a loss. We were fortunate to have Mandarake at the Expo for a few glorious years in the past, and as the deals on old gear really were too good to be true, I can't be bitter about their absence now.

While at first this advice may not sound very practical, those who would really like to buy some old books, mooks, and magazines should consider a trip to Mandarake in Tokyo. If you set aside most of your baggage weight allotment for purchases, you may very well be able to fill them with goods at a discount (relative to U.S. dealers' rooms) equal to the money you paid for your plane ticket. Consider that an old copy of Animage in good condition might go for about US$2.00 there, whereas that same copy might be $20 in a U.S. dealers' room, assuming it can even be found--in fact a few days' worth of hitting the Tokyo Mandarake stores are likely to glean you more stuff you're actually interested in than a decade's worth of attending American cons. Meanwhile, you get to trapaise around Tokyo while doing it, which you will regard as a delight in itself.

So I got my father in-law (who is full Japanese) into anime a few years ago. It then lead to hime learning about hentai. I dunno maybe Japanese Americans are not that embarrassed about the instant grat culture that we all love, but that says a lot to direct my him to the Hentai video room at fanimecon. God bless America!

Also that doujin dealer has Mogudan/Nakayohi Asuka doujinshi.. damn

I hear the Governor likes Mogudan, ja, Rei with ze big ahhhhsssss.

Just looking at these pictures I'm getting that sort of shortness of breath that only comes when I'm in a convention center.

Are you coming to make fun of us at the museum's Con on Saturday?

Ikimasen. Takusan shigoto aru.

Going back to Daryl's comment, I too am searching for the Phoenix, Volume 1. Is Viz just playing with my head? Is it one of those jedi marketing mind tricks like the empty collector's edition box?

I think the only copy of Pheonix, Volume 1 is located on the planet of Iscandar. I have to rebuild a WWII battleship into a starship and fly there. I think the USS New Jersey is close to my home.

I keep pointing people to Nikaku Animart for Pheonix v.1. Nikaku is old school importing, they've got stuff on hand that has been MIA for anywhere else.

Sadly, it seems to me Viz is TEH SUCK when it comes to promoting and selling their 'niche' titles like this. I blame it on Carl not being there. I think.

Aside from the publishers, it's my experience that dealers at all anime cons (especially the small ones) are mostly comic stores trying to get rid of all the dusty junk on their shelves that aren't selling. It's rare that I ever buy anything at cons, because the prices are jacked up for the impulse buyers, the selection sucks, and most booths all carry the same worthless products. It would be great if you could find stuff there no one else had, but it's really just the reverse. I wish AX was more like Comiket; artist alley is always tiny despite the hundreds of applicants.

I agree. Our table in the DR usually does well. Why? Because we sell original products (buttons and stickers, mostly) designed to appeal to those living the total otakusa lifetyle, not just to fans of Naruto or whatever. Our stuff is available nowhere else and at fair prices. (Susan and her mom over at Boshi-basiik [http://www.basiik.net/] make a nice income the same way.) Other than at WYZZIWYG, I rarely find anything I want to buy in a con dealer's room.

We desperately need an American Comiket. Unfortunately, our domestic entertainment industry takes a rather dimmer view of unlicensed derivative works (especially those involving fisting) based upon their trademarked and copyrighted properties than to the Japanese. The American entertainment industry has no desire to use amateur publishers as a "minor league" for creative development, preferring instead to rely on a Hobbsean process of competitive cocksucking by desperate industry hopefuls as a means of ferreting out new talent. (And don't even get me started on how the OEL "industry" works...)

First we kill all the lawyers (and the Suits who pay them), then we'll have Comiket USA.

It's true that most doujinshi are parodies, but even that minority of self-publishing in Japan which is original swamps what lazy gaijin do.* Comitia, which is all-original (Yasuhiro Nightow made his reputation there) alone is several times the size of the Alternative Press Expo, and we've got twice their population. And even at Comic Market, a good chunk of material is original. You just don't see it much here, as retailers and fans understandably would rather see something they know first. All I can say is that it seems Japanese simply draw and self-publish more, period. I give credit to any American doujinshi efforts, and make an effort to buy them at cons--in fact, they're often the only thing I buy at cons.


*This should be read in the voice of Ken Takakura putting down Mickey Rourke in BLACK RAIN.

If any of you are looking for old books, Old manga or Old Mooks. Have any of you considered looking at Book OFF in Costa Mesa? (There is another one in L.A. County, but I don't know where.) They have plenty of used manga and books from any series. They also have plenty of art books and CDs (even enka!).

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