Anime NYC 2017 Announces Scheduling

Press Release:

Anime NYC powered by Crunchyroll and presented by LeftField Media will present three days of entertaining and educational programming about Japanese culture, the anime industry, gaming, and more at the inaugural show at New York’s Javits Center on November 17-19, 2017. Over 20,000 fans are expected to convene for the show and dive into exclusive film and anime screenings, panels with internationally renowned artists and creators, and live musical experiences over the weekend. Attendees can start planning their Anime NYC experience and view the full schedule online now at: www.animenyc.com/panels. Tickets range from $35-40.

Anime is something just outside of the mainstream, but there’s always been a hunger for it,” says Peter Tatara, Vice President of Anime Events for LeftField Media. “For us, Anime NYC is an opportunity to build a cool, colorful event that will put the anime, manga, and so much more that fans love on center stage.”

Friday, November 17

  • Anime Diva Night powered by Anisong World Matsuri (8:00PM – Main Stage) Anime NYC and Lantis Co., Ltd. Present the first Anime Diva Night – a concert featuring top hits and anime songs from global artists Yoko Ishida, Chihiro Yonekura, and TRUE.
  • PokeBiology (2:00PM – Panel Room 1) Ever wonder about the seemingly infinite number of Tentacool in the ocean? How a Weedle can take down a Snorlax? Or ever wish your Pokemon team could function in the real world? This panel covers some real-life parallels between the Pokemon universe and our own, including some ecology, physiology, and other basic biological concepts.
  • SKY-HI (4:00PM – Panel Room 3) Meet one of Japan’s biggest rappers, SKY-HI, in a rare appearance live at Anime NYC. Mitsuhiro Hidaka, who started his career in 2005 as a member of the Japanese idol group AAA, shares stories from his career as SKY-HI during this talk.
  • Haikyu!!: Meet the U.S. Stars (4:15PM – Main Stage) Sentai Filmworks brings the sports anime “Haikyu!!” out in English for the first time. Meet stars Bryson Baugus (Shoyo Hinata), Scott Gibbs (Tobio Kageyama), and Director Kyle Colby Jones as they talk about their work on the series.
  • How to Take a Selfie (5:30PM – Panel Room 2) Four master level cosplay photographers teach a photography workshop everyone can relate to. Photographic techniques will be broken down into clear, practical advice on how to look your best.
  • 20 Years of “One Piece” (8:00PM – Panel Room 3) The One Piece Podcast presents a panel about the most popular manga of all time. This panel is dedicated to the amazing moments and history behind this Guinness World Record-setting series. Join in and celebrate its amazing 20th anniversary with Anime NYC.

Saturday, November 18

  • Official “Sailor Moon” Panel (11:15AM – Main Stage) The largest gathering of Sailor Guardians yet descends on the Big Apple for an event of epic proportions. Meet over 10 “Sailor Moon” English voice actors in this very special event packed to the brim with news, sneak peeks, and announcements galore. Every attendee will receive an exclusive gift while supplies last, only available at Anime NYC.
  • LeSean Thomas Q&A (3:00PM – Main Stage) New York native LeSean Thomas has worked in the animation industries in the U.S., South Korea, and Japan – and Anime NYC is proud to welcome him home. Hear Thomas speak about growing up in the Bronx, getting his start in the animation field, and what it takes to make it in the world of anime. Attendees will have the chance to hear about Thomas’ diverse career as an artist, animation producer, and director, and his work on projects including the Peabody Award-winning “The Boondocks” (Supervising Character Designer, Co-Director), “The Legend of Korra” (Storyboard Artist, Animation Production), and “Black Dynamite” (Creative Producer, Supervising Director). Thomas is also the creator of Crunchyroll’s “Children of Ether” and “Cannon Busters,” coming to Netflix next year.
  • “Princess Principal” Screening and Q&A (2:45PM – Main Stage) Come enjoy the first episode of the critically acclaimed anime “Princess Principal” followed by a Q&A session with Director Masaki Tachibana.
  • Cosplay & Disabilities (12:45PM – Panel Room 2) Join Anime NYC for a discussion about cosplaying with disabilities, as well as the positive aspects cosplay can introduce into a person’s life. Hear stories from fellow cosplayers about the joy it can bring and how we can all keep fan conventions a fun, adventurous, and equal place for all.
  • Nerds on Hip-Hop: Bridging Anime and Hip-Hop (5:45PM – Panel Room 2) Entertainment journalist Victoria Johnson and Doctor of Education student Marcus Wolfe will lead a panel discussing the intersection between hip-hop music and anime including notables such as “Samurai Champloo” and upcoming series like “Tephlon Funk.”
  • Inside the Action of “Infini-T Force” with VIZ Media and Tatsunoko (2:00PM – Panel Room 1) Think you know Japanese anime superheroes? Get ready for beloved characters coming together with “Infini-T Force,” the action-packed series that unites popular figures Gatchaman, Tekkaman, Polimar, and Casshan in one awesome team. Meet the project’s Producer Kaz Haruna, joining the convention all the way from Japan, as well as other special guests who will give attendees the inside scoop on the brand new series. Attendees will receive an exclusive premium poster while supplies last.
  • Japanese Feminism 101 (3:45PM – Panel Room 2) Feminist critique of anime is all over the internet today. However, how is feminism manifested in modern-day Japan? This panel introduces key women in Japanese feminist history such as Raicho Hiratsuka and Beate Sirota Gordon as well as feminist artists like Machiko Hasegawa and Rokudenashiko.
  • “IDOLiSH7” Premiere and Q&A (6:00PM – Panel Room 1) Enjoy the first two episodes of upcoming anime “IDOLiSH7,” adapted from a Japanese music game, before the series debuts in Japan. Following this premiere screening, Director Makoto Bessho and Executive Producer Sokichi Shimooka will talk about bringing the beloved game to life in an anime.
  • Masquerade ULTRA DELUXE presented by Tokyo Otaku Mode (8:00PM – Main Stage) Part costume contest and part Japanese game show, see Anime NYC’s best cosplayers strut their stuff – or maybe even get on stage yourself.
  • Exploring Dystopia in “Attack on Titan,” “The Walking Dead,” and Fahrenheit 451 (8:45PM – Panel Room 2) This panel will focus on the dystopian theme that runs through mainstream shows and publications “Attack on Titan,” “The Walking Dead,” and Fahrenheit 451. Explore the similarities and differences of the dystopia in these three works in this in-depth discussion.

Sunday, November 19

  • Fullmetal Alchemist U.S. Premiere (3:15PM – Main Stage) Anime NYC is proud to present the live-action Fullmetal Alchemist film’s exclusive US Premiere on November 19 as the Closing Film of the inaugural Anime NYC convention! Fullmetal Alchemist, which tells the story of two alchemist brothers seeking the Philosopher’s Stone, is one of the year’s most anticipated films in Japan and for anime fans around the world, with its original manga series having sold over 70 million copies worldwide! Fullmetal Alchemist Director Fumihiko Sori will make a rare appearance at Anime NYC to introduce the film and sign autographs for fans before the debut, which will be the film’s first screening in the US ahead of its premiere in Japanese theaters later this year. This special ticketed event is sold out.
  • NYC Ramen Summit (12:00PM – Panel Room 1) Globally-recognized ramen chefs Ivan Orkin (Ivan Ramen, Slurp Shop) and Shigetoshi Nakamura (Nakamura) along with Sun Noodle’s Kenshiro Uki sit together on the first NYC Ramen Summit. The three will discuss their unique careers, the cultural significance of ramen, and the dish’s devoted following in New York and across the U.S. Sho Spaeth, Features Editor at Serious Eats, joins to moderate the discussion.
  • Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower Premiere & Concert (11:30AM – Main Stage) The U.S. premiere of the second Gundam Thunderbolt film screens live at Anime NYC! Come see Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower on the big screen, followed by a one-of-a-kind jazz show led by the film’s composer Naruyoshi Kikuchi.
  • Japanese Tea and You (10:45AM – Panel Room 2) ‘Ryokucha,’ or Japanese green tea, has become more and more popular outside of Japan in recent years, but it’s still misunderstood. This panel will review the unique processing and varieties of ryokucha, hot and iced brewing methods, and ways to easily incorporate it into your daily life.
  • Cosplays Tips & Tricks with YuffieBunny and Uncanny Megan (11:00AM – Panel Room 3) With well over 15 years of combined experience, cosplayers Uncanny Megan and YuffieBunny unleash some of their favorite cosplay tips and tricks. The duo will cover areas ranging from sewing, wig styling, constructing armor, and prop building to tips on wearing different kinds of cosplays at conventions. Attendees can participate in a Q&A at the end.
  • Short & Sweet: Role Playing Games Worth Your Time (11:45AM – Panel Room 2) Ever wanted to play a role playing game, or RPG, but were intimidated or felt you have no time to dive into a lengthy game? This panel acts as a guide for those who are looking to ease their way into the world of Japanese role playing games. Come learn about the origins of the genre and a few games that can give you the full RPG experience in a fraction of the time.
  • “Terra Formars” English Premiere (1:00PM – Panel Room 1) What would happen if humans could harness a special biological technology to make planets like Mars habitable? Dark, visceral and violent, “Terra Formars” is hard sci-fi at its finest that presents stinging questions about space exploration and human progress. Episodes will be presented uncut for the first time in English.
  • So Your Kid Wants to Cosplay? (2:45PM – Panel Room 2) So your kid wants to cosplay… now what? A simple guide for parents to understand the basics of cosplay and how it can impact the lives of their children. Potential cosplayers can also come to see how they should approach their parents if they want to cosplay.

RSVP on Facebook!

Fans wanting to learn the latest news can follow Anime NYC on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.animenyc.com, which will be updated with more announcements and special guests leading into the show.

Fullmetal Alchemist Premieres at Anime NYC 2017

Press Release:

Anime NYC powered by Crunchyroll today announced the live-action film Fullmetal Alchemist, adapted from the bestselling Japanese comic series, will have its exclusive U.S. premiere on SundayNovember 19th as the Closing Film of the inaugural Anime NYC convention hosted in New York’s Javits Center.

Fullmetal Alchemist, which tells the story of two alchemist brothers seeking the Philosopher’s Stone, is one of the year’s most anticipated films in Japan and for anime fans around the world, with the original comic series having sold over 70 million copies worldwide since it was first published in 2001. Fullmetal Alchemist director Fumihiko Sori will make a rare appearance at Anime NYC to introduce the film and sign autographs for fans before the debut, which will be the first screening in the U.S. ahead of the film’s premiere in Japanese theaters later this year.

Anime NYC powered by Crunchyroll is a Japanese pop culture convention launching November 17-19, bringing fans together with creators and companies from across America and Japan. The Fullmetal Alchemist U.S. premiere will serve as the capstone for the weekend, which includes other highlights such as a day-long tribute to Sailor Moon, the U.S. premiere of Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower, and the Anime Diva Night concert featuring exciting performers straight from Tokyo.

The Fullmetal Alchemist U.S. premiere will take place at 3:00 PM on Sunday, November 19 on Anime NYC’s Main Stage. The screening is exclusively open to Anime NYC attendees, with tickets for the premiere available for an additional $10. Anime NYC passes and Fullmetal Alchemist admission can be purchased at www.animenyc.com. Anime NYC passes range from $35-60.

“We’re honored to welcome Fumihiko Sori and the Fullmetal Alchemist film to Anime NYC,” said Peter Tatara, Anime NYC’s Show Director. “Fullmetal Alchemist will be one of the biggest films this year in Japan, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to debut it in the biggest city in America!”

“We are truly honored that Fullmetal Alchemist is chosen as the Closing Film of the very first commemorable Anime NYC,” said director Fumihiko Sori. “In July, we presented six minutes of footage of the film at L.A.’s Anime Expo and at Japan Expo in Paris, and we are so excited to bring the full feature to all of you from various countries. Please come visit us and meet Ed and Al in live action!”

Fullmetal Alchemist will premiere worldwide as the Opening Film of the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 25, and it will open in Japanese theaters on December 1. The live-action film features an all-star cast including Ryosuke Yamada (Edward Elric), Tsubasa Honda (Winry Rockbell), Dean Fujioka (Roy Mustang), and Yasuko Matsuyuki (Lust). Japanese singer MISIA performs the film’s theme.

The film is based on the original Fullmetal Alchemist comic series created by Hiromu Arakawa. Set in a world where alchemy is one of the most advanced sciences, it follows two brothers in search of the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Published between 2001 and 2010, the comics ranked repeatedly on BookScan and USA Today’s top graphic novel lists, and the series’ first volume was the top-selling graphic novel in America in 2005. Arakawa’s original comic has since given birth to two animated series and movies, with the upcoming live-action film a new telling of this beloved adventure. Fans can read Arakawa’s original comic in the US through VIZ Media and watch its animated adaptations on Blu-ray from Funimation and online at Crunchyroll.

In addition to Fumihiko Sori, Anime NYC’s guests include Masaki Tachibana, Naruyoshi Kikuchi, Yoko Ishida, Chihiro Yonekura, TRUE, Cherami Leigh, Cristina Vee, Danny Choo, LeSean Thomas, and Stephanie Sheh, and its partners and sponsors include Crunchyroll, Funimation, Kinokuniya, Kodansha, Sentai Filmworks, SUNRISE, Tokyo Otaku Mode, VIZ Media, Vertical Inc, and Yen Press.

Fans wanting to learn the latest news can follow Anime NYC on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.animenyc.com, which will be updated with more announcements and special guests leading into the show.

Motor City Comic Con Returns on May 19th-21st

Press Release:

Comic fans and pop culture enthusiasts from all over are gearing up for what is set to be one of the best Motor City Comic Con events yet with exciting panels and several recently added guests unveiled to the public today (follow this link to see the panel schedule). Stars from Weird Science, Guardians of the Galaxy, Arrow, Freaks and Geeks, American Pie, among others will be featured in panel discussions. Several media guests have also been added to this year’s lineup including Rob Schneider, Ron Perlman, Barbara Eden, Sean Astin, Herbert Jefferson Jr., Robin Lord Taylor, Ross Marquand, Kristy Swanson, James Remar, Marky Ramone, Ani-Mia and many more. For the first time at Motor City Comic Con, the Michigan premiere of a full-length feature film, The Space Between, by Amy Jo Johnson, who played the pink Power Ranger in the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, will be featured. This year’s Motor City Comic Con will take place Friday, May 19 (12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.), Saturday, May 20 (10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday, May 21 (10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Suburban Collection Showplace, located at 46100 Grand River Avenue in Novi. Complete information about the event, tickets, panels and VIP passes is available at www.motorcitycomiccon.com.

The weekend event features more than 300 creators, writers, illustrators and actors who will greet the fans, sign autographs, take pictures, and provide panels and Q & A discussions, while many super fans are dressed in their pop culture best. A popular event is Saturday’s cosplay contest where a mix of celebrity judges determine the best costume winners, presenting prizes and gift packages. Motor City Comic Con’s annual Saturday night bash celebrates comic con weekend with entertainment, refreshments, and light hors d’oeuvres for the public. Sunday is Kid’s Day featuring kid-friendly activities. In addition to the previously announced guests, newly added Motor City Comic Con guests feature:

Aly Michalka: Actor and musician known for her film appearances in Easy A, Bandslam, Sequoia, and Weepah Way for Now. Television appearances include: iZombie, Hellcats and Two and a Half Men.

Ani-Mia: An International Cosplayer who writes for Otaku USA Magazine – the premier anime and manga magazine in the U.S., makes appearances at conventions and judges costume contests.

Amy Dumas: An American professional wrestler and singer, better known as Lita, is currently a WWE analyst. She performed as a WWE wrestler from 2000 to 2006 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.

Austin Amelio: An actor and writer best known as Dwight on The Walking Dead, Nesbit in Everybody Wants Some!!, Thomas in Putting the Dog to Sleep, and David in Over Again.

Billie Piper: The UK singer, dancer and television star is best known for her role as Rose Tyler in Doctor Who. Piper can also be seen on Penny Dreadful. Other television film roles include: The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Dennis Rodman: A retired NBA basketball star who played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. Nicknamed “The Worm”, Rodman is recognized as a Detroit Pistons’ Bad Boy and as one of the best rebounding forwards in NBA history. Rodman was a New World Order wrestler in the 1990s and appeared in the television show The Rodman World Tour, and in the action films Double Team and Simon Sez.

Frank Cho: An American comic strip creator, writer and illustrator best known for his work on the professionally syndicated strip Liberty Meadows. Cho was also the writer and illustrator of the first story in the Marvel NOW! Savage Wolverine series.

Hannah Kasulak: Known as Casey Rance in FOX Network’s The Exorcist, Kasulak has appeared in Filthy Preppy Teens, The Fosters, How to Get Away with Murder, True Blood and Nashville.

James Remar: Known for his various film and television roles from over the last four decades, Remar has appeared in The Warriors, 48 Hours, The Cotton Club, Django Unchained, Dexter, Mortal Kombat Annihilation, Tales from the Darkside, Sex And the City, 2 Fast 2 Furious, among many others. He can also be seen in the upcoming second season of Hulu’s The Path.

Jason Douglas: Known for his role as Tobin in seasons five and six of The Walking Dead and for his recurring appearances on Breaking Bad, Nashville, and Revolution, among others. Douglas has voice lead nearly 200 characters like, Beerus in the Dragon Ball Z films as well as Krieg the Psycho in Borderlands 2.

John E.L. Tenney: A Michigan native, Tenney is an author and one of the most recognized investigators of UFO, paranormal and occult phenomena in the U.S. Tenney is co-host on the paranormal reality show Ghost Stalkers and has appeared in Unsolved Mysteries, Paranormal State: The New Class, Ghost Adventures and Paranormal Lockdown.

John Francis Daley: An actor, screenwriter, film director and musician best known for his role as Sam Weir on Freaks and Geeks and as Dr. Lance Sweets on Bones. Daley plays keyboards and sings for the band Dayplayer, and he co-wrote Horrible Bosses and will be a co-writer for the upcoming Spider Man: Homecoming film.

Jordan Trovillion: An actor, singer and Michigan native known as the host of the comic book and nerd culture TV show Comics Continuum. She has also appeared in Comedy Central’s Detroiters, Lifetime’s Secrets in the Walls, among others. Upcoming projects include The Life and Death of John Gotti and Mercy.

Joseph Gatt: A U.K. native known for his roles in Pulse, Chuck, Eagleheart, Game of Thrones, From Dusk Till Dawn, The 100, Banshee, Second Chance, Teen Wolf, True Detective, Star Trek Into Darkness and Thor. Gatt can currently be seen as The Man in Z Nation.

LeVar Burton: Best known as Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Nemesis; host for PBS’s Reading Rainbow, and as Kunta Kinte in Roots. Burton is also an accomplished director and has directed episodes for Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise.

Martin Starr: Known for his role as Bill Haverchuck on Freaks and Geeks, Starr has appeared in Knocked Up, This is The End, King of The Hill, among others. He is currently reprising his roles as Gilfoyle on the third season of Silicon Valley.

Nicola Scott: An Australian comic book artist who has worked exclusively for DC Comics. Her work has appeared in titles such as Wonder Woman, Batman, Teen Titans, Superman, Birds of Prey and Secret Six, among others.

Ross Marquand: Known for his breakout roles as Aaron on The Walking Dead and as Paul Newman on Mad Men. He is also an accomplished voice over actor and has worked on productions such as Phineas & Ferb, Conan, among others.

Scott Wilson: An American actor known for his appearances in nearly 50 films such as Harvey Oberst in the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night, and Dick Hickok in the 1967 adaptation of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, among many others. Wilson is also known for his role as Dr. Hershel Greene on The Walking Dead.

Tim Bradstreet: Known as Marvel’s go-to cover artist, Bradstreet is an Inkpot Award-Winning artist and is known for his work in Vampire: The Masquerade, The Punisher, The Punisher MAX, John Constantine: Hellblazer, among many others.

Tom Payne: A U.K. native known for his roles as Paul “Jesus” Rovia on The Walking Dead, Leon Micheaux in Luck, and Rob Cole in The Physician. Payne has also appeared in several U.K. television series such as Skins, Casualty and Waterloo Road.

Tony Todd: A horror and sci-fi film icon best known for his roles in The Candyman, Sleepwalk and Platoon as well as roles in the Hatchet and Final Destination franchises. Todd can also be seen in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, The Rock, The Crow, Lean on Me, Bird, Night of The Living Dead, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, among many others.

Vic Mignogna: Best known for his prolific voice over work in the anime industry involving Japanese anime characters and video games. Mignogna’s most notable character is Edward Elric from the Fullmetal Alchemist series, and he was the voice role of Broly in the Dragon Ball Z films.

Wil Wheaton: An actor, writer and voice actor known for his roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Flubber, The Guild, Eureka, and The Big Bang Theory. He also appeared in Stand by Me, Toy Soldiers and Criminal Minds, among others.

Amy Jo Johnson: A film maker, musician and actor most known for her role as Kimberly Hart in the series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Julie Emrick on the series Felicity, and Jules Callaghan on the award-winning series Flashpoint. Johnson recently launched her debut feature film The Space Between.

Anthony Michael Hall: Known for his roles as Farmer Ted in Sixteen Candles and Brian Johnson in The Breakfast Club, Hall went on to become the youngest cast member in history on Saturday Night Live.

Barbara Eden: Named one of America’s 200 Greatest Pop Icons of the 20th Century, Eden is best known for her role as Jeannie on NBC’s I Dream of Jeannie television series which ran for five seasons. Eden’s memoir Jeannie Out of The Bottle was recently published and debuted as No. 14 on the New York Times Best Seller List.

Big Van Vader: Known for his early wrestling career in Japan, Big Van Vader went on to also beat competitors throughout Europe and Mexico and eventually, leading him to three World Heavyweight Championships. Following his WWE career, Big Van Vader returned to All Japan Pro Wrestling to form a tag team with Stan Hansen.

Dave Gibbons: A British comic book drawer and writer who has worked with comic publishers around the world. Some of his work includes: Doctor Who, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Predator and Aliens.

Herbert Jefferson Jr.: An American film, television and stage actor best known for his role as Lieutenant Boomer on the original Battlestar Galactica TV series. Jefferson also appeared as Roy Dwyer in Rich Man, Poor Man and its sequel Rich Man, Poor Man Book II, Maxwell Fall in Emmy Award winning series The Law, Muntzy in Knight Rider (1982), among others.

Ilan Mitchell Smith: An American academic and former actor best known as the co-star in Weird Science, Smith has also appeared in The Wild Life, The Chocolate War and Superboy. For the past 35 years, Smith has been a role-player/Dungeon Master, Miniatures gamer and Indie/Board gamer.

John Barrowman: Singer, dancer, host and actor best known for his role as Malcolm Merlyn in the series Arrow. Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlyn character has made guest appearances in The Flash as well as on the CW’s Reign. He has hosted ABC’s Sing Your Face Off, among other major events.

Josh McDermitt: Comedian and star of AMC’s The Walking Dead, McDermitt made his television debut on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2006. He was casted in TV movie Rehab for Rejects and as Brandon on Retired at 35. McDermitt can also be seen in Middle Man and Odious.

Karolyn Grimes: As a child actor, Grimes became best known for her role as Zuzu on the film It’s A Wonderful Life. Grimes currently serves as the unofficial ambassador for the film, traveling the world and speaking at screenings, benefits, conventions, etc.

Kelly Le Brock: An American actress and model known for her acting debut in The Woman in Red. She also appeared in Weird Science, Hard to Kill, Betrayal of the Dove, Tracks of a Killer and Hard Bounty.

Khary Payton: Known as King Ezekiel on AMC’s The Walking Dead and Aqualad in Young Justice. Payton has been a voice actor for characters such as DC comic book hero Cyborg, Specialist Wasabi from Big Hero 6: The Series, Grimlock from Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Azrael & Killer Croc in the Batman: Arkham franchise, among others.

Kristy Swanson: Known for her appearances in Pretty in Pink, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Big Daddy, Knots Landing (1987-1988), Nightingales (1989) and B.L. Stryker (1989), among others.

Lou Ferrigno: Ferrigno is most known as playing the “Hulk” in the CBS series The Incredible Hulk. He has also appeared in other television shows, such as the CBS series The King of Queens and the film I Love You, Man.

Marky Ramone: Best known as the drummer (and last living member) of the legendary punk rock band the Ramones. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and since then has been featured in the comic book TV series Killogy and appears in Killogy: The Animated Series.

Mena Suvari: Dubbed by People Weekly as an “All-American Girl,” Suvari is known for her film debuts in Nowhere, the American Pie film series and American Beauty. She also appeared in Loser, Spun, Rumor Has It, Domino, American Horror Story (2011), among others.

Michael Rooker: Best known as the blue-skinned alien Yondu Udonta in Guardians of the Galaxy, a role he will reprise in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; and his role as Merle Dixon on The Walking Dead.

Rob Schneider: An American actor, comedian, screenwriter and director known for his sketch comedy series on Saturday Night Live as well as his starring comedy roles in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick, The Benchwarmers and Grown Ups, among many others.

Robin Lord Taylor: Dubbed as “favorite breakout star of television,” Taylor is best known as Oswald Cobblepot or The Penguin on Gotham. Known for his role as Sam on The Walking Dead, and as Abernathy Darwin Dunlap in Accepted.

Ron Perlman: With a career spanning over three decades, Perlman has worked alongside diverse actors like Marlon Brando, Sean Connery, Dominique Pinon, Brad Dourif, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Jude Law, Christina Ricci, Federico Luppi, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Wincott and Elijah Wood. He is also known for his roles in Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army; biker chief Clarence Morrow on Sons of Anarchy, Norman Arbuthnot in The Last Supper and vampire leader Reinhardt in Blade II, among others.

Sean Astin: An actor and author known for his film debut as Mikey in The Goonies, Astin held the title role in the Rudy film and as Sam Gamgee in the Academy Award winning trilogy The Lord of the Rings.

Sean Gunn: Best known for his role on Gilmore Girls as Kirk Gleason, Gunn can also be found reprising his role as Kraglin (Yondu’s right hand man) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Shannon Elizabeth: An American actress and former fashion model who is known for her comedy roles in American Pie, Scary Movie and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. She appeared in the horror films such as Thirteen Ghosts, Cursed and Night of the Demons.

STING: An American retired professional wrestler, actor, author, former bodybuilder and WWE Hall of Famer, he is regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Sting earned 25 championships during his 30+ year career, including 21 between WCE and TNA.

Thomas Ian Nicholas: An American film actor, singer, musician, producer, director and writer best known for playing Kevin Myers in the American Pie series, Henry Rowengartner in Rookie of the Year and Walt Disney in Walt Before Mickey.

Zack McGowan: Known for his role as Roan on the CW’s The 100 and as Captain Charles Vane in the Black Sails series. McGowan’s character is planned to recur on Agents of Shield and as Shkelgim in Universal’s Dracula Untold.

For more information regarding Motor City Comic Con guests and events, visit the website.

Anime Boston 2017 New Guests Announced

Press Release:

Anime Boston, the largest anime convention in New England, has announced Hirokatsu Kihara, Masahiko Minami, Cherami Leigh, and Christopher Sabat will appears as guests at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Mass, on March 31 through April 2, 2017.

Formerly involved with the production desk at Studio Ghibli, Hirokatsu Kihara worked closely with director Hayao Miyazaki on such hit titles as Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Hirokatsu Kihara is probably best known for his work in the Horror genre.  There, he has been a crucial contributor, working on such titles as Tales of Terror: Haunted Apartment and Tales of Terror from Tokyo and All Over Japan, which are known in Japan as Shin Mimibukuro.  In addition, he has written books such as Tsukumo Kwaidan, Utsushiyo-kaidan, and Kinkiro.  Nowadays, he continues to write ghost stories, MCs at monster conventions, and shares his knowledge and experiences at events worldwide.

“We are so honored to have Hirokatsu Kihara at Anime Boston. Kihara-san is a pioneer in the horror genre, as well as having worked on Studio Ghibli classics such as My Neighbor Totoro  and Kiki’s Delivery Service, under Miyazaki himself,” said Victor Lee, Convention Chair.

Masahiko Minami was born on August 24, 1961 and is from the Mie Prefecture in Japan. After graduating from the Theater Arts Department of Osaka University of the Arts, he joined the anime production company Nihon Sunrise (now SUNRISE INC.) and produced several shows such as: Whirl Wind! Iron Leaguer, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Escaflowne, and Cowboy Bebop.

In 1998, he decided to leave SUNRISE to start BONES INC., with animators Hiroshi Osaka and Toshihiro Kawamoto, where he now doubles as both the President and a Producer. Under BONES, he has produced Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Fullmetal Alchemist, Eureka Seven, My Hero Academia, Space Dandy, Mob Psycho 100, and many more!

“We are deeply honored to present Masahiko Minami at Anime Boston. Minami-san has produced some of my personal favorites, such as Cowboy Bebop, RahXephon, and Full Metal Alchemist. As a founder and current president of BONES INC., Minami-san is one of the true giants of anime,” said Victor Lee, Convention Chairman.

Cherami Leigh has been in the industry for 20 years. She has been in over 75 commercials, and has worked on over 100 anime projects including: Lucy in Fairy Tail; Asuna in Sword Art Online; Road in D. Grayman; Lizzie in Black Butler; Mai in Ghost Hunt; and Patty in Soul Eater. Cherami has worked on over 20 video games, including Borderlands 2- in which she plays the popular DLC- Gaige. She voices Sailor Venus in Sailor Moon; Tome in Mob Psycho 100; Kudelia in Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans; Illia in RWBY; and Makoto in the upcoming Persona 5.

Cherami was recently announced to be playing Sarada in Boruto: Naruto The Movie, as well as multiple characters in Fire Emblem: Heroes. She is a series regular on the Sprout hit- Zou; a lead role in the animated feature Ribbit; has guest starred on Doc McStuffins; and plays Peanut Big Top in the La La Loopsy Girls. She starred in Shane Dawson’s Not Cool and the Starz Original Series The Chair. She appeared in the Emmy Award Winning Temple Grandin, as well as Friday Night Lights, The Deep End, Chase, Shameless, Bones, and Longmire to name a few.

“It’s always such a delight to host Cherami at Anime Boston. I look forward to the pleasure of working with her and watching her interacting with her fans!” said Victor Lee, Convention Chair.

Christopher R. Sabat (@Chris24_Sabat on Twitter) has lived on a diet of Senzu Beans for over 15 years. As the Voice Director for Dragonball Z, the voice actor behind Vegeta, Piccolo, Yamcha, Mr. Popo, Korin, Burter, Shenron, Zarbon, Guru, and countless others, you could almost say he is the “voice” of Dragonball Z.

Chris has lent his voice to countless other roles including: Alex Luis Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist; Elfman in Fairy Tail; Roronoa Zoro in One Piece; Ayame Sohma in Fruits Basket; Saiga Tatsumi in Speed Grapher; Kurogane in Tsubasa Chronicles; Daisuke Jigen in Lupin III;

Father Tres in Trinity Blood; Braun in Steins;Gate; Giroro in Sgt. Frog; Pokémon: Black and White as TV announcer; Cliff (ep 46) Rundas in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption; Garterbelt in Panty and Stocking; Sakaki in Kenichi;  Masa in My Bride is a Mermaid; Saito in Darker Than Black; Woerman in Attack on Titan; Alex D in Deus Ex: Invisible War; Captain Smiley & Star in Comic Jumper; and many others.

Most recently, he was cast in Psycho-Pass 2 as Sakuya Tougane; Hak in Yoma of the Dawn; and Batou in Ghost In The Shell: Arise.

Added Victor Lee, “Christopher is one of the most prolific talents in the anime industry, having both voiced and directed in some of the most famous titles in the medium. We can’t wait!”

About Anime Boston: With nearly 27,000 attendees in 2016, Anime Boston is an annual three-day Japanese animation convention held in Boston, Mass. Anime Boston 2017 is scheduled for Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2 at the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel. More information about Anime Boston can be found at www.animeboston.com.

About New England Anime Society, Inc.: The New England Anime Society was founded in 2001. Based in Massachusetts, The New England Anime Society, Inc. is parent organization of Anime Boston and is dedicated to furthering public education and understanding of the Japanese language and culture through visual and written media. More information about The New England Anime Society is available at www.neanime.org.

Several New Guests Announced for Anime Boston 2017

Anime Boston, the largest anime convention in New England, has announced several new guests to appear at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Mass, on March 31 through April 2, 2017.

Kyle Colby Jones has been in the anime industry as a director, writer, producer, and actor since 2007. He began his dubbing career at ADV Films and currently works at Sentai Filmworks.

Some of his more notable recent anime series include Akame ga Kill, Parasyte, My Love Story, Log Horizon, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, No Game No Life, Fate/kaleid, Gatchaman Crowds, Outbreak Company, Muv-Luv, Super Sonico, Sunday Without God, and Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon.

Kyle has directed several classic titles as well, including Saint Seiya, Air, Kanon, Madlax, Kino’s Journey, Diamond Daydreams, Phi-Brain, and the stupendously amazing Papuwa.

Bryson Baugus is a voice actor, singer, and stage actor from Texas. He has worked primarily with Sentai Filmworks in Houston, and his credits include Child Gelsadra in Gatchaman Crowds Insight, Young Suna in My Love Story, Akutagawa in When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace, and Hikaru in RE: Hamatora. His voice has also been used in the shows Chaika – The Coffin Princess, Dramatical Murder, Log Horizon 2, and Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun.  He was just recently announced as the voice of Bell in Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon and Kou Mukami in Diabolik Lovers II: More Blood.  This is his first convention appearance.

Greg Ayres has spent the last fourteen years working in an industry he had admired for years as a fan. With over 200 credits to his name, this fan-boy has managed to get to play a variety of characters that are almost as colorful as his hair. He’s thrilled to splash into the role of Nagisa Haruki in Free Eternal Summer, and equally as excited to “kill” as MonoKuma in Danganronpa, and Doug in Gangsta.

He was thrilled to be a part of the Toonami re-launch in the roles of Ganta Igarashi in Deadman Wonderland, and Heihachi Hayashida in Samurai 7, and even more thrilled to follow that up with the following summer’s thriller Another as Kouichi Sakakibara.  His most recent roles include Frost in Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse 2, Clear in Dramatical Murder, Satoru Asahina in From the New World, Kenji Nakanishi in Say I Love You, Sion in No. 6, Heisuke Toudou in Hakuoki, Tommyrod in Toriko, Arikawa in This Boy Can Fight Aliens, Tomoki Sakurai in Heaven’s Lost Property, and Volken in the Book of Bantorra.

Lisa Ortiz is a New York based veteran voice actor, director, and producer. Her career as a voice over artist began under the shroud of an attempted auto larceny gone awry.  No really, ask her yourself.  She’ll tell you.

She is most well known for her roles as Lina Inverse in Slayers and Amy Rose in Sonic the Hedgehog, but she began her career as the high elf Deedlit in Record of Lodoss War. Since then she has gone on to record dozens of anime, series, audio books, video games, and films both as a voice and as a Producer, Director, and Adapter.

She is currently the director of Pokemon XY and has worked on the show in various capacities over the years since the Indigo League. From Misty’s older sister Daisy, to Sabrina, to Flannery, to Oshawatt, to Fletchling, Litten, and present day gym leader Korrina.

She can currently be heard as Noembelu in Street Fighter V, as well as on the Nickelodeon Show Royal Academy, amongst others. Her favorite roles include: Serenity Wheeler in Yu-gi-oh; Tony Tony Chopper in One Piece; Shiori in Revolutionary Girl Utena; Rina in Time of Eve; The Devil in Gangstar 4; Musa/Icy in Winx Club; Azalyn in The Irresponsible Captain Tylor; and Tsubasa Shibahime in His and Her Circumstances.

Shingo Natsume has directed many anime, including television series Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei and the theatrical film Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos.

He has also directed Hori-san to Miyamura-kun, Space Dandy, and One Punch Man.  His latest directorial work is ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

“Natsume-san is the director of two of the hottest titles in the past few years, Space Dandy and One Punch Man. We’re honored to have the opportunity to present Natsume-san to his fans in Boston, and to give them the opportunity to talk to him!” said Victor Lee, Convention Chairman.

Robbie Daymond is a Native-American Voice Artist, Actor, and Performer based in Los Angeles. He works in traditional animation, anime, commercials, film, television, audiobooks, and videogames for companies such as: Nickelodeon, Disney, Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, Discovery Kids, NBC, 20th Century Fox, Marvel, Bang Zoom!, Lucas Films, Activision, Square Enix, Volition Games, Studiopolis, VIZ, Aniplex, SyFy, Random House, and many more.

After booking his first major anime role in 2014 as Tuxedo Mask in Sailor Moon, he has had the opportunity to play several lead and supporting roles in anime series such as: Mumen Rider in One Punch Man, Mitsuki in Boruto, Joe Kido in Digimon Adventure tri., and Ren Tsuruga in Skip Beat.  He can also be heard in: Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, The Seven Deadly Sins, Naruto Shippuden, Tales of Zestiria the X, Cyborg 009, K, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Sword Art Online 2, Magi; the Adventures of Sinbad, Durarara!!x2, Charlotte, Lupin the Third, Aldnoah Zero, Your Lie in April, Glitter Force, Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, and he continues to reprise his role of Mamoru in Sailor Moon Crystal. There are also a few others coming up that he can’t mention quite yet…

“I’ve spoken to Robbie several times, all over the country. A talented actor, he’s also one of warmest people I’ve ever met, and his fans are going to love him! It’s exciting to finally have him here, at Anime Boston!” said Victor Lee, Convention Chair.

Patrick Seitz is primarily known for his work as the guy who yells out “Super Electromagnetic Shrapnel Cannon!” in Code Geass. Seitz’s body of other, lesser work stretches back to the year 2000. When he’s not busy playing Love Live: School Idol Festival, Patrick Seitz gets paid to voice guys who A) yell a lot, B) wear an eyepatch, C) have an accent, or D) sport a cool haircut. Have your doubts? His anime credits include: Gamagoori from Kill la Kill; Dio from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure; Franky from One Piece; Laxus from Fairy Tail; Keith from Attack on Titan; Motochika from Sengoku Basara; Senji from Deadman Wonderland; Isshin and Kenpachi from Bleach; Germany from Hetalia; Agni from Black Butler; Simon from Durarara!!; Kunzite from Sailor Moon; Sky High from Tiger & Bunny; Luke Valentine from Hellsing and Hellsing: Ultimate; and JP from Redline. Grimmer from Monster; and Nekozawa from Ouran High School Host Club don’t really fit any of those categories, but they’re cool, so they’re on the list!

On the video game side of the equation, Patrick’s credits include: Helvar in For Honor; Hector and Draug in Fire Emblem: Heroes; Ragna in the BlazBlue series; Garrosh Hellscream and Arthas Menethil in World of Warcraft; Scorpion in the last few Mortal Kombat games; Artanis in StarCraft II; Kog’Maw, Lucian, and Renekton in League of Legends; Kana Rua in Pillars of Eternity; Basilio in Fire Emblem: Awakening; Samson in Skullgirls; Chopin in Eternal Sonata; Riptide, Hot Head and Chomp Chest in the Skylanders series; and create-a-character voices in Dragon Ball Xenoverse; and The Sims 4.

Added Victor Lee, ”We’re happy to have Patrick at Anime Boston again so soon! His involvement with some of the most important titles in anime and in video games, makes him one of the true greats in the industry!”

About Anime Boston: With nearly 27,000 attendees in 2016, Anime Boston is an annual three-day Japanese animation convention held in Boston, Mass. Anime Boston 2017 is scheduled for Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2 at the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel. More information about Anime Boston can be found at www.animeboston.com.

About New England Anime Society, Inc.: The New England Anime Society was founded in 2001. Based in Massachusetts, The New England Anime Society, Inc. is parent organization of Anime Boston and is dedicated to furthering public education and understanding of the Japanese language and culture through visual and written media. More information about The New England Anime Society is available at www.neanime.org.

Boston Comic Con Returns This Weekend

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Press Release:

Boston Comic Con kicks off the three-day comic book convention on Friday, August 12 to Sunday August 14!

Boston Comic Con Celebrity Guest list includes William Shatner, the original Captain James T. Kirk, whose appearance, along with Vic Mignogna, marks the celebration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. Also appearing are leading stars from top current TV shows including John Barrowman, Caity Lotz, Ciara Renee, Danielle Panabaker and Robbie Amell from CW’s Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, Ben Mckenzie from Gotham, Elizabeth Henstridge from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Gillian Anderson from the X-Files and featuring special appearances from Doctor Who companions Jenna Coleman and Karen Gillan.

Frank Miller, the most celebrated creators in comic book history, headlines a stellar line-up of over 90 world class comic book artists and writers, including notable appearances by Sam Kieth and John Cassaday. Kieth is best known for his creator-owned titles The Maxx and Zero Girl and as co-creator of The Sandman. Cassady is a fan favorite artist with acclaimed runs on Planetary, Captain America, Astonishing X-Men and Marvel’s new Star Wars series. They join other famed artists such as Arthur Adams, Mike and Laura Allred, Greg Capullo, Amanda Conner, Terry Dodson, Phil Jimenez, Erik Larsen, Jae Lee, David Lloyd, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Snyder, Mark Waid, Marv Wolfman, Bernie Wrightson and many more.

On Friday, August 12, it’s Family Day where kids age 10 and under will receive free admission to the show featuring a variety of family friendly activities.

On Saturday, August 13, Mayor Marty Walsh will greet William Shatner and deliver a proclamation to the Star Trek legend. This will take place at 9:45 AM in the Harborview Ballroom at the Seaport World Trade Center. Also participating are Nick Kanieff and Jim Talbot, co-founders of Boston Comic Con.

On Sunday, August 14, the convention continues and includes one of the most anticipated events of the weekend, the annual Costume Contest on Sunday, August 14 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the Plaza Ballroom.

WHERE: Seaport World Trade Center
200 Seaport Boulevard
Boston, MA

WHEN: Friday, August 12: 12:00PM – 8:00PM
Saturday, August 13: 10:00AM – 7:00PM
Sunday, August 14: 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Tickets and information available at the link: www.bostoncomiccon.com

Photo Ops Tickets Now On-Sale for Boston Comic Con 2016

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Press Release:

Photo Ops tickets are now available for Boston Comic Con 2016 with media guests William Shatner (Star Trek’s original Captain Kirk), Karl Urban (Star Trek Beyond, Pete’s Dragon), Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Me Before You), Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Who), John Barrowman (Torchwood, Arrow), Ben McKenzie (Gotham, Southland), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of SHIELD), Caity Lotz (Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow), Robbie Amell (The Flash, X-Files), Ciara Renée (Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash), Seth Gilliam (The Walking Dead, Teen Wolf), and Vic Mignogna (Fullmetal Alchemist, Star Trek Continues).

Get tickets from Epic Photo Ops at the link…!

Boston Comic Con 2016 tickets are on-sale now at the link!

RSVP on Facebook!

About Boston Comic Con:
The Boston Comic Con is a 100% independently run comic book show committed to bringing the biggest and best comic creators to New England. Run by fans for fans, Boston Comic Con is not affiliated with any other convention tour or corporate interests. Hosting over 120,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia, this is a destination event for geeks of any stripe. This year’s convention will be held Friday August 12th, Saturday August 13th, and Sunday August 14th at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210. For more information please go to our website at www.bostoncomiccon.com and follow us on Twitter (@BostonComicCon) and Facebook!

Anime Fan Fest 2016 Report (Including an Interview with Aaron Dismuke!)

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I mentioned in my last article that a girl drove all the way down from New Jersey to North Carolina to Ichibancon meet Vic Mignogna, the star of Fullmetal Alchemist (he voices the main character, Edward Elric). This time, Anthony Aycock and I went to New Jersey from North Carolina to meet Aaron Dismuke, where Vic was also present. Aaron voices Edward Elric’s iron giant little brother, Alphonse. Aaron doesn’t do many conventions–mainly due to not being invited, he said–so I thought I would see him while I had the chance.

It was called Anime Fan Fest. With both Vic and Aaron as guests, plus other actors from Fullmetal Alchemist, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh, I expected it to be pretty big. However, it never seemed terribly crowded, even on Saturday afternoon. Then one of the dealers told me that this was the convention’s first year. I was immediately impressed.

The convention was held in one massive room at the Garden State Exhibition Center. Dealers (about 30), artist alley (about 10), cosplay registration, autograph sessions, and panels all took place in that one room. This layout had pros and cons. Everything was easy to find, but not everything was easy to hear. During Aaron’s Q&A, noise from the dealer area kept hitting me like Izumi Curtis’s fists.

I did hear a couple of things, though. One was Aaron talking about how his voice cracked during filming of the movie Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa. He asked to do the scene again, but director Mike McFarland told him, “No, we’ll keep that one. It shows the emotion of the character”–probably while stifling a laugh. I also heard Aaron talk about being recognized in public. Once was by a cashier at Kroger, who took a selfie with Aaron and his groceries. Another was someone who kept calling for Aaron at his parents’ house (he says he now lives off the grid). Still another was the guy in college who waited at a men’s room for Aaron to emerge and shake his hand. “You know my hands are wet,” Aaron said he told the guy. “You watched me wash them.” (Not creepy at all.)

After the Q&A, we had the pleasure of getting an interview with Aaron..

I have heard Vic talk about you falling in the booth a few times during Fullmetal Alchemist. Can you tell the story in your perspective?

Yeah, sure. Okay I was eleven whenever I started and so I was very absent minded and kind of

ADD acting, like I actually had been diagnosed. So I would like move around a lot, I had a stool and so I’d be in the booth, leaning back and picking at the walls because there’s soft soundproofing material. I destroyed those walls honestly. Like who am I kidding? It was bad. I might have even written on them at one point.

“Aaron was here”?

Yeah, I think that’s exactly what I wrote, honestly! Anyway, so yeah I was a little turd. And so I was leaning back and what I got into was this mode where I’d be leaning back and I would hear the beeps. You have three beeps and on the fourth imaginary beep is when you’d start recording your line. I was leaning back, and Mike said [Mike McFarland, director of Fullmetal Alchemist], “Alright let’s do this line.” It would go beep beep beep, and I’d go up real fast and I’d be like “Brother.” ‘Kay. And so this time I was leaning back and beep beep and I tried to lean forward but the stool like gives out. It goes the wrong way. It goes forward instead of backwards and I go backwards and it pushes me against the wall and the stool props up in the front of the booth. And so like I just end up with my legs sandwiched against my chest. And the stool like pinning me there. And the only way for me to get out myself would have been to like twist out and fall straight to the ground. And so I didn’t want to do that but I also didn’t want to admit what had happened and they had heard the sound of the stool and all the crash. That’s recorded somewhere. And so there’s this pause where Mike says “Aaron?” He looks up trying to see me but he can’t because I’m too far down. And I was just like – all I could think of – I finally realized I was going to need help. So I asked for it. A little “Help me.” He had to pull me out.

And they’ve never let you live it down.

Never.

You have mentioned before that you got into voice acting because you were related to someone who was a voice actor. Could you talk a little bit more about that?

Yeah, okay. Justin Cook is currently a director of production at Funimation, but at the time he was acting and directing a bit and he basically got the impression that I was a good reader because I was reading Lord of the Rings. I wasn’t really understanding it all, but I was reading it. And you know, I was like in third grade, I was like nine. So I was a bit above my reading level, and as a result he decided, “Why don’t I try using an actual boy who I know who I have a rapport with so he won’t be nervous for this little part of a little boy instead of using a woman. It’ll sound more authentic.” And so he did, and it ended up turning out pretty good. I felt pretty good about it. And he felt pretty good about it and so he had me do a larger part from the same show and then ultimately I started auditioning for other stuff and Alphonse was the first or second character I landed actually. And I think part of the reason they gave me that part was because there were no flaps [mouth movements for animated characters] so I didn’t have to focus too much on the mouth movements and they were able to do what they needed to to adjust. So I just had to do the acting. And I think that’s a big part of what allowed me to do that at such a young age. It wasn’t as hard as what all the other actors were having to do. So it was nice. It was like having training wheels on for my first part.

What sort of shows do you like that aren’t anime?

I like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones. I read Game of Thrones before the series came out so I was super excited about it. I’m a big fan of Peaky Blinders, it’s a British crime show. It’s on Netflix right now. I also like westerns: Bonanza. I’m also a big fan of M*A*S*H which is so good. It has some of the best comedy ever. I have almost every episode memorized, I’ve watched it so many times. That’s what I grew up on.

Which actors would you actually ‘fangirl’ over?

Alan Alda. He plays Hawkeye [in M*A*S*H]. I forget her name, but I recently started watching Jessica Jones, and that actress is fantastic.

I love Jessica Jones. I’ve actually met David Tennant.

Oh cool, yeah! He plays Kilgrave [in Jessica Jones]. That guy’s awesome.

You said you did some directing for Funimation. What sort of skillset do you need to be a successful director?

I think that the acting and writing are both important because there comes a point where you have to know whether an actor could give you the read for a certain line or whether between the way the line was written and the flaps and their personal cadence, whether they’re capable of doing that line or whether or not it needs to be rewritten. And once you know it needs to be rewritten, it needs to be able to. So you need the writing skill to alter the line if need be. And you also need the acting experience and also the ability to describe how you need a certain read. So I found I was able to mostly harness my acting experience and be able to like use – and also my acting experience with like hearing the different directors and the way that they would direct me. So you can either give someone the read you want and see how they respond to that and you can say “No, say it like this” and then say it. Like I was a good parrot when I was an early actor. As Al I could easily say something back exactly how you had said it to me. That was a good training wheels thing. And then slowly I was able to predict what it was they were going to want and do it in the first round. Other than that, sometimes I use like little analogies. I’d say something like “Could you say that as more of a languid predator? You know, a leopard stalking its prey?” Or “Make it sound more like you dipped your hand in what you thought was a crate of berries, but instead it was acid.” Things like that. Colorful things. That sort of idea that they were pretending that happened and then get a little more of the nuance of what the line is than from just hearing where the character is coming from.

What do you do if the actor just can’t get the line right?

You either settle for what they can do or you say “Okay good, thanks,” and then you get someone else to do it. I have never had to do that. But I’ve also never had the authority to do that even on the show that I was directing. That was always Tyler’s call. He was my producer. He did the casting for me because it was my first show. So he took care of the hard parts.

How did you get started on doing conventions?

My first convention was before – okay so Anizona, which was a first year con, had me and the entire cast of – It was me, Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Vic Mignogna, I think Caitlin Glass – everybody was there. It was a tiny con, maybe like eight hundred people. That was my first real con. I don’t know if it’s even going anymore but I did it and I was super nervous and I was like “What am I supposed to say?” Because we were going through opening ceremonies and we were going through and everyone was like  “Hey! I’m really glad to be here! My name is Travis Willingham and I play Roy Mustang.” And I didn’t even know what to say. They were all popping jokes and they were all like “What, you’re nervous?” And I was like “Yeah I’m nervous!” “Just tell them you’re nervous.” So I was like “Hey I’m Aaron, I play Al and I’m really nervous and there was a chorus of “Awwww” and uproarious applause. And I was like “That’s weird.”

Okay, one last question. What was your first experience with fangirls?

I ran from the first girl that tried to glomp [to pounce on and hug aggressively, often with a running start] me. I actually ran. She was a titan. She was really tall and she was wearing a Sailor Moon costume and I wasn’t familiar with Sailor Moon. I was only thirteen probably. Fourteen? Her friends met me first, and Vic said, “Do you know who this is? This guy is going to play Al.” And this was before Anizona. I was going to this con to get adjusted to it. It was a con in Fort Worth, my hometown. So I just went there for kicks to check out the scene and Vic happened to be there as a guest and he happened to recognize me and he told some other fans who I was and they were like, “We have to call our friend.” They called their friend and it was the 6’7 Amazon woman in a Sailor Moon outfit. She was like [bellows like a screaming fangirl]. People are like spilling to either side and it was an anime moment. I ran to the bathroom and then I slowly came back and hugged her calmly.

#Beaniebuds

#Beaniebuds

After the interview, Anthony and I went around the dealer room one last time when I noticed something very familiar. I am a yaoi fangirl, so I would recognize fan art from a fandom I am deeply involved in–in this case, Durarara!! What I saw was a wall scroll depicting the show’s most popular characters, Shizuo Heiwajima and Izaya Orihara, as they appeared in high school. They were embracing aggressively. The image was a popular piece of fan art. Someone had ripped it off, altered it slightly, and stuck it on a wall scroll that was now for sale.

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I spoke to a very close friend, Kawaiikisshu, who is also an artist. This particular image she had seen on Zerochan.net, and I found it in other places such as tumblr. She said there are a lot of these on eBay and it is sad that work gets robbed and turned into merchandise for money. I heard the same sentiment from Irene Y. Lee, who draws the Li’l Deadpool for Marvel Comics. We saw a picture at her booth of Li’l Deadpool looking through a box of comics, which I totally do not have a T-shirt of. No one obtained Irene’s permission to make the shirt, and she receives no payment from it. I wish now I had told some of the staff what I saw because I knew it was illegal. Artists deserve all the credit and the money their art is worth. I know how I would feel if someone copied and pasted this article into their own web site and pretended that they were me. If they were me, they can buy food for my eight cats. (Disclaimer: I am not a crazy cat lady.)

Aside from copyright infringement and the need for more than one room, Anime Fan Fest was a spectacular experience. It was organized, the guests were terrific, and the staff was superb. When I interviewed Vic at Ichibancon, the staff member who was supposed to handle his schedule told me to ask him myself. Aaron’s handler, however, worked with me to create a seamless interview process.

I guess the worst part about Anime Fan Fest was the drive. In North Carolina, it had already been raining for about a week, and it did not stop until we left New Jersey, which, by the way, is the capital of RUDE. In our 24 hours in the state, we were honked at fourteen times. I haven’t been honked at fourteen times in North Carolina in my nineteen years of living.

Just kidding. I HEART New Jersey.

Artist Alley

Artist Alley

Dealers' Room

Dealers’ Room

Even Shinra Kishitani needs his morning coffee.

Even Shinra Kishitani needs his morning coffee.

The wild Aaron Dismuke in his natural habitat.

The wild Aaron Dismuke in his natural habitat.

Got games?

Got games?

I didn't see any Harley Quinns, but I did see Harlequin (King) from The Seven Deadly Sins.

I didn’t see any Harley Quinns, but I did see Harlequin (King) from The Seven Deadly Sins.

Tokyo is so screwed.

Tokyo is so screwed.

Why so serious?

Why so serious?

This cosplayer knows how to get a-head in life.

This cosplayer knows how to get a-head in life.

Is it Huu (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Man-Thing, or my mom's ex boyfriend? You decide!

Is it Huu (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Man-Thing, or my mom’s ex boyfriend? You decide!

I wonder why the celebrities left?

I wonder why the celebrities left?

I'm furry tired.

I’m furry tired.

 

Ichibancon 2016 Convention Report (With Vic Mignogna Interview!)

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A few years ago, when I was still in high school, a person who liked anime was made fun of for it. My school had a manga/book club, and the entire group was often ridiculed by jocks who wouldn’t know good writing if it were mixed in their protein shakes. Despite this, I grew to love the art form, and when I learned that there were whole conventions devoted to it, I begged my dad to take me to one. Surprisingly, he agreed.

Anime conventions were smaller then, including my first, Ichibancon 2012, which was held at a tiny hotel in Charlotte, NC. I originally went with two friends to meet none other than Vic Mignogna, who was–and remains to this day–my favorite voice actor. We stood in his autograph line for about 30 minutes, and when I finally got to his table, I said “Hi” in a talking-to-your-crush-for-the-first-time voice.

Now, five years later, I’m still going to that same convention. It was held this year over New Year’s Day weekend at Embassy Suites Hotel in Concord. Comparing this year’s Ichibancon to the one in 2012 is like comparing the inside of the TARDIS to the inside of my closet. Over 5,000 attendees pre-registered this year, which doesn’t include those who bought a badge on-site. I don’t think 5,000 people even knew about it in in 2012. The cosplayers were awesome. I saw anime, Marvel, and DC characters, plus assorted Pokemon and pop culture figures (the guy dressed as John Cena was meme-tastic). One group of cosplayers was from Undertale, a video game that just came out, which was impressive in its immediacy and quality. Dozens of panels were scheduled on just about any nerdy topic you could imagine, even for Homestuck, the webcomic created in 2009 by Andrew Hussie. The gamers had their own room: dozens of PlayStations and Nintendos (and I don’t mean Nintendogs) projected onto the walls. There was even a TARDIS bouncy house for all the children. I didn’t see the cosplay contest, but I’m sure it was fabulous, especially since, for the first year, a $500 prize was available for first place (this would probably cover the cost of half an automail leg).

Speaking of automail, I got a chance to talk to my five-years-ago idol, Vic Mignogna. Vic is the Johnny Depp of anime. Other voice actors were there, including several members of the cast of Durarara!! (Saki Mikajima, Kasuka Heiwajima, Seiji Yagiri, and Saburo Togusa), whom you don’t see often. But Vic was clearly the biggest draw: one girl came all the way from New Jersey to meet him.

After seeing him a dozen or more times over the years, I felt more relaxed than that initial time. Here is what we discussed.

Me: As Edward Elric, you’re very emotional and over the top. Then you recently switched to playing Kasuka on Durarara!! who is emotionless with a very emotional brother. What was that like?

Vic: You know, I have to tell you, I’m kind of naturally emotional and expressive with my voice. Then, when I was doing Durarara!!, started, and they asked me, can you take the emotion out of it? Can you make it flatter? I’m thinking, it’s pretty flat already. So, yeah, that was a big change.

Me: How long have you been doing conventions?

Vic: Wow. Honestly, maybe a total of thirteen years.

Me: How did you get started?

Vic: Well, I got started in voice acting sixteen or seventeen years ago, and I didn’t know anything about conventions. In fact, there weren’t any at the time. Then, a few years into my career, I saw Monica Rial, and she said to me, “Hey, do you want to go to an anime convention?” I was like, “A what? They have conventions?” I went to Star Trek conventions when I was a little boy, but I had never been to an anime convention. So I went as a guest to one in Ohio, in Columbus, and I was just blown away. I couldn’t believe that there were these wall scrolls with my characters on it and pencil boards and plushies. I had no idea this stuff existed. That was the first one I went to, and of course it ramped up since then.

Me: I’ve also seen you at conventions like DragonCon that are not strictly anime conventions. Talk about the difference between those.

Vic: Anime conventions are very special in and of themselves. There is a real strong sense of community because everybody is there because they love this one specific genre of entertainment. Multicultural, pop culture conventions are more of something for everyone. It’s nice to have an anime presence there, but they don’t typically have the same feeling, a sense of family that you get at an anime convention. I suppose it would probably be the same for any convention that pertains to one thing. If you went to a Supernatural convention, it’s a little more focused. But I enjoy pop culture conventions, mostly because I’m a big sci-fi fan myself, so it’s a real pleasure to get to meet other sci-fi actors that I’m a fan of.

Me: Who is your favorite celebrity you’ve ever met?

Vic: Oh, Bill Shatner, of course. I’ve loved Captain Kirk since I was a little boy. [Want to see Vic as a little boy? Click here.] And you know, when I was young, I used to go to Star Trek conventions, and he is the only one of the original cast I never got to meet. Now, to literally be represented by the same manager who represents Bill, we get booked into conventions together, and we’ve gotten to have dinner together and travel a little bit and hang out, so it’s a real privilege.

Me: Have you had to suppress the urge to squeal like a fangirl?

Vic: All the time. All the time. [Laughs.] I want to respect him and not turn into one of those fanboys he’s dealt with for forty years.

Me: I read on your Wikipedia page that you were once a law enforcement officer.

Vic: I was. Right after college, my mom, who lives on the eastern shore of Maryland, was very good friends with the chief of police in the city where she lived. She always used to brag to him about her son who was a moral, ethical, upstanding member of the community. And so he said, well, I’d like to have someone like that on the police force. I didn’t have any plans right after college, so I went back there and went through the police training and became a cop for two years. It was never a career move. I enjoyed it a lot, but it isn’t something I want to do forever.

Me: It takes a special person to do that job.

Vic: It does. And to deal with the darker side of humanity so much of your life, always having to enforce the laws and deal with people breaking the rules can make a person very cynical and depressed.

Me: I have a copy of your Gospel of John CD. What was the genesis [see what I did there?] of that project?

Vic: Actually, it’s kind of interesting. I was at a convention, and a mother came up to me and said, “My daughter loves your work. She could sit and listen to you for hours. She loves your voice. You could read the phone book and she would listen to it.” I thought, what a nice thing to say. Then I thought, maybe not the phone book, but what if I were to record something of more importance and give it away. So I went home and recorded the Gospel of John and used a contemporary translation and played the piano underneath it to make it easy to listen to. I put a lot of money into it myself to get all the discs pressed, and now I give it away at conventions because what better thing to give to fans of my work than something that is very precious to me?

Me: Do you have plans to do more books?

Vic: I would love to, but it takes a lot of time, and to be honest, I don’t know what book I would do. There aren’t a lot of books of the Bible that stand by themselves, that tell the whole story. If you’re gonna get one chance to tell someone the story of Jesus, why he came, what he did, his ministry, his rising again, all of that, it’s all pretty self-contained in the Gospel of John. So I don’t know what book I would do, and it’s very time-consuming. I don’t have a lot of time, especially now with the Star Trek series I’m doing.

Me: So the Star Trek series is still going well?

Vic: Oh yeah. Bigger than ever. We just finished shooting episode six. Popularity is growing, and viewership is growing. At the risk of sounding partial, it’s fantastic. It looks and feels and sounds exactly like the original series. We have managed to continue the original series in every way, so you feel like you’re watching episodes that were never broadcast.

Me: But they’re all original stories.

Vic: Oh yes. From the recreation of the sets to the lighting, costumes, make-up, story, music, editing, characters—everything. No amount of description can prepare you for the quality. And it’s free. Just go to startrekcontinues.com. The first episode is wonderful, and the second is better than the first, and the third is better than the second. They just get better and better

Me: Last question. What is it like dealing with all the fangirls who are much younger than you?

Vic: Well, it’s kind of funny because, if I were half my age, I would be flattered. But I really look at it more like a father looking at younger people and going, Man, if I can give some joy to this person, if I can make them feel special about themselves, because so many of these kids are struggling with who they are and their place in the world and their security and self-esteem. I feel as if I have been given an opportunity to be an encouragement, somebody that they look up to and notices them and compliments them and puts his arms around them and gives them a big hug and engages with them. I think that’s very important. I didn’t used to realize how important that is, and over the years, with all the emails and letters I’ve gotten and interactions I’ve had at conventions, I’ve come to realize that God has put me here for a very specific purpose, and that is to bring encouragement and love and kindness and support to a lot of people who are at a very sensitive crossroads in their lives.

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Of course, everyone has their criticisms no matter how much they enjoy something, and Ichibancon was not without flaws. For one thing, it needs a larger venue. There were lines to get into the dealer room and artist alley, and some of the panels were standing room only. Parking was ridiculous. I squeezed my car in next to a dumpster, and I saw people walking over from car dealerships and other hotels. According to one staff member, however, the only place large enough to expand to is the Charlotte Convention Center, whose surrounding hotels are much more expensive–$240 a night or more. Anime conventions are largely attended by teenagers, who don’t have much money (and spend what they do have on Call of Duty).

It was clear from artist alley and the dealer room that neither of them was “juried.” Some conventions judge vendors’ merchandise ahead of time and then make decisions on who gets a slot. This is done to make sure there is enough variety and quality in the room. Ichibancon, it seems, didn’t do this because there was a lot of repetition in both areas. Merchandise was mostly plushies, posters, and wall scrolls. There was no manga, and I saw only one dealer selling comic-related stuff (usually, there are more).

Even with all these negative things going on in the convention, that is no reason for the muggles to boycott this convention (I saw a picketer in the parking lot). In fact, I believe that this convention is the perfect one for any anime convention newbies.

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This was only part of the line to get into the dealer’s room.

I hope this doesn't mean what I think it means.

I hope this doesn’t mean what I think it means.

Even broken up bands come to conventions.

Even broken up bands come to conventions.

Don't be upsetti, have some spaghetti!

Don’t be upsetti, have some spaghetti!

My dad stole my brand new beanie.

My dad stole my brand new beanie.

Cosplaying is a lot of work!

Cosplaying is a lot of hard work!

A consequence of a growing convention is more rules.

A consequence of a growing convention is more rules.

Some cosplayers really know how to get a-head.

Some cosplayers really know how to get a-head.

Let me tell you about Homestuck.

Let me tell you about Homestuck.

Even wizards need to eat.

Even wizards need to eat.

I don't think these guys are cosplayers.

I don’t think these guys are cosplayers.

The gaming room is always packed.

The gaming room is always packed.

Wow! My TV isn't this big!

Wow! My TV isn’t this big!

Don't take "friendliness pellets" from strangers.

Don’t take “friendliness pellets” from strangers.

Every year, The Chalk Twins have something new for the silent auction.

Every year, The Chalk Twins have something new for the silent auction.

The sign said "pets are not allowed" but an exception was made for these two.

The sign said “pets are not allowed” but an exception was made for these two.

And this is why pets are not allowed.

And this is why pets are not allowed.

Who invited this guy?

Who invited this guy?

Memes. Memes everywhere.

Memes. Memes everywhere.

Vic Mignogna Beams Down to Boston Comic Con 2016

vic-mignogna-star-trekPress Release:

Boston Comic Con is happy to welcome actor Vic Mignogna, best known for his voice acting work on the anime Fullmetal Alchemist, to the media guest lineup this year as part of our Star Trek 50th Anniversary Celebration! Vic plays Captain Kirk in the webseries Star Trek Continues, which is a direct continuation of the Enterprise’s five-year mission. He joins a guest list that includes Karl Urban, Dr. McCoy in the new series of Star Trek films including this summer’s Star Trek Beyond, and the original Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner! Check out the full list of celebrity guests at the link!

Victor Mignogna is an American actor known for his prolific voice-over work in the English dubs of Japanese anime shows and for his role as Captain Kirk in the immensely popular fan-created sci fi series Star Trek Continues. Vic’s most notable voice role is that of Edward Elric for the Fullmetal Alchemist series, for which he earned the American Anime Award for Best Actor in 2007. Other notable roles in anime include his work in the Dragon Ball Z films, Ouran High School Host Club, Tubas: Reservoir Chronicle, D.N. Angel, and Vampire Knight. His video game credits include Sonic the Hedgehog series and Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3.

Victor will be appearing all three days of the event.

Tickets are on-sale now at the link!

RSVP on Facebook!

About Boston Comic Con:
The Boston Comic Con is a 100% independently run comic book show committed to bringing the biggest and best comic creators to New England. Run by fans for fans, Boston Comic Con is not affiliated with any other convention tour or corporate interests. Hosting over 120,000 square feet of vendors selling comic books, toys, posters, trading cards, and other pop culture memorabilia, this is a destination event for geeks of any stripe. This year’s convention will be held Friday August 12th, Saturday August 13th, and Sunday August 14th at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA 02210. For more information please go to our website at www.bostoncomiccon.com and follow us on Twitter (@BostonComicCon) and Facebook!

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