Anime Expo 2007
eigoMANGA

by Evan Miller, Jul 5th 2007
Panelists: Jessie "Hikari" Cohens, Misha Deborah Cline, Oscar Gutierrez, Jinsoo Terry, Peter Yuthrayard, Peter Beagle, Raleigh Melacon and Austin Osueke

CEO Austin Osueke introduced himself before describing the history of the company. EigoMANGA was started in 2000 mainly as an online company and OEL publisher. Lately, more company activities and initiatives have been focused on Japanese popular culture in general.

The biggest announcement from the company is a collaboration with The Last Unicorn Project. Peter Beagle, Last Unicorn creator, is involved with a project by EigoMANGA to create a manga version of the story. Artist Peter Yuthrayard will be doing the artwork for the series. Mr. Beagle discussed his anime convention-related culture shock. “You cannot get any more ignorant about this than I am," said Beagle, adding that "this is my second anime convention, and I am still opening up to what can be done in this world… I've never done anything like this before.” Peter Yuthrayard first proposed the project. He was inspired to do the story since he has been a huge fan of The Last Unicorn for a long time and described the process of setting up the project.

Artist Jinsoo Terry introduced herself. Her series, Palbot and Mr. Kim Go to America, comes out in October. The series is educational in nature. Palbot, a robot, helps Mr. Kim get adjusted to American life and cultural nuances. She described the issues that she had with cultural barriers. She also mentioned that she finished a rap album. Previews of the book are available on the website.

EigoMANGA also announced that the San Francisco-based radio show Shibuya Airways will soon enter syndication on U-Pop, XM Channel 29. DJ Oscar Gutierrez expressed thanks to fans of the show and discussed the anticipation surrounding the syndication.

EigoMANGA has been producing events for J-rock groups as well, and has joined forces with two unofficial fan sites: skin-online.net and sugizolove.com. When Skin's presence was announced, the company launched the website and a massive campaign to promote it, as well as a mailing list for the band. The company mentioned that they worked with the management of the band, but provided no details as to what that work encompassed.

The group has also been working with mytoons, a YouTube-style site for cartoons that is designed to connect artists and animators. Site staff member Raleigh Melacon described the site as a free online community similar in nature to Myspace. Any kind of artwork can be uploaded to the site.

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