"We Heart Japan" Earthquake Relief Galleryby Justin Sevakis and Pinguino Kolb,
On St. Patrick's Day 2011, Los Angeles' famous Meltdown Comics store was the scene of a unique event. "We Heart Japan" was a 3-hour benefit for the purpose of raising money to benefit victims of the large Earthquake off the coast of Eastern Japan that had happened only a week earlier. Masterminded by voice actress Stephanie Sheh (with "a LOT of volunteer help," she quickly pointed out), the event transformed the store for a few hours into something of a compressed anime convention.
Despite the somber occasion, the mood of the event was festive: a DJ spun dance records, bartenders served drinks, and a small army of LA-based voice actors signed autographs. Outside the festivities continued, with 3 of LA's prominent food trucks providing snacks, sushi burritos and bubble tea. The centerpiece of the night, however, was two-fold: a raffle, featuring a small truckload of anime DVDs and Scott Pilgrim posters as the prize winnings; as well as a large silent art auction, featuring work by the fan community as well as autographed posters. The proceeds of both were donated to the Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund.
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