"We Heart Japan" Earthquake Relief Gallery

by Justin Sevakis & 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.

Thanks to Pinguino Kolb and David Mertl for providing photos of the event.

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