The Anime and Manga Fan's Guide to Comic-Con 2010

by Gia Manry,

Summer wouldn't be summery without navigating a giant convention center full of anime nerds AND comic book geeks AND video game fanatics AND movie execs, also known as: San Diego Comic-Con. As North America's largest fan gathering, SDCC also has one of the largest schedules, so here's our version, a guide to the anime- and manga-related events going on throughout the convention.


Thursday, July 22nd

Gamera, The Invincible!
12-1pm, Room 32AB
Before there were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there was Gamera, a mutant turtle who may not be a teenager but hey, he can fly. August Ragone, author of Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters, will celebrate the release of the original '60s and '70s film series with a video tribute, Q&A, and giveaway.

Manga for Grown-Ups: Garo, Ax, Gekiga, and the Alternative Manga Revolution
12:30-1:30pm, Room 8
With a title that long, the only information you're missing is that the panel will be hosted by Sean Michael Wilson, the editor of Top Shelf's Ax manga anthology, and that he promises to provide an announcement for an upcoming new gekiga release.

Radical Publishing Panel
2-3pm, Room 32AB
The odds of manga-related content being on display here might be a little slim, but Radical published Yoshitaka Amano's take on the Mozart opera The Magic Flute, titled Mateki, last year. They also published the comic Incarnate by Nick Simmons, which became infamous for its surprising similarities to Tite Kubo's Bleach.

Dark Horse Horror
3-4pm, Room 9
This panel will focus more on American comics creators, including Hellboy's Mike Mignola, but there will be a preview of upcoming Dark Horse horror titles, which may include manga, or possibly even news on the Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service film announced at last year's Dark Horse panel.

Masquerade 101
4-5pm, Room 32AB
If you're ready to go from hall cosplay to the bigger leagues-- convention cosplay contests --this panel will tell you everything you need to know, from history of masquerade contests to tips on what to expect backstage.

The Best and Worst of Manga 2010
4:30-5:30pm Room 3
Disclosure: I moderated this panel last year. This year, manga journalists Deb Aoki, Jason Thompson, Christopher Butcher, Tom Spurgeon, and Kai-Ming Cha will rant, rave, and generally conduct a Friars-style roast of this year's collection of manga released in English.

Manga: Lost in Translation
5:30-6:30, Room 3
Translators, editors, and other manga experts unite to answer every question you can possibly think of about the localization of manga from Japan. Starring: William Flanagan, Jonathan Tarbox, Jason Thompson, Shaenon Garrity, Stephen Paul, Mark Simmons, and Jake Forbes.

Funimation Entertainment
6-7pm, Room 25ABC
It's a Funimation industry panel, so expect a few Geneon license rescues, maybe a couple of regular licensing announcements, and a big batch o'trailers. Unfortunately for obsessive industry-panel attendees, Funimation is scheduled to overlap with Bandai.

Bandai Entertainment: 2010 and Beyond
6:30-7:30pm, Room 3
Yes, you get to choose between the licensee of Gurren Lagann and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and the licensee of almost everything else (e.g. Funimation). If you pick Bandai, you'll get to hang out with president Ken Iyadomi, marketing director Robert Napton, and marketing associate Loy Fruel who will provide trailers, Q&A, and maybe some new announcements as well.

Robotech: The First Quarter Century
6:45-7:45pm, Room 6DE
The usual Harmony Gold suspects, Robotech creative director Tommy Yune and screenwriter Steve Yun, present the history of Robotech and offer a tribute to Carl Macek.

The Sushi Typhoon: The Best in Japanese Genre Movies
8:15-9:15pm, Room 5AB
If movie titles like Alien vs Ninja and Tokyo Gore Police tempt you to bust out your wallet, this panel's for you. Featuring Tokyo Gore Police director Yoshihiro Nishimura, The Ultimate Versus actor Masanori Mimoto, Ninja actress Mika Hijii, and Yatterman producer Yoshinori Chiba, you'll get a chance to hound them with questions and watch trailers, including the exclusive preview of Nishimura's zombie flick Helldriver.

Friday, July 23rd

Publishing Comics
10-11am, Room 8
Although not manga-specific, Fantagraphics founder Gary Groth, who recently launched a line of manga, and Del Rey Manga's Dallas Middaugh will be on-hand along with other comics pros to talk about various aspects of the business.

Spotlight on Moto Hagio
10:30-11:30am, Room 5AB
The lady, the legend: Moto Hagio, one of the founding creators of shoujo manga and boys love as well as part of the Year 24 Group (influential mangaka born in Showa 24, aka 1949), will take your questions, but only if you can get through manga editor Matt Thorn first.

Dark Horse Comics: Make Contact in 2010
11:30-12:30pm, Room 3
Lacking a "Dark Horse Manga"-specific panel, this is your next best chance to pick up manga announcements from the Oregon-based comics company. President Mike Richardson will preside, and various guests are set to appear, including author Janet Evanovich.

State of the Animation Industry
11:30-12:30pm, Room 9
This "State of the Industry" panel features a number of guests, but none who appear to be directly affiliated with anything anime-related. Comic-Con lists it on the "anime/manga" content track, however, and it's hard to imagine they could discuss the animation industry without at least touching on Japan these days.

Marvel Animation
12:45-1:45pm, Room 6BCF
In addition to American television cartoons, this panel will include at least some information on Marvel anime, presumably mostly Iron Man which is due to start in October. However, there are several other planned Marvel anime titles, so with luck there will be some new details on them.

Yen Press
1-2pm, Room 25ABC
Publishing director Kurt Hassler and the Yen Press editorial team will bribe you with swag and new license announcements in exchange for your questions.

Spotlight on Stan Lee
2-3pm, Room 6BCF
There's always a chance someone will ask about Lee's work on Heroman or Ultimo, especially if an ANN reader attends, but expect the focus to be more on his past American works.

VIZ Media's Vampire Knight Panel
3:30-4:30pm, Room 9
Whether you want to meet the editor of the manga-- Nancy Thistlethwaite --or the cast of the anime (Mela Lee as Yuki, Vic Mignogna as Zero, Ethan Murray as Kaname), VIZ is ready for you. There will also be prizes available for those cosplaying from the series.

Comics Design
3:30-4:30pm, Room 26AB
Ready for a slightly different perspective on manga (and comics)? Viz Media's Fawn Lau, Fantagraphics' Adam Grano, and Batmanga author Chip Kidd join designers from DC, First Second Books, and Oni Press to talk about book design.

Top Shelf 2010: Sweden, Japan and so much more!
5:30-6:30pm, Room 9
I don't know about any "Swedish invasion," but there will be talk about Ax, Top Shelf's foray into alternative manga.

The Future of Manga
6:30-7:30, Room 3
Jason Thompson reads the future of manga for you, from digital distribution in the US to traditional magazines in Japan. Hopefully he'll wear robes and speak with a Romanian accent, but even if not, Thompson-- author of Manga: The Complete Guide and ANN's own House of 1000 Manga column --usually finds a way to entertain.

America's Greatest Otaku
7-8pm, Room 8
Join Tokyopop founder Stu Levy and the Otaku Six, who are less of a rock band and more of a CEO and a group of Tpop interns trying to find America's biggest anime geek. This is probably destined to be entertaining one way or another.

Udon: 10 Years of Comics and Games
7:30-8:30pm, Room 3
Expect more talk about Udon's work with companies like Capcom and Marvel than anything, but Udon did launch a kids' manga line in spring 2009, so hopefully they'll offer some updates on how that's been going.

Marvel: Iron Man Anime
8:15-9:15pm, Room 6DE
Marvel is going to premiere the pilot episode of the Iron Man anime from Madhouse, along with an early look at some upcoming designs, presumably also for Iron Man and/or the other Marvel anime projects. It's no Hall H, but you can probably expect a solid line for this.

Eisner Awards
8:30-11:30pm, Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront
This year's Eisner nominations included a good handful of manga and manga-related titles. Some of them were even nominated in something OTHER than "Best U.S. Edition of International Material--Asia". Will any of them win? You'll have to line up to find out: pros and VIPs get in at 7:30pm, regular attendees at 8:15pm.

Saturday, July 24th

VIZ Media's Shonen Jump Panel
10:30-11:30am, Room 9
As with last year, this panel will exclusively cover VIZ's Shonen Jump titles, so expect a lot of Naruto, strong doses of Bleach and One Piece, and of course, an appearance by Ultimo creator Stan Lee.

Dragon Ball Z Kai Voice Actor Panel
11:30-12:30pm, Room 5AB
Seán Schemmel, voice actor of Goku, joins voice director Christopher R. Sabat and producer Justin Cook to reveal all the secrets of re-recording Dragon Ball Z Kai for its airing on Nicktoons. Spoiler alert: DBZ Kai will make Funimation a lot of money.

Tokyopop Panel
2-3pm, Room 3
If "America's Greatest Otaku" didn't appeal to you, a more sedate panel with senior editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl discussing new licenses and "digital products" might, especially with the promise of updates on both Hetalia and Priest, whose upcoming film is due out in 2011.

International Comics and Graphic Novels
3:30-4:30pm, Room 4
Moto Hagio returns! If you missed her spotlight panel you can her presence along with comics creators from France, Italy, and Canada, moderated by journalist Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter.

Sunday, July 25th

Techland Presents: Comics and Digital Piracy
10-11am, Room 25ABC
No panel about comics piracy would be complete without some representation from the manga side of life, and's Deb Aoki will be on hand with other representatives from around the industry to talk about the matter, according to Techland's description of the panel.

Manga Drawing for Kids
10-11am, Room 30CDE
OEL artists teach kids how to draw. Or teach adults how to draw for kids. It's not entirely clear. The artists include eigoManga founder Austin Osueke, Alpha League's David Karrow, Mad Beanz's David Kolodny Nagy, and Palbot's Natashia McGough.

Dark Horse: Yoshitaka Amano
11:30-12:30pm, Room 8
Vampire Hunter D artist Yoshitaka Amano is joined by artist Mink to talk about their recent Dark Horse collaboration, titled Shinjuku.

Manga Style Drawing with Billy Martinez
2-3pm, Room 30CDE
Aimed at would-be artists of all ages and skill levels, Neko Press owner Billy Martinez will show you how to draw "Manga Style".

Other Programming


As with past years, those looking for a more sedate Comic-Con experience can hang out in the three anime screening rooms, which will run throughout all four days of the show. This year's screenings include classics like the 1982 TV anime Dairugger and 1993's Irresponsible Captain Tylor along with newer titles like Durarara!! and Strike Witches. The full schedule is listed here.

Wednesday, July 21st

Anime Party & Screenings
7pm, Marriott Hall: Foyer & Room 4
This year Comic-Con is launching its new anime screening section- rooms 4, 5, and 6 at the Marriott -and on preview night, room 4 will be open for four anime screenings (an unspecified InuYasha movie, Ghost Slayers Ayashi, Hell Girl 2, and El Cazador), and a party with sushi and pizza (always a good combination).

Sunday, July 25th

Ball-Joined Dolls Collectors Group
12-2pm, Marriott Hotel, Santa Rosa Room
Fans of expensive and detailed ball-jointed dolls such as Dollfies and their ilk get to meet up and hang out, while those interested in investing in a new hobby in this economy can make your checks out to...err, can learn how to get started.

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