April 07, 2014 | 1:12 p.m.

Exclusive: Miyazaki memoir features ‘Princess Mononoke’ proposal

The second installment in Hayao Miyazaki’s memoir is out Tuesday, offering a glimpse into the legendary animation director’s career of more than three decades, and Hero Complex readers get an exclusive sneak peek. “Turning Point: 1997-2008,” from Viz Media, traces the Japanese director’s most successful years, which saw the release of “Princess Mononoke,” the Oscar-winning “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Ponyo.” During this time, Miyazaki’s work received critical acclaim and began to garner an international audience. The 452-page tome includes Miyazaki’s essays about Japan’s animation culture, the differing perspectives of children and adults, and his memories of youth, among other topics; interviews with various publications and panels, including one with Roger Ebert; illustrations for Studio Ghibli holiday cards and films; and even poetry, written to aid composer Joe Hisaishi. “Turning Point” is the companion second volume to 1996’s “Starting Point: 1979-1996,” which […]
July 10, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.

Exclusive: Hello Kitty gets her first comic, launches fan-fiction contest

Hello Kitty may be new to the Comic-Con scene, but she’s aiming to make a splash. Japanese merchandising company Sanrio is making its debut at San Diego’s annual pop culture expo this year, complete with a Hello Kitty graphic novel, a fan hub and pop-up shop at Petco Park’s Comic-Con Interactive Zone, a fan-fiction contest, a booth on the convention floor, Comic-Con-exclusive collectibles and appearances by Kitty White herself. Sanrio’s ubiquitous feline already has her own stationery, apparel, jewelry, cartoons, video games, wine and even a jet, but Viz Media’s “Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland,” which will be sold during the convention at the Sanrio pop-up shop, marks the character’s first foray into comics. The 48-page “Fashion Music Wonderland,” which takes its theme from Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” includes three wordless stories by Jacob Chabot (slated for a signing at the Viz Comic-Con […]
March 18, 2011 | 6:52 a.m.

‘Bakuman’ review: A tale of manga gambles with winning characters

MANGA REVIEW Bakuman Volumes 1-3 By Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata Viz: $9.99 each, paperback; 194 pp. Thousands of kids in the U.S. and Japan dream of becoming manga artists; 14-year-old Moritake Mashiro, the hero of the new manga series “Bakuman,” isn’t one of them. He draws well, but he draws for fun. Moritake just assumes he’ll fulfill his parents’ wishes and become an ordinary white-collar worker, although the idea is hardly appealing. But when his classmate, A-student and aspiring writer Akito Takagi, sees Moritake’s drawings, everything changes. Akito proclaims, “Manga is the pride of our Japanese culture! We can become famous through it worldwide!” But Moritake’s not buying it. He lacks ambition, and his uncle Nobuhiro was a manga artist who scored one big hit, then worked himself to death trying to match it. Akito has also seen Moritake’s […]
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