Saturday, August 17, 2013


Two new old-media offerings deliver the classic anime goods in the so-unfashionable-they're-fashionable print medium, available not from whatever local business in your area still sells zines or from a begrudgingly-given “fan table” at a nearby anime con, but from the convenience of your own easy chair, thanks to modern electronic technology. 

Colony Drop, the opinionated collective enfant terrible of the anime blog scene, has been outraging the easily outraged and Telling It Like It Is on their blog since 2008; and as testament to their love of the traditional, so far they've released two print-on-demand anime fanzines. The second, THE LAST AMERICAN FANZINE #2, recently appeared and is both larger and pinker than the first; 74 perfect-bound pages of full color Japanese animation culture data. Contributors include Benjamin "Anipages" Ettinger, Patrick Macias, me, Mike Toole, and Daryl Surat, a veritable who's who of the charmingly obsessed, all discoursing on topics like VHS worship and basic-cable OAV appearances in the 1980s, the eye-opening adults-only Pop Chaser, and the real-life background to Patlabor.  The zine also features an enlightening discussion between two Japanese anime journalists, a behind-the-scenes look at animecon scandal with the mysterious "Director X”, and a sad photo essay of the otaku ghetto at New York Comic Con.

As a Kinko's-scarred veteran of the fanzine heyday, I've read a lot of anime zines, and it's my opinion that these CD zines are state of the art. The writing is confident and knowledgeable, the artwork is classy, the layout is uncluttered. It's as close to the Platonic ideal of 'anime zine' as you're ever going to get. 

Meanwhile a few fathoms down, Marine Boy is bravely and freely fighting evil beneath the sea, as he's done in various forms since 1967. If you watched Marine Boy as a boy or girl or if you only came across him on the UHF dial in hotel rooms in far-off cities, you need MARINE BOY: UNDERWATER ADVENTURE, the new book from Xenorama aka David McRobie.  Xenorama has been assembling this comprehensive guide to Marine Boy together for years, and his 40-page book features full episode guides to both the English and Japanese versions of the series, as well as an interview with the late Peter Fernandez, who produced the English version.  With the recent release of the first season on DVD by Warner Archive, interest in Marine Boy is at high tide, and dismay at the horrible pun I made there is also pretty high. Sorry. The UNDERSEA ADVENTURE trade paperback is produced by Amazon's print-on-demand service and can be yours with just a few splashes of your swim fins, or clicks, if you prefer


xenorama said...

Thanks so much for the plug! I think Peter Fernandez would have loved the jokes you made. He was full of the same kind of humor.

desertraider said...

Thanks for the article. It was very interesting.