Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Anime North 2023

It's that time of year again when the flowers bloom, when the pollen drifts, when spring comes to Ontario and when Anime North comes to Toronto. Since 1997 this festival of all things Japanese animation-related has been a yearly highlight of the Canadian anime fan calendar, and as the nation's top non-profit fan event the convention provides a weekend of excitement for, let's say thirty thousand or so attendees. And as is my custom, I'll be behind the tables hosting a host of panels and events revolving around classic Japanese animation.



Friday evening in Plaza 1 in the Delta, we'll be taking a look at the life and career of recently departed manga legend Leiji Matsumoto, both as a retrospective of his many works in the comics field, the animation those works inspired, and the fans and fandom that grew from it, both in Japan and in the West.


Friday night at 10, Anime Hell returns to the TCC North Ballroom for another two hours of whimsical, poorly defined audio-visual nonsense culled from the streaming feeds and thrift-store VHS of a lifetime of hoarding. 

Saturday at noon, join a panel of convention veterans as they explain the scams and flim-flams of fandom, how bad actors, grifters, predators, and other creeps victimize the world of fan organizations and activities. 

At 2:30pm Saturday, join the Mister Kitty Dot Net team of David Merrill and Shaindle Minuk as they take you through the confusing, sometimes licensed, always culturally appropriative world of The Great Anime And Manga Swindle. 


Shotaro Ishinomori is one of the giants of manga and Saturday at 4, Mike Toole and Dave Merrill will examine this record-breaking, tremendously influential figure, from Android V to Mezzon Z.



Saturday from noon until 6, the Paris Room will once again be host to Classic Anime Afternoon, a daylong celebration of vintage and currently unlicensed in the West anime series and films. 



Saturday night erupts with a tag-team of nothing but trouble as Neil Nadelman delivers Totally Lame Anime followed by Mike Toole unwrapping some Bootleg Korean Anime. Don't miss it!



Sunday at 1 Dave will be taking you through the Japanese anime films of forty years ago. Everything from atom bombs to Arales, from Harmagedons to Final Yamatos to Fantastic Trips happened in 1983 and you will see it all. 


 And stick around Sunday afternoon as Mike Toole takes you on another trip through the world of Dubs Time Forgot, as disrespected voice work and forgotten audio tracks are resurrected to see the light of day once again. Can audio tracks see? I don't know. Let's find out. 


It's all happening at Anime North, May 26-28, 2023! See you soon! 


Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Mister Kitty Story


As many Let's Anime readers may be aware, when I'm not writing for this blog I'm usually working on something for the website Mister Kitty. My partner Shaindle Minuk and myself started Mister Kitty in 2006 or so as a website to publish our comics on the internets, which was the fashion at the time. 


Since then we've both released hundreds and hundreds of pages of our original comic stories in a variety of genres and media. We both hosted galleries of our artwork on the site. For a few years I put together a weekly audio feature called "Found Sound" where I'd highlight some particularly goofy singles or album tracks from my collection of offbeat vinyl. This has since been replaced by a semi-regular podcast feature, Mister Kitty's Lo-Fi Landfill. 

 But what wound up being the most popular feature has been Stupid Comics, a weekly deep dive into one of the thousands of  comic books that litter our place, a dive into a comic that fails on some level - inept artwork, poorly thought-out stories, shoddy printing, obvious swipes, all kinds of problems can befall the production of an example of the Ninth Art, and in seventeen years of making fun of these comics we've seen and made fun of our fair share of those failures. 

The reason I bring all this up is simple. For years our website was located at Mister Kitty Dot Org. That web address was burned into my brain through countless interviews, podcasts, and convention panels. Name the occasion and there I was, reminding everyone to visit Mister Kitty Dot Org. Well, not any more. It seems that our web hosting company fumbled the ball during an important moment of transition, and our dot org address was snatched out from under our very noses. In practical terms, this means that we're no longer at Mister Kitty Dot Org, and instead the entire website and all its content is now located at Mister Kitty Dot Net

I have but one request for you, dear readers. Please take a minute to visit and bookmark Mister Kitty Dot Net. Maybe give the site a visit on a regular basis (we usually post new Stupid Comics late Thursday night). If you happen to come across an old link to something we published at the dot org site, that link probably won't work. At least, it's not going to take you to anything we have anything to do with. 

I realize how frustrating this might be for long-time readers of our site to have to replace a well-known, almost reflexive address with a new, slightly different one, and I apologize for any stress or confusion this may cause. Please be assured we are going to continue with Stupid Comics every week; there's going to be a new Lo-Fi Landfill for you soon, and there will be some new comics from us down the road. Both Shain and myself have really enjoyed working on Mister Kitty,  and we're pleased and a little amazed that we've managed to entertain so many regular visitors for so long. If you could bear with us through this speed bump, we'll do our best to keep delivering the Mister Kitty to you.

 -Dave and Shain 

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