Usagi creator will return to isles in 09


POSTED: Tuesday, December 23, 2008

“;Usagi Yojimbo,”; the wandering-samurai-rabbit epic drawn by Hawaii-raised comic book artist Stan Sakai, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year.

Kawaii Kon, the local anime convention cofounded by Hawaii-raised Stan Dahlin, will be celebrating its fifth anniversary next year.

Both anniversaries will have more than just guys named Stan as their driving forces in common come April, as both will be celebrated at the Hawaii Convention Center, with Sakai the newest Kawaii Kon guest to be announced.

This will be the second visit to Kawaii Kon for Sakai, but his first time at the convention center—veteran attendees will recall that he was a guest at the 2006 convention, the last one held at the Ala Moana Hotel. For those of you who missed him the last time around, you'll certainly be in for a treat this time. I first met him in person before the 2006 convention's opening ceremony, and he truly is a nice guy.

Another guest has been confirmed as returning to Kawaii Kon, or more specifically, a group of guys: the Emeralds, the Japanese rock band that thrilled convention-goers earlier this year. With female rock group Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re—the band that will forever be known around this column as “;that band that sings about brain-eating and lonely fishcakes”;—also attending, I can now state as fact that next year's convention will totally rock.

And at risk of me sounding like one of those 30-minute TV commercials, that's STILL not all. While looking at the official guest roster to reconfirm the other guests, another name popped out that I don't recall mentioning in this column before: David Williams, producer and director at ADV Films.

Williams joins voice actress Monica Rial and artists Robert and Emily DeJesus as five-time guests; other guests attending are voice actor and four-time guest Vic Mignogna; voice actor Travis Willingham, back for his second visit; and voice actors Laura Bailey, Caitlin Glass and Illich Guardiola, all first-timers.

Whew. Kawaii Kon is April 10-12; as a reminder, use the discount code “;celshaded”; when preregistering online and receive a 10 percent discount on all three-day passes. For more information, visit ...


Coming up Sunday

What ever happened to Haley Joel Osment, the actor who played that kid in “;The Sixth Sense”; and voiced Sora in the “;Kingdom Hearts”; video-game franchise?

I was just wondering about that because of the manga series that tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. will be profiling, “;Lagoon Engine”; from Tokyopop and “;Omukae Desu”; from CMX. Both of those series deal with seeing dead people and helping spirits ... which made me think of young Mr. Osment and his famous whispered line, “;I see dead people.”;

Find out more about the manga in “;Drawn & Quartered”; in the Sunday Today section. As for Osment, you'll have to look him up on the Internet ...


Happy holidays!

For those of you who celebrate in the Jewish tradition, happy Hanukkah today; for those of the Christian persuasion, merry Christmas on Thursday. It's my sincerest wish for all the best for you and yours this holiday ...