By Jason S. Yadao
Sept. 15, on my Facebook page:
Spent a good chunk of the 19th anniversary of my 18th birthday checking out Brady Evans' "Crossing Cultures" manga exhibit at Windward Community College (short-form recap in six words: it's really awesome, go visit it; long-form recap coming in Otaku Ohana after I soak up a bit more staycation time).
Close to two weeks later, long since the warm fuzzies from staycation relaxation were replaced by the smothering blanket of daily work stress, running through my mind this morning:
OH MY GOSH THE WINDWARD HOOLAULEA IS TOMORROW THE EXHIBIT CLOSES ON WEDNESDAY I'VE ONLY HAD TIME TO WRITE CAPTIONS FOR SEVEN PICTURES OUT OF 70 IN TWO GALLERIES THE WINDOW FOR THE OCTOBER OTA-COOL INCOMING! UPDATE IS COMING UP FAST AND THE LAST TIME I UPDATED OTAKU OHANA TOYS N JOYS WAS STILL OPEN KYAAAAAAAAH MUST WRITE AND POST SOMETHING NOOOOOOOW *flail flail flail flail flail*
It's probably going to be a while before those two galleries -- one for the exhibit proper, the other, a side gallery dedicated to the drawings exhibit visitors have created -- are ready for viewing. They may not be out until an end-of-the-year retrospective, truth be told, with all of October's events, plus the possibility that I may be called upon to review some films screening in the Hawaii International Film Festival, looming on the horizon.
But for me to say nothing further about the exhibit before it ends in less than a week would sell it short, because there's still quite a bit going on. There's the aforementioned Hoolaulea from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, where the Honolulu Printmakers will be hosting a hands-on manga printmaking activity and Gallery 'Iolani will be open for visits. There's also the final curator's walk-through and artist meet-and-greet session from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, featuring Gordon Rider/Star-Advertiser "Calabash" cartoonist Jon Murakami and doujinshi artist Kyunyo.
You can also get a virtual taste of the exhibit at the excellent tie-in website hawaiimanga.com, with exhibit photos, sound clips of the featured artists and downloads for a treasure trove of materials including the exhibit booklet, Rose Dela Cruz's tie-in manga and bookmarks with Audra Furuichi's nemu*nemu pups. Brady, along with featured artists Tara Tamayori and Audra, also did an interview with Hawaii Public Radio's Noe Tanigawa posted under the somewhat unfortunate title of "POW! Crossing Cultures: The Art of Manga in Hawaii." (I'm sorry, but the whole "let's add sound effects to something about comics, because when people think comics, they think of the Adam West-era Batman TV show" strikes me as a tired media cliche, ranking right up there with "MANGA! Wow! Girls are reading comics now!" on the irritation scale for me.)
Here's a taste of some of the highlights from my visit to the exhibit, starting with ... the entrance! There are several discrete sections to the exhibit: the history of manga (the first wall of which is shown here); a discussion of the local otaku community; and displays on a number of local series influenced by manga.
Here's curator Brady during the exhibit walk-through, talking about the nemu*nemu display. Worth noting in this picture:
- The girl with the red backpack was wearing an Iwatobi Swim Club jacket. That club will be very familiar to those of you who know about the fanservice-for-fujoshi swimming anime Free! How she got that jacket that quickly, I have no idea.
- It's an Aiea Library young adult librarian sighting!
And here's Brady next to costumes of Fullmetal Alchemist's Alphone Elric and Persona's Teddy in the Kawaii Kon section.
There's quite a bit of art on display, but here's a figure study from one series that I haven't highlighted very often in this space: Marisa Torigoe's "Children of Aumakua," one of the series from the Hawaii Star Manga Project anthology.
Journey of Heroes writer Stacey Hayashi was the scheduled featured guest of the day. She talked about the creative process behind the manga depicting the World War II story of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team in chibified form.
Cacy & Kiara artist and MidWeek cartoonist Roy Chang also showed up as an unscheduled featured guest of the day. He and Stacey swapped books later on.
And, of course, some Star-Advertiser anime/manga blogger dork is part of a display where local manga "dignitaries" -- the others being Kawaii Kon senior administrator Roy Bann and Star-Advertiser "Bento Box" cartoonist Deb Aoki -- shared some thoughts about the evolution of Hawaii's otaku community.
Roy Chang and I were chatting a little after Brady's walk-through, and we both agreed that the exhibit's production values were impressive, on a level with the Osamu Tezuka exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in 2007. Certainly worth checking out if you have some free time over the next few days.