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Top 20 Must-See Manga Events at Comic-Con 2010

Manga Artist Appearances, Celeb-Sightings and Publishers' Previews


San Diego Comic-Con is truly an international affair, with no less than four top manga artists coming from Japan to meet and greet fans, lots of new releases, a ton of anime and manga events and many announcements to come.

With so much to see and do, what are the can't-miss events for manga fans? Here's my picks for 20 events that are on my must-do list for the weekend.

1. Meet Shojo Manga Legend Moto Hagio

Moto Hagio
Courtesy of Comic-Con International

It's rare enough that a Japanese manga artist comes to Comic-Con - it's rarer still that an artist of Hagio-sensei's stature and influence takes the time to share her artistry and insights with North American comics fans. Don't miss your chance to meet this shojo manga legend and get your copy of A Drunken Dream from Fantagraphics.

  • Moto Hagio Spotlight Panel: Friday, July 23 at 10:30 am in Room 5AB
  • International Graphic Novels Panel: Saturday, July 24 at 3:30 pm in Room 4

Autograph sessions: at Fantagraphics Booth #1718

  • Thursday, July 22 - 1:00 - 2:00 pm
  • Friday, July 23 - 2:00 - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday, July 24 - 5:00 - 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, July 25 - 1:00 - 2:00 pm

2. Meet Yoshitaka Amano, Illustrator of Shinjuku, Vampire Hunter D

© Yoshitaka Amano, Mink

Amano-sensei's lush and distinctive artwork has earned him legendary status in the world of anime, manga, video games, science fiction and fantasy illustration. In addition to his work on Vampire Hunter D and Final Fantasy, Amano-sensei recently collaborated with author Mink to create Shinjuku, a lavishly illustrated novel of sci-fi/mystery and suspense. Dark Horse will be hosting a spotlight panel with Amano-sensei and Mink on Sunday, as well as two (ticketed) autograph sessions with the Shinjuku creators for Saturday and Sunday.

  • Yoshitaka Amano Spotlight Panel: Sunday, July 25 - 11:30 am - 12:30 pm in Room 8
  • Autograph Sessions Saturday, July 24 - 11:00 am - 12:00 noon and Sunday, 1:00 - 2:00 pm, at Dark Horse Booth #2615


3. Meet Felipe Smith, Creator of Peepo Choo

Felipe Smith and Peepo Choo
© Felipe Smith

There will be hundreds of comics creators chatting on panels, sketching and signing books at Comic-Con but only a handful can claim bragging rights to what Felipe Smith accomplished: his work was published in a major Japanese manga magazine and he lived to tell the tale.

Now Vertical is publishing all three volumes of Peepo Choo, Smith's wild, violent and acidic satire of US/Japan pop culture, so Smith will be on hand to sign copies of his new comic for U.S. fans. This is a ticketed event, so be sure to visit the Vertical table for more info.

  • Autograph Session: Saturday, July 24 2:00-3:00 p.m. at Vertical Table #B03

4. VIZ Media's Shonen Jump Panel and Stan Lee Autograph Session

Ultimo Volume 2 by Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei, from Shonen Jump Manga / VIZ Media
KARAKURI DOJI ULTIMO © 2008 by Stan Lee–POW! Entertainment/Dream Ranch, Hiroyuki Takei/SHUEISHA Inc

VIZ Media's panel at Anime Expo was a bit skimpy on the shonen manga announcements, so look for them to introduce a few new titles that they've been keeping up their sleeve until Comic-Con.

In addition to offering Comic-Con exclusive goodies and freebies at their booth, VIZ Media will also be hosting an autograph session with comics legend and Ultimo creator Stan Lee. Tickets for the autograph session will be available on Thursday, July 22 and Friday, July 23. The first 60 people on each day to purchase Ultimo from the VIZ Media booth will receive tickets to get their books signed by Lee.

  • Shonen Jump Panel: Saturday, July 24, 10:30-11:30 at Room 9
  • Stan Lee Ultimo Autograph Session: Saturday, July 24, 1:15 - 2:15 at VIZ Booth #2813


5. Autograph Session with Junko Mizuno, Creator of Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu

Print by Junko Mizuno
© Junko Mizuno

Famous for her unique mix of cute yet slightly creepy artwork, Junko Mizuno has made a name for herself in both the manga and fine art world. To promote her most recent graphic novel release from Last Gasp, Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu, Mizuno has created a new set of limited edition prints featuring Pelu and a curvy femme fatale. Drop by the Last Gasp booth to get yours while they last.

Autograph sessions at Last Gasp Booth #1616

  • Thursday, July 22 - 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Friday, July 23 - noon - 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, July 24 - 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

6. Meet the Voice Cast of Vampire Knight

Vampire Knight anime DVD Vol.1
© 2008 Matsuri Hino / HAKUSENSHA, Vampire Knight Project

Now that VIZ Media is streaming Matsuri Hino's high school vampire drama on VIZAnime.com, they've also got the dubbed version of the Vampire Knight anime due out in Fall 2010. To celebrate, the cast of Vampire Knight, Mela Lee (Yuki), Vic Mignogna (Zero) and Ethan Murray (Kaname) will be joined by Vampire Knight manga editor Nancy Thistlethwaite for a panel on Friday, as well as autograph sessions at the VIZ Booth #2813.

  • VIZ Media's Vampire Knight Panel - Friday, July 23, 3:30 - 4:30 pm in Room 9
  • Vampire Knight Trivia Game hosted by Vic Mignogna - Friday, July 23, 11:00 am at VIZ Media Booth
  • Vampire Knight Autograph Session - Friday, July 23, 1:00 pm at VIZ Media Booth


7. Sean Michael Wilson and Top Shelf Showcase AX Alternative Manga

AX: Alternative Manga Volume 1

Top Shelf's edition of AX: Alterative Manga been the talk of the manga-sphere since it was announced in 2008. Now Top Shelf is releasing the first volume of this collection of innovative, mind-bending manga from one of Japan's top alternative comics anthologies in time for Comic-Con, and they've got editor Sean Michael Wilson on hand to drop some gekiga science.

  • Manga for Grown-Ups: Garo, Ax, Gekiga, and the Alternative Manga Revolution Thursday, July 22, 12:30 pm -1:30 pm in Room 8
  • Top Shelf 2010: Sweden, Japan, and so much more: Friday, July 23, 5:30 - 6:30 pm in Room 9


8. Udon Celebrates 10th Anniversary

VENT Volume 1
© Arnold Tsang / UDON Entertainment

2010 marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of Udon Entertainment, and that's a good a reason as any to celebrate! The Udon Crew will look back at their beginnings, provide sneak peeks at upcoming projects and for comic creators, they'll be offering advice on how to break into the biz.

Meanwhile, at Udon booth #5037, Udon artists will be sketching and signing books, including their new original anthology, VENT.

  • Udon: 10 Years of Comics and Games Friday, July 23, 7:30 - 8:30 pm in Room 3


9. Best and Worst Manga Panel

Jason Thompson and Deb Aoki
© Deb Aoki

Since the summer of 2009 when we last presented "The Best and Worst Manga" panel, a whole lot of new manga has hit the stores. Now find out what comics critics Jason Thompson (Manga: The Complete Guide), Christopher Butcher (The Beguiling, Comics212.net), Shaenon Garrity (Comixology, The Comics Journal), Carlo Santos (Anime News Network) and I ranted, raved, griped and groaned about in manga over the past year, and find out our picks for this Fall's most anticipated new titles.

  • The Best and Worst of Manga 2010: Thursday, July 22, 4:30-5:30, at Room 3


10. Lost In Translation Manga Panel


After the Best and Worst Manga panel, stick around for more manga fun in Room 3, as   translators and editors William Flanagan (Kobato), Jonathan Tarbox (Fist of the North Star), Jason Thompson (King of RPGs), Shaenon Garrity (Skin Horse), Stephen Paul (Moyasimon), Mark Simmons (Mobile Suit Gundam Series) and Jake Forbes (Return to Labyrinth) share their tales from behind the lines and between the lines.

  • Lost in Translation Manga Panel: Thursday, July 22, 5:30 - 6:30 pm at Room 3


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