I also work on Japanese manga and anime (Japanese comics and animation), focusing on the 1940s to the present, with some study of earlier Japanese art history and popular culture. Some of my work on manga is academic, but much of it involves working with popular publications, as an industry consultant, or working with the fan community. My special area is the “God of Manga” Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy and one of the most formative figures of the post-war era. I am also interested in gender in manga and anime, especially the evolution of women’s manga (shoujo and jousei) and their effects on men’s manga (shounen and seinen).
I am the founder of TezukaInEnglish.com, now the primary English language web resource for information about Tezuka’s life, works and international publication history. I have worked as a consultant for Tezuka Productions and numerous American manga and anime publishers. I blog about anime and manga for Tor.com, and used to write a bi-weekly column on manga, cosplay, fashion and otaku culture for Tokyopop.com (2005-2007). I work as an Historical and Linguistic Consultant for FUNimation, and used to be a Mythology and Language Consultant for ADV Films (2005-9) and an Anime Network Field Representative (2004-6).
Essays and Popular Publications:
- The index of my posts on Tor.com is continually updating.
- “All Life is Genocide: the Philosophical Pessimism of Osamu Tezuka,” in Mangatopia: Essays on Manga and Anime in the Modern World, ed. Timothy Perper and Martha Cornog. Santa Barbara CA: ABC-Clio Libraries Unlimited, 2011.
- “Review of Anime and Philosophy. Edited by Josef Steiff and Tristan D. Tamplin,” (online) in Mechademia Reviews, University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
- “‘You, God of Manga, are Cruel!’: Karma and Suffering in the Universe of Osamu Tezuka,” in Manga and Philosophy, Open Court, 2010.
- “Film is Alive: The Manga Roots of Osamu Tezuka’s Animation Obsession,” (dowbloadable PDF) written for the event series “Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga, Father of Anime” at the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries, November 13–December 13, 2009.
- “Rock Holmes Transformation,” analytical essay, on TezukaInEnglish.com.
- “Convention and Cosplay Survival Guide,” in Takuhai. Tokyopop, 2007.
Introductions and Notes in Anime and Manga Releases:
- Introduction to Beanworld Omnibus 2, by Larry Marder. Milwaukie: Dark Horse,
- “The Cruelty of The Crater,” introduction to Osamu Tezuka’s The Crater,
Gardena, CA: Digital Manga Publications, 2017.
- Notes for DVD release of Hetalia seasons 5-6 (“The Beautiful World”). Co-
authored with Lauren Schiller. Flower Mound, TX: FUNimation, 2013-present.
- Historical notes for Hetalia World Series 1 – Season 03 and Hetalia World Series 2 – Season 04 (TV series) and Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint it White! (movie) DVD releases (region 1). Co-authored with Lila Garrott, Lauren Schiller and Ruth Wejksnora. FUNimation, 2011-12.
- “Tezuka, Black Jack and the Star System,” essay introducing Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack vol. 3, special edition hardcover. Vertical Inc., 2009.
- Mythological notes for Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok. DVD release (region 1). ADV Films, 2005-6.
Lectures and Talks:
- Anime Chicago Symposium Series “Osamu Tezuka God of Manga” (Cards Against Humanity Theater, Chicago, November 22nd 2015).
- Manga Out Loud podcast (with Helen McCarthy & Fred Schodt): Barbara, October 8th, 2012.
- Manga Out Loud podcast (with Helen McCarthey & Kate Dacey): Princess Knight vol. 2., February 13th, 2012.
- “Sacred Biomedicine and Doctors of the Soul in the Works of Osamu Tezuka” presented at the conference Comics and Medicine: Medical Narrative in Graphic Novels, organized by Graphic Medicine, London, June 17th 2010. Streaming Podcast on Panel Borders, streamed 6/23/2011.
- Guest Panelist for “Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga, Father of Anime,” at the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Galleries, November 14, 2008.
I am also a frequent panelist at fan convention venues such as Worldcon, Otakon, Balticon and Anime Boston, and frequently give talks on manga, anime and the anime/manga industry at colleges and other venues. If you are interested in asking me to come speak, send me an e-mail.
Text Interviews and Web Links:
- Anime Expert ADA PALMER – Exclusive Interview in Buzzy Mag
- Interview for “Osamu Tezuka: Father of Manga and scourge of the medical establishment” in The Guardian (UK)
- Interview on Scifi Block about Astro Boy
- Interview in Publisher’s Weekly about Black Jack
- Vertical’s Black Jack release
- Interview on CNN about Crossplay
I have also staffed many anime conventions. I work most extensively with costume and cosplay events, and with educational events. I like to create events which give younger participants opportunities to learn new skills, and channel their enthusiasm for anime into chances to learn about literature, culture, language, and open doors to future paths. I have run and judged Masquerades, and developed the version of attendee-participant Cosplay Human Chess which began at Anime Boston and is now popular at many conventions. I created a number of other cosplay events, including the Anime Dating Game and Catch the Barrel. I have been a staff member of Anime Boston since 2005, and have staffed several other East Coast conventions.