zzzzzz….I’m awake! I’m awake!

Still drooping with fatigue from running around the Baltimore Convention Center for Otakon.

But some wisdom I’ve acquired: the best way to cover these types of conventions is to enjoy yourself. And sometimes enjoying yourself means leaving the con grounds.

Which leads me to my highlight of Oo6 (Otakon 2006) and why I missed the screening of the 2002 Korean movie Sex is Zero.

Anyone who reads scanlations knows Omanga, the American scanlation group with seniority. Admittedly, I read some of their material and also interviewed their head of operations, Zyph, for my article on Nihei Tsutomu (who will be in Phoenix this December!) that appeared recently in PWCW.

Zyph is a rare breed of man who can talk manga without talking down to a female audience.  He’s smart, he knows his shit, and he doesn’t waste time on 10 minute lectures of the importance of Tezuka in the development of the Japanese visual narrative.

So you can imagine my delight when I found out that he was going to be in Baltimore (for a bachelor party) but was willing to meet up.  Naturally, since he was supposed to be with friends, knocking back brew at the local Hooters, I had to do something to compensate him for his time and generousity.  So I made him buy me lunch.

Nothing all that important transpired during our meeting, but I did walk away with an idea as to what PWCW manga readers are looking for.  A comprehensive look at the future of manga in the U.S.  More interaction with editors and their thoughts on manga instead of canned responses from the PR people.  Forums where editors, publishers, and readers can interact with one another.

Some of what Zyph is looking for is just physically impossible because we just don’t have the man-power (yet) to execute something like a forum.  But I still found the bulk of his suggestions helpful.  And I got a free lunch.

I’ll be writing a story on scanlation at some point (soon, I hope) so Zyph will be making more PWCW appearances.

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