First Chime in 2009

It’s been almost a month since my last entry.  The funny thing is that in looking at my blog stats, I get more hits when I don’t write than when I do.

It kinda makes me wonder.

Anyway, I had planned for my first entry of 2009 to start with something akin to “Happy New Year!”  Unfortunately, the most I can muster right now is “Anxious New Year!”

We’re well into January and deeply anticipating what’s to come. So far, my assessment (on a personal level) is that 2009 is no good for my aneurism.  I’m not sure it’s going to be all that good for publishing’s aneurism either – or journalism’s aneurism for that matter, but I know for a fact that it is no good for mine.  But all that could change in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

(And yes, for those curious enough, I am indeed tempted to throttle my son’s stuffed lamb…)

Lots of linking to catch up to.  Roland Kelts has two articles live – one about online anime/manga/everything else site, CrunchyRoll, for the Daily Yomimuri, and one for the Malaysian Star about the new Hollywood-Japan partnership that’s in its infancy with DragonBall and AstroBoy.  Kelts points out that Japan’s active participation in Hollywood’s remakes is a deep contrast to Japan’s handling of intellectual property (namely Pokemon) in the past.  With Keanu Reeves’s Cowboy BeBop in the works, and DiCaprio’s Akira on its way, we’ll see if this trend continues.

For anyone who didn’t catch this on FaceBook, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Charles Brownstein spoke with NPR’s On the Media about the Christopher Handley case – and the importance of freedom of expression in light of the US Supreme Court’s 2003 PROTECT act.

On a congratulatory note, 2009 is already looking up for Takeshi Matsui, associate professor at Hitotsubashi University and visiting scholar to Princeton’s Sociology Department, just handed in his paper on the US manga industry.  Yay, Matsui-san!  Matsui-san has made the convention rounds for roughly two years now, researching this paper.  He also draws upon articles from PWCW (ahem) as source material.  I haven’t read all of it yet, but it’s on my list of things to do for this weekend.

Something else that’s making the rounds – and reminding us of what winter’s all about: Burton’s Japan team  shredding Hokkaido/Gunma pow.  Closer to home, and on the eve of New York Comicon, RedBull is having their own snowboarding event out at the East River Park on Thursday, February 5th.  I can’t quite figure out what kind of jump they’re building or if there’s gonna be a half-pipe (because how dope would it be if there were some sort of half-pipe on the East River?) but just the thought makes me feel spoiled.

And when it’s minus 1 in Manhattan, that’s what it’s all about.

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