Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Astro Boy Essays in Otaku USA

The December 2007 issue of Otaku USA features a two-page review of The Astro Boy Essays by Frederik L. Schodt. Invoking the full-color, classic Astro Boy images in the book, the review includes some wonderful full-color illustrations. Daryl Surat writes:

[Schodt] is perhaps the top English-language authority on the subject of the "God of Manga and Anime." Not only is [The Astro Boy Essays] an excellent resource on Astro Boy, also serves as a biography on the life of Osamu Tezuka and a historical overview of the development of modern Japanese animation and comics.

Remember to RSVP for the special AUTHOR TALK AND BOOK SIGNING with Schodt at the Japan Society of Northern California on November 14th!

The Japan Journals in Education About Asia

In the new issue (Fall 2007; Volume 12, Number 2) of Education About Asia, Andrea Kempf reviews Donald Richie's The Japan Journals: 1947-2004. Kempf writes:

The journals explore the inner man; they examine the appeal of being an "other" in Japan....Anyone who teaches about twentieth-century Japanese culture will find the Japan Journals an invaluable insight into the man whose life work it was to make Japan accessible to the west.

Kempf notes a number of Richie's books, and calls The Inland Sea "his most enduring work."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eve Kushner in the San Francisco Chronicle

In today's San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeley writer and Kanji devotee Eve Kushner, author of the forthcoming Stone Bridge title Crazy for Kanji: A Student's Guide to the Wonderful World of Japanese Characters, reviews Wendy Nelson Tokunaga's new novel, Midori By Moonlight. Read the review here, and look out for Crazy for Kanji in early 2008!

Monday, October 29, 2007

New Japanimation Season at the Barbican with Helen McCarthy and, on October 30th, Jonathan Clements!

Hold on to your hats, film lovers of the UK, it's time once again for Japanimation, a thrilling season of events exploring the relationship between Japanese animation and Western cinema at the Barbican in London! The last season of events -- also hosted by Helen McCarthy, co-author of The Anime Encyclopedia, and also pairing a screening of a hot anime film with discussion of the film's influences -- was a huge success, and this new season, with one event every month (except for December) through March, is even bigger and better!

The first screening, Romeo X Juliet (inspired by...well, not by King Lear) on Tuesday, October 30th, 2007, will be introduced by Helen McCarthy and followed by discussion with Jonathan Clements & the President of GDH International!
(the details for this event)
(the details for the series)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Anime Classics Zettai! in New York Times article on new Kinokuniya Bookstore

In a New York Times article today about the stunning new three-story Bryant Park Kinokuniya Bookstore, Motoko Rich quotes Shigeharu Ono, director of Kinokuniya in New York, who says that English-language titles will likely be in the majority at the new location: "At the old store the main purpose was to sell to the Japanese community....We want to expand our audience." Rich notes that Stone Bridge's own Brian Camp, co-author of Anime Classics Zettai!, will be presenting at the new store in November.

There are three November events with Stone Bridge authors at the new Kinokuniya! Here are the details:

"Lost Classics of Anime"
A visual presentation and booksigning with Brian Camp

Including historical commentary, and clips from films rarely seen or never released in the US!
Saturday, November 3rd, 2007
5:00 p.m.

"Democracy with a Gun: America and the Policy of Force"
A reading and booksigning with Democracy with a Gun author and veteran international journalist Fumio Matsuo
Monday, November 12th, 2007
5:00 p.m.

"JAPAN: Land of Rising Business Opporunities"
What you need to know
A must-attend mini-seminar with Business Passport to Japan authors Sue Shinomiya and Brian Szepkouski
Thursday, November 15th, 2007
5:30 p.m.

All events at:
Kinokuniya Bookstore (note new location!)
1073 Avenue of the Americas
Across from Bryant Park between 40th & 41st Streets
New York, NY 10018
(212) 869-1700
Presented by Kinokuniya Bookstore and Stone Bridge Press

Asia Shock in MovieMaker

We finally got our hands on the Summer 2007 issue (#70) of MovieMaker magazine, "the nation's leading magazine on the art and business of making movies and the most widely read magazine on independent film in the world." Why did we grab a copy and devour it? Because we were entranced by Jodie Foster's strange, pensive gaze on the cover? Because we're tired of books and we want to make movies? No, alas, our 7-hour samurai epic set in BART stations and the Berkeley hills is, well, still in the planning stage.

We picked up MovieMaker because it contains Travis Crawford's review of Patrick Galloway's excellent guidebook, Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Crawford writes:

Author Patick Galloway ...[brings] a level of keen insight to accompany his equally infectious enthusiasm for these films. His book emerges as an entertaining read for longtime devotees of Asian genre cinema and an outstanding primer for newcomers.
(read Galloway's comments on the review)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tokyopop on The Astro Boy Essays posted a 5-star review of Frederik L. Schodt's The Astro Boy Essays today. Ada Palmer Putrocca, who also made the book a "Featured Publication" on, writes:

In his long-awaited Astro Boy Essays, Schodt gives a concise and detailed introduction to the life, influence and significance of Tezuka in the history of Japan and the international comics world. ....All the material is presented in a format beginners can understand, but with enough details that even experts will find themselves learning more with every page.
(read more)

Fumio Matsuo in Conversation with CBS White House Correspondent Bill Plante

Stone Bridge Press and the Embassy of Japan are pleased to announce a lecture by Democracy with a Gun author and veteran international journalist Fumio Matsuo, moderated by CBS White House Correspondent Bill Plante.

"Voice of the Author Series"
The Japan Information and Culture Center
Embassy of Japan, Washington D.C.
Wednesday, November 7th

Copies of Democracy with a Gun: America and the Policy of Force will be available for purchase.
More info (PDF)

“The Japanese have long been fascinated by what Americans think of Japan, but what do the Japanese think of America? Fumio Matsuo, a veteran journalist, provides one answer in Democracy with a Gun. Matsuo comments on everything from U.S. history to the Iraq conflict, blending sincere admiration with honest critique.”
—Steven Vogel, Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley

Frederik L. Schodt to Speak at the Japan Society

Make your reservations today for a very special evening at the Japan Society of Northern California with The Astro Boy Essays author Frederik L. Schodt!

"Frederik L. Schodt on Osamu Tezuka: The Astro Boy Essays"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Japan Society

500 Washington Street, Suite 500, San Francisco

5:30 pm Reception
6:00 pm Program
7:00 pm Book Signing

Free for Members / $5 Non Members

More info/reservations

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New Donald Richie Book Previewed in the WaterBridge Review

The latest issue of the WaterBridge Review, an online magazine run by the same great folks behind the Kiriyama Prize, features a review of Travels in the East, a remarkable new collection of travel essays by Donald Richie, coming this December from Stone Bridge Press (don't forget, Richie's new A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics is out now!). James D. Rosenthal writes about Travels in the East:

Fortunately for us, Richie has not limited his attention to Japan. He has also been an inveterate traveler around the rest of Asia and beyond. Travels in the East, his latest slender volume, includes several essays and articles on his various destinations over the past 10 years. This is not a guidebook, though Richie's descriptions of what he sees and hears are eminently perceptive and useful to any traveler. Rather, his writings focus on the travel experience per se—the atmosphere, the overall "feeling" of a place, and above all how it affects him personally and inwardly. His unusual insight offers the reader a new and different perspective on what it means to be a traveler.
(read the review)

Yoga Poems in the Pacific Rim Review of Books

The Summer 2007 issue of The Pacific Rim Review of Books features a review of Yoga Poems by Leza Lowitz. Christina Morita Clancy, a yoga teacher at Cove Yoga in Victoria, BC, writes:

Lowitz hangs her poems on a frame work of Patanjali's eight limbs -- eight essential steps on the yogi's path....Any reader will recognize the moment when challenges are viewed as an opportunity to learn and grow.
(purchase the issue)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Brian Camp to Present at MoCCA on Monday, October 22nd

What's more fun than watching awesome anime? Watching it while learning about it from Anime Classics Zettai! co-author Brian Camp! Camp will be giving a special visual presentation at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York City next week, and we hope you can make it:

Monday, October 22nd, 2007
6:30 p.m.
MoCCA, 594 Broadway (map)
Anime Adaptations of Manga Classics
There's always been a special relationship between comics and animation in Japan. Speaker Brian Camp (Anime Classics Zettai! 100 Must-See Japanese Animation Masterpieces) discusses the special challenges animators face in their adaptations -- including introduction of cinematic techniques and fidelity to the original manga work -- in this visual lecture. (event info)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Stone Bridge Press Thrives at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Stone Bridge Press editor and publisher Peter Goodman reports back on the overall Frankfurt Book Fair experience:

My first Frankfurt Book Fair in 26 years was a stimulating and exhausting experience. So many books, so little time! Being in the midst of publishers of every size and from every country forces one to wonder: Where do we fit in? Does the world need more books? The need to communicate seems biologically driven, and the Book Fair thus represents a physical expression of our most basic needs. One gets the sense almost that we would still be making books even if there were no readers for them (some folks believe we are already there!).

But according to some fairgoers, this year had lower attendance and less energy, an indication that Frankfurt is in decline, and with it the book publishing industry. E-media are to blame, of course. With digitalization of books we can save trees, petroleum, labor.

I've been hearing this gloomy prognosis for years, and I don't think we're any closer to it now. Electronic media are just another format to invigorate content. Big encyclopedias and dictionaries and travel guides may indeed migrate to digital form, but books will always be the best way to create self-contained worlds of imagination, opinion, and personal expression. In fact, next to the bland stew of infinitely malleable and assemblable digital content, books are almost a radical innovation: finite, focused, personal. I look forward to making more of them.

I've uploaded some photos from the Frankfurt trip. You can judge the size of Hall 8, for English-language publishers. There were 3 (or more?) other halls of this size devoted to other languages, children's publishing, comics, etc. No way to see it all. Somewhere (row N, stand 935 to be exact) the Stone Bridge Press booth had its home. There was a constant hum of traffic. We answered lots of questions and gave out information. And we met with some of our key publishing partners, such as Angela Reynolds (our agent in Barcelona) and (in a surprise visit) Julie Schaper of Consortium. There was also much serendipity, which may or may not turn into new SBP projects down the road.

And in the huh? category was a full-size Japanese torii arch in the middle of nowhere, glimpsed from the access corridor that leads from the parking lot to Hall 8. Some Friendship Committee is responsible no doubt. There is always a shrine building somewhere near the arch, which I guess makes Hall 8 the logical choice, books being made of 'kami' and . . . oh forget it. Dumb joke.

Jonathan Clements to Present on Erotic Anime at SAND 2007

Anime Encyclopedia co-author Jonathan Clements is returning to the Swansea Animation Days (SAND 2007) in Wales (UK) next month to give a lecture on the history and development of Japanese animated erotica. The week-long animation conference also features speakers from Pixar and Double Negative, and screenings of the anime Paprika, 5cm and Tekkonkinkreet. Clements' presentation will take place on Nov. 30th.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Peter Goodman at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Stone Bridge Press editor and publisher Peter Goodman is having a great time at the Frankfurt Book Fair! We are excited to share his recent update:

Spent my first day at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 26 years, and much has changed. Not the size of the fair, however. The only thing larger than the Frankfurt Book Fair is the size of the platter of potatoes, sauerkraut, and sausages you can buy for lunch. We had some nice meetings with the friendly Yohan staff and with a number of our distributors and customers. Sonja Merz, our Far East sales agent, reports that our books continue to receive great interest in Singapore and across southern Asia.

Our new
Shikosha design titles are a big hit: people love the look, the feel, and especially the very reasonable $16.95 price.

I had a chance to sit in the booth and observe the passing scene. Frankfurt seems to be as much about renewing contacts as it is about buying and selling. Yes, people come with business objectives in mind, but I am told that even after people retire from the industry they are inexorably drawn to Frankfurter just to wander the halls and say hi to old friends. I certainly saw a lot of that on the floor: one person stopped dead in her tracks as she recognized another and then reached for a big hug. Now, if only they could practice not doing that sort of thing in the crowded aisles!

Oh, and note to self: Next year, be sure to order tables, chairs, and lights to avoid what happened this year: standing in line at the furniture counter and then dashing out to the ATM to grab hundreds of euros to pay the charges for last-minute rentals (no credit cards accepted).

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Astro Boy Essays in Foreword

The new issue of Foreword includes a review of Frederik L. Schodt's The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution. Reviewer Lance Eaton looks at Schodt's take on the "God of Manga":

Schodt explores Osamu [Tezuka] and one of his earliest commercial successes, providing readers with an in-depth look at the man and how he conceptualized, created, loved, and hated the series in all its different manifestations. ...He succeeds in this synthesis of pop culture, biography, and history. [more]

Friday, October 05, 2007

New Astro Boy Website Features Frederik L. Schodt and The Astro Boy Essays

Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and Nozomi Entertainment have launched, the official Web site celebrating Osamu Tezuka’s groundbreaking 1963 ASTRO BOY anime series.

At, visitors can view the trailer of this fan favorite, download Astro Boy wallpapers and avatars, and listen to an exclusive interview with Frederik L. Schodt, author of The Astro Boy Essays, about the significance of Dr. Tezuka’s works worldwide, the differences between the Astro Boy manga and its anime adaptations, and Tezuka’s love-hate relationship with his best-known creation.