NYAF is smaller than NYCC; it’s down on the lower level, in the space where the first NYCC was in 2006. The Friday crowd was healthy but not overwhelming, with a nice assortment of cosplayers.
I stopped by the Tokyopop booth for a chat with their people; watch for a revamp of their website next year that should make it easier to navigate. They had a tea party to launch the third volume of Dramacon, and Svetlana Chmakova was on hand to sign copies for a long line of ardent fans. For some reason Stu Levy was tearing around the floor in a tuxedo with a camera crew in tow; I suspect we’ll find out more about that at their movie panel today.
Then I dropped by the Lime Manga booth to visit with David Boller and Mary Hildebrandt, the creative team behind Evergrey and Yaru, (currently being published in Germany) and some rather nice doujinshi in English, Gilt and Karma, both of which you can read online. David had some copies of the French global manga anthology magazine Shogun, which is satisfyingly hefty and now comes in three flavers: shonen, seinen, and “life,” which for some reason the editors found preferable to “shoujo.” And he gave me a copy of his josei manga in French, Executrices Women. Casey, who blogs as Kethylia, stopped by while I was there, and it was great to meet her in person. Christopher Hart came by as well, and we had a mini-reunion, as I edited his first cartoon book for Watson-Guptill 20 years ago.
Before heading out to the panels I visited the Vertical booth, where I talked to their marketing manager, Stephen Vrattos, and looked over their stunning display of manga, novels, and sudoku and oekaki books. Crafters will be pleased to know that they have some new Aranzi Aronzo books, these ones in a bigger format but as cute as ever. I was very taken by their new Guin Saga manga, based on a best-selling series of novels that’s up to over 100 volumes in Japan. And of course, their hardcover edition of MW is gorgeous. (Totally unsolicited and irrelevant plug: Vertical’s sudoku books are on a whole different plane of existence than the sudoku you find in your daily paper. Solving them is almost like meditation. Highly recommended!)
Today and tomorrow will be busy, with lots of panels and hopefully some interesting announcements. Stay tuned!