¡Rábanos Radiactivos!
... es no.1764
Written by Fred Patten, and printed on a Xerox photocopier, March 4th, 1999. Intended for Apa L, 1,764th Distribution, LASFS meeting No 3212, March 4th, 1999. Address: 11893 West Jefferson Boulevard, apt. 2, Culver City, California, 90230-6322. Telephone: (310) 827-3335.
Aussicon Three in 1999! Salamander Press No 2191.


Arrrgh! I have become a victim of one of those editorial atrocities like unto Harlan Ellison's articles where the editors change "s-f" to "sci-fi" throughout his manuscripts.

Five years ago, I wrote a brief essay on the growing popularity of anime in America, and how consideration of the reasons for its popularity could be advantageous to the American animation industry. This was published in The Complete Guide to Animation and Computer Graphics Schools, by Ernest Pintoff (Watson-Guptill Publications, 1995), along with similar essays on aspects of the industroy by about fifty other professionals ranging from William Hanna on TV animation to Noel Blanc on voice-acting to Stan Lee on the potential for animation of popular comic-book characters.

Pintoff has just authored a similar book for aspiring animation artists / writers / voice actors, Animation 101, by Ernest Pintoff (Michael Wiese Productions, 1999). He asked for permission to reprint my essay from his previous book, and I said okay. I assume that he did the same with all the other writers.

I just got my contributor's copy of Animation 101. it turns out that Pintoff did not just reprint my essay, he decided to update it himself by adding a new sentence. After my paragraph ending, "Many of the leading Japanese cartoon directors, such as Hayao Miyazaki, Rin Taro, Katsuhiro Otomo and Yoshiaka Kawajiri, are studied by the new animatiors in the cartoon industry," he tacked on, "And after Hayao Miyazaki's animated feature, Ghost in the Shell earned highly favorable responses from industry professionals and critics, Walt Disney announced his acquisition of worldwide distribution rights to Miyazaki's most recent films."

But Miyazaki did not make Ghost in the Shell. It's by Mamoru Oshii, another very popular director. So the effect of that additional sentence is equivalent to saying that it was the success of James Cameron's popular Star Wars trilogy that got him the prestige to direct Titanic; or talking about Walt Disney's popular Bugs Bunny cartoons. That is hardly a comment that any movie expert would want attributed to him! I am going to be spending a lot of time assuring anime fans and professionals that I did not write that addition to my earlier essay. I have not had time yet to compare the other essays in Animation 101 with Pintoff's earlier book to see whether any others have had similarly outrageous additions.

-- Comments On Last Week's Distribution:

Oh, All Right!!! -- (Lembke) I feel guilty about missing the memorial for Gary Louie, but I had Deadlines last weekend. I have articles or reviews in four different current animation/movie magazines, which is the most that I've ever been published in at one time; and this doesn't count the fanzines like Yarf! or five apas. In fact, I'm behind schedule in turning in my next column to Yarf! because I haven't had time yet to finish reading the books to be reviewed because I've got so many new anime-article deadlines. It sounded at last week's meeting like his memorial was going to be crowded.

SFFAM #374 -- (Merrigan) Ulp! It's hard to argue that 15 years isn't really too long to serve as O.C. But the talent pool for a new O.C. is pretty dry these days.

Texting the Text Editor v.2 #8 -- (Zeff) If you like Spike Jones, have you gotten the CDs of Raymond Scott's 1930s six-man swing "quintet"? His music is best known anonymously because Carl Stalling, the Warner Bros. cartoon composer, was a big fan of his and kept using it for mood music in the WB cartoons. Scott's "Powerhouse", the famous WB cartoon "industrial" theme may be the best-known, but Stalling used motifs from over a dozen of Scott's pieces like "Dinner Music for Hungry Cannibals". Some animation historian tracked Scott down on his deathbed in the late 1980s, and got all of his carefully-packed recordings and permission to release them on CD just before he died. I don't know whether the CDs are still in print or not. They have the advantage of being Scott's complete songs, rather than just the fragments in the WB cartoons; and the distadvanatage of being Scott's arrangements for just a six-piece band rather than Stalling's re-arrangements for WB's full orchestra.

Vanamonde #302 -- (Hertz) Speaking of Yeats, he is the central character in the current issue of DC/Vertigo's The Dreaming (#35), a literary horror/fantasy comic. I'm not sure how comprehensible the story will be to anyone who has not been following it regularly, although the Yeats references themselves will doubtlessly be better appreciated by those familiar with his life and poetry than by The Dreaming's regular readers. (Yeats, the character, is completely bewildered and assumes he is having a nightmare.) ## Animation Magazine spread my "The 13 Top Developments in Anime, 1985-1999", which should have fit onto two pages, over five pages due to arty layout. The developments are thematic rather than ranked chronologically or in order of importance. 1, Robotech. 2, The Internet. 3, Conventions. 4, Anime Specialty Companies. 5, Theatrical Distribution. 6, Video Distribution. 7, Video Games. 8, Popular Culture Specialty Magazines. 9, Public Awareness. 10, TV Programming. 11, Manga. 12, Collectibles. 13, Disney and Miyazaki.

these have been based on popular Japanese TV cartoons like Ranma and Dragon Ball. Many popular original video games such as Record of Lodoss War, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy and Pocket Monsters have generated their own anime ATV and OAV series. For many Americans, it has been these games (and the anime art style used in their graphics) which has introduced them to the anime videos and movies.

8. Popular Culture Specialty Magazines
Popular culture isn't popular unless it has its own fan magazines. The first articles on anime began appearing in the early 1980s in movie, TV and comic-book magazines like Starlog, Fantasy Films and The Comics Journal. Anime fans tried starting their own fan magazines in 1985 with Anime-Zine but it was not until the early 1990s that professional quality anime specialty fan magazines appeared on newstands with any regularity. Today, Animerica and Protoculture Addicts are the oldest of a half-dozen regular anime magazines.

9. Public Awareness
Anime first appeared in America in the 1960s but it was thought of as "foreign films". Fans used the term "Japanimation" during the 1980s but the Japanese word "anime" has replaced it. News magazines like Forbes and Newsweek reported on the anime phenomenon in the early 1990s. Today "anime" is recognized as meaning Japanese animation and its distinctive artistic style. To some, "anime" means "violent animation for adults" even though Japan produces more animation for children than for adults.
Anime and manga cross-fertilize each other: Fans of comic books like Gunsmith Cats, Ranma 1/2 and Oh My Goddess are led to the corresponding anime videos and to other anime from there.

12. Collectibles
Anime entered the fine-art collectibles' market in the mid-90's. Art galleries have had exhibitions of anime production art and painted cels. In May 1996, the Bess Cutler Gallery in New York exhibited the anime art of director Koichi Ohata. A production cel from M.D. Geist: Death Force sold for $1,800. One company, Animated Collectibles, is producing a series of licensed anime "Chroma-Cat" limited-edition cel reproductions. Several model kit companies are making bronze, pewter, vinyl or resin statues of anime characters in the $100 to $200 range.

13. Disney and Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki has been called the "Walt Disney of Japan" since the late 1980s for his box office record-setting features such as The Crimson Pig and Princess Mononoke (which have been out of the financial range of the American anime specialty companies). The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Miyazaki's features for U.S. distribution, starting with Kiki's Delivery Service in September 1998 will bring the highest quality Japanese animation to America, and will publicize it to anyone who thinks that "anime" is of interest in only the low-quality, action-adventure video market.

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