After work on Friday the 13th I drove over to the River Center to pick up my badge and see some friends that were at the convention. I made a quick peek at the dealer’s room to see if what, if any, manga and anime dealers were at the convention this year. They did have a couple, so I looked through their wears and did find a couple series I was looking for. There was the complete series of Kat and Mouse, a Tokyopop original ‘manga’, in that it’s drawn in a vaguely manga style and was published by a company mostly know for publishing manga. My main interest in it was the writer, Alex de Campi, who I’m a huge fan of. Kat and Mouse is a teen mystery comic about a girl moving to a new city school that her father works at. It’s been out of print for awhile given that Tokyopop itself went out of business in the early 2010’s, but has started publishing again, mostly Disney related properties.


I also found volume one of Lady Snowblood, the English edition which was published by Dark Horse. I first heard of this manga when the Lady Snowblood DVD collection was released from the Criterion Collection. I was a fan of the lead actress Meiko Kaji from her performance in Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion, which if you can find I recommend. They’re both about women, played by Kaji, who where betrayed by the men in their lives who seek revenge. The difference being that Scorpion takes place in the then contemporary 1970’s Japan and Snowblood in the Feudal era.


Though another reason I picked up volume one of Lady Snowblood was that I knew that it was out of print from Dark Horse, but I was confident that I could get the rest from my local comic book store. So Saturday I went over to the shop to order the others and discovered that three fourths of the series was out of print, so that put paid to that plan. Checking Amazon after I got home showed that third party sellers are selling volume two for $50 on the low end, which is too rich for me. I went back to the convention to see if the dealer I bought it from might have more, but he said that was everything he had on that title.


The rest of that Saturday went pretty quick. I spent most of that day watching Samurai Seven, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi steampunk anime re-imaging of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and after watching several episodes of it I can confidently say that you should just stick with Kurosawa’s classic. I know that’s all I wanted to watch when the last episode finished. I had other things going on that Saturday night so I left the convention early to go do that.


I returned Sunday where I wandered around, checked the dealer’s room again to see if there was anything else I missed the last two days and went to the swap meet. The swap meet went pretty well, a friend of mine was getting rid of her first generation Sega Genesis, which I bought from her. Afterwords I hung out for a bit longer and went home with my haul.


Over all it was a descent convention. Attendance seemed to be up this year, which is good to see. I was still hoping to see more then two manga and anime dealers. Anime especially was short on the ground this year. There also seemed to be fewer panels. Most of the ones I was interested in where either on at the same time or scheduled when I had prior engagements I had to be at.

Ryan Franks has been into comics for as long as he can remember. He first started collecting back in 1993.It didn't become an obsession until 2009, but still remains one...