Fandom Report for April 20, 2017: “Where in the world…?”

Anime, Manga, and Japanese Art

Anime Expo’s academic panels are accepting abstracts until May 19.

Another Yu-Gi-Oh series premieres May 10.

Anime and manga retailer Animate creates an international store.

TV Japan will carry the newest Kamen Rider series in the United States.

The live-action Ghost in the Shell is still a thing–so here’s Adam Savage talking about Weta’s design work.

My Hero Academia is now a puzzle game.

Shameless plug: I reviewed the newest My Hero Academia episode, and it is the best one yet. Check out the review for comparisons of manga panels to anime screencaps, as well as a GIF tossed in.



Send your questions for “The Pop Culture Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe” here! (#NeMLA17 #S411)

Today at 8:30 AM Eastern, we’re talking Edgar Allan Poe’s continued influence on popular culture.

Watch the slideshow here (where you can submit questions as well) or on Twitter hashtags #NeMLA17 #S411.

#GeekGuide: Comics, Video Game, and Fan Culture Panels at #NeMLA17

Each year, the Northeast Modern Language Association’s (NeMLA) annual convention features presentations on comics and graphic novels, already long accepted as media worthy of critical analysis. And this year’s convention at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, Maryland, March 23 to 26, also features sessions on related topics in anime, manga, video games, and fan culture.

And I would know–I’ve been proofreading this program repeatedly as part of my job at NeMLA.

I’ve compiled as many comics, video game, and fan culture presentations that I could find in the online schedule. I encourage you, if you are attending the convention, to check out these sessions and share your thoughts on social media. And check out the program online for more sessions!


DC on TV for the Week of February 6, 2017

“The Martian Chronicles.” Supergirl. Season 2, Episode 11. Directed by David McWhirter. Written by Gabriel Llanas and Anna Musky-Goldwyn.

“Untouchable.” The Flash. Season 3, Episode 12. Directed by Rob Hardy. Written by Brooke Roberts and Judalina Neira.

“Turncoat.” Legends of Tomorrow. Season 2, Episode 11. Directed by Alice Troughton. Written by Grainne Godfree and Matthew Maala.

It’s been a week since these episodes aired: let’s talk about them before Supergirl comes on.


Write to the Electoral College now: http://asktheelectors.org/

Today is the day that the Electoral College determines whether they will vote for the woman who won the majority of United States votes, or install an unqualified fascistic bigoted buffoon.

I have written to electors, and I urge you to do likewise, as well as call or meet in person, ethically and peaceful.

And if you did not vote for Clinton, you have doubly the responsibility. Your choice not to vote for her risks installing a man who has promised to hurt people on the basis of their identity. I have expressed repeatedly my disappointment with specific individuals I know who did not vote for Clinton–and I will never stop condemning those persons for their awful actions. It is their responsibility, if they are ethical, peaceful, and responsible persons, to fix the problem they have created.


I’m moderating “Know About Poe” this Friday at NYU

Here’s something to prepare me before I talk “The Pop Culture Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe” at NeMLA in Baltimore this March.

I will be moderating “Know About Poe,” an informative discussion as part of New York University’s bi-annual event hosted at their School of Law’s Edgar Allan Poe Room this Friday at 6 PM.

Poe’s Manhattan residence was previously located where the School of Law now stands. NYU hosts these events to spark discussions about the author’s works, with events including performances, lectures, Q&As, and other dynamic entertaining and informative activities. I previously presented at NYU’s Showcase at the Poe Room in 2012, and I am honored by this opportunity to moderate a discussion that will appeal to scholars and Poe enthusiasts alike.

Thanks to Lois Rakoff, Arlene Peralta, and Nichole Izzo for organizing these events, where New Yorkers get to come together to join the conversation about the many aspects of Poe–his criticism, his philosophy, his poems, his politics, his horror.

Audience members can expect to learn more about the author’s life and works, as well as how we continue to discuss him in scholarship and posthumous adaptation. We’ll be looking at Poe in relation to pop culture, gender, mystery, visual art, and more! Whether you are a newbie to his literature or a seasoned expert, you’ll get something worthwhile from this session. Audience members also get to submit questions with their RSVP, and I’ll look at ones received on Twitter.

“Know About Poe” will take place on Friday, December 2, 2016 at 6 PM, at New York University’s School of Law (245 Sullivan Street, Furman Hall, Room 216, between West 3rd and Washington Square South). This event is free and open to the public.

Visit this link to RSVP or for more information.

Fandom Report for October 26, 2016: Nintendo Switch, SAG-AFTRA voice actor strike, and new Toonami content


Toonami already confirmed a November screening of Children Who Chase Lost Voices, on top of releasing a new motivational video and a teaser for its third installment of The Intruder.

Now, Toonami has more details about its new micro-series by Ghost in the Shell director Mamoru Oshii. I first heard about this session when Toonami staffers discussed the project at Anime Expo in July 2016, and at that time they said the plan for a joint project with Oshii started with a commercial bumper he had designed for Adult Swim. Re-watching that bumper, I see a lot of similarities between it and the plot summary for this new animated series.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo previewed its new video game system, Switch, coming March 2017.

There is a preview of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, coming to both Switch and Wii U.

While the patent reveals what the game system may include, Wired talks about what Switch needs, especially as the system is confirmed to have no backward capability for physical Wii U and 3DS games.

The game system has already become a dog, in one of Shou Tucker’s worst scientific experiments.

Video Games

SAG-AFTRA voice actors are on strike from performing for numerous video game companies. Portions of SAG-AFTRA’s key issues are here. Ubiquitous video game voice actor Steve Blum explains demands (transcript here).


Tonight’s episode of “The Flash” was the definition of an idiot plot.

“The New Rogues.” The Flash Season 3 Episode 4. Directed by Stefan Pleszczynski. Written by Benjamin Raab and Deric A. Hughes.

Spoiler warning.

I’m at a loss how to write a review of this episode, because I have not encountered a television episode this frustrating since the last time I watched Agents of SHIELD–so, about two weeks ago.

To summarize the problems, I have to look at the individual narrative threads, which are not interwoven so much as parallel to each other. Each narrative thread, if given more time in this or a later episode could be entertaining; however, each is rushed to the point that the plot occurs not because this is how the characters we have known for more than two seasons would act, but because, as someone else says, the plot says so.  


Lucifer wanted to earn a catch phrase. He got one in the worst way.

“What have I done?”

“Weaponizer.” Lucifer Season 2 Episode 5. Directed by Karen Gaviola. Written by Jason Ning

This review contains spoilers.

“Weaponizer” eschews the typical plot structure to other episodes of Lucifer, and to many other procedural shows, and to many other DC on TV shows. The seasonal arc is the focus to the last ten minutes, in which significant action happens, leaving on a cliffhanger in multiple ways that have the audience desiring more. On the one hand, I cannot judge this episode fairly until seeing what happens next week. On the other hand, the anticipation I have indicates that this was a well-done conclusion. Given how funny this episode is, the contrast in the humor and the drama heightens both, creating one of the best episodes so far this season.


CFP: “And Now for Something Completely Different: Critical Approaches to Monty Python” (Deadline Oct 20, 2016)

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock (Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts) and Kate Egan (Aberystwyth University) are co-editing a planned volume on the works of Monty Python. The full CFP is available here, with 250-word proposals and CVs due October 20, 2016, to kte@aber.ac.uk and Jeffrey.Weinstock@cmich.edu.

Thanks to University of Minnesota and the University of Florida’s cultural studies and pop culture studies listservs for sharing this information.