Summer Means Comic Book Conventions

Bring your inner child (and children) with you

By Kat Avila
Published on LatinoLA: July 17, 2006

Summer Means Comic Book Conventions

Anime Expo 2006 at the Anaheim Convention Center, July 1-4, in Anaheim, California, celebrated its 15th anniversary with a record-breaking 42,000 attendees. Over $21,650 was raised by its charity auction for this year's beneficiary, the nonprofit Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC).

The largest convention of its type in the U.S., Anime Expo is a time for me to catch up with international fans of Japanese comics and animation, especially friends from Mexico: David De la Torre Ariza (Animedia http://www.animedia.com.mx), Javier Tamariz and Luisa (Animedia, Animediatype magazine), Carlos Edwin Guzm?n Ruiz (Manga y Anime de Japon Ciudad de Mexico http://www.carlosedwin.cjb.net), Eduardo Romero Orozco (Imagen de Veracruz newspaper http://www.imagendeveracruz.com.mx), Wendy Freyria Emparan (askcom agencia creativa http://www.askcomagency.com/), and Ian Col?n Roditi (Genshiken Radio http://genshikenr.blogspot.com [a university radio show]). I've known some of them since AX 2002 when I wrote my LatinoLA article "Anime Finds a Home in Mexico" (web published 12 July 2002).

The humongous Comic-Con International 2006 -- the nation's largest popular culture and comics convention -- is at the San Diego Convention Center, July 20-23. There are a number of interesting programs, such as "Comic Book Law School," "Universal Monsters 75th Anniversary," "Deepak Chopra and Grant Morrison: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Super-heroes," "Animation on a $hoestring Budget," "The Sergio [Aragon?s] and Mark Show," "Webcomics 101," "Star Wars Fan Film Awards," "Playstation: PSP University," and much, much more, in addition to creator-focused spotlights, exclusive premieres of upcoming movies and animated features, and a merchant-packed exhibit hall. Comic-Con is also a chance to get autographs from your favorite comic artists and movie actors. Bring your inner child (and children) with you.

If you can't attend Comic-Con, drive the kids to Borders to see the cute, friendly Debi Derryberry who does the voice of Nickelodeon's Jimmy Neutron and other cartoon voices. She's promoting her kids music CD What a Way to Play! The CD has original songs written by Debi and traditional favorites like "Itsy Bitsy Spider," to which she has added translated lyrics in Spanish and Hebrew(!). (Of course I got her autograph.)

Debi Derryberry's shows are FREE, except for the one at Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena, whose admission fee is $8.00 each for adults and children:

July 18, Tue., 10:30 a.m., Borders, Northridge, (818) 886-5443
July 29, Sat., 1:00 p.m., Kidspace Children's Museum (admission $8.00), Pasadena, (626) 449-9144
Aug. 5, Sat., 11:00 a.m., Borders, Valencia, (661) 286-1131
Aug. 19, Sat., 7:00 p.m., Temple Sinai, Palm Desert, (760) 568-9699
Aug. 20, Sun., 1:00 p.m., Borders, Rancho Mirage, (760) 779-1314
Aug. 25, Fri., 7:00 p.m., Borders, Simi Valley, (805) 526-2800
Aug. 27, Sun., 1:30 p.m., Borders, Costa Mesa, (714) 432-7854

All together now. Let's sing! "Dinga dinga dong dong doodolee doo / Whatta what a way to play...."

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