Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gaia Online to judge the Masquerade at New York Comic Con/Anime Festival

Halloween comes early this year! New York Comic Con’s annual Masquerade — a costume showcase that is part fashion show and part talent show — is happening Saturday, October 9th. Considered one of the top cosplay events of the year, entrants are sure to dazzle guests and judges alike. This will present an excellent opportunity to capture the top costumes and flair on exhibit at this year’s Con.

In a unique twist this year, virtual community Gaia Online will be a featured guest judge in the style of American Idol. For the first time ever at Comic Con the Gaia user base will be polled live via a web cast, and the results will have the weight of one judge on the panel. The entire Masquerade will be webcast live around the world on with the option for members to vote for their favorites. Gaia staff members are also available at the event to explain costumes and characters if you are interested.

Gaia will be hosting a panel at Comic Con where fans will gather to learn about upcoming features, meet their Gaia mentors, dance and play games. The panel will be held Saturday, October 9th, 5:15pm — 6:15 pm in Panel Room 3 (1E13). Gaia Variety Hour will be held on Sunday, October 10th, 2:30pm — 3:30 pm in Panel Room 4 (1E14), where fans will enjoy fun, games, contests and random awesomeness. Please let me know if you’d like to attend Gaia’s panel so we can make sure to save space for you. We can also get you in touch with a Gaia user and costumed fans that would make for a great photo or video opp.

Gaia Online was created to satisfy a growing online anime fan community in 2003 – today it’s one of the most active social gaming communities, with more than 8 million unique visitors every month between the ages of 13 and 24. The site is consistently ranked in the top 5 for most time spent on any social media site (according to Hitwise). Gaia brings together the best of social media in an anime-based online community featuring comics, MMOG, social games and forums. Its users are artistic, often cosplay enthusiasts, and avid contributors to the site’s roleplaying, poetry and manga forums.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FUNimation Entertainment makes a deal with Shocker Toys.

Flower Mound, TX – February 10, 2010 - FUNimation Entertainment today announced the signing of multi-year, national licensing agreements with toy manufacturer Shocker Toys LLP, now a toy licensee for several high-profile action-adventure anime properties including Soul Eater, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Dragon Ball Z and One Piece.

Shocker Toys has the rights to develop, manufacture, market and sell designer figures called “Mallows” based on characters from the four series. Mallows is a new toy line created by Shocker Toys and comprised of 5” marshmallow themed figures. The figures feature up to 10 points of movement and up to 7 interchangeable parts. Mallows are available themed or in blank, black or white, do-it-yourself versions.

Attendees of American International Toy Fair in New York City at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, February 14-17, can see like figures on display at the Shocker Toys booth (#4924) located in the new Action Figure aisle in the lower level of the Javits Center.

The company expects to begin production on the figures this year.

“We look forward to Shocker Toys bringing these series into the homes of fans and collectors in a fun, new way,” said Adam Zehner, Director of Licensing and Acquisitions at FUNimation Entertainment. “We can’t wait to see how our characters will be translated into the unique Mallow style.”

"We are very pleased to be working with Funimation to bring their great titles into a new Funimation series Mallow toy line for their dedicated fans,” said Geoff Beckett, CEO. "Our new Mallow collectibles will have great options for playing, trading or displaying and some new features that your other toys don’t have."

About Shocker Toys, LLP.
New Jersey based Shocker Toys, LLP current roster includes Indie Spotlight 6" scale independent comic book action figures, Who Wants to be a Superhero figures and 5" Mallows

For more product and licensing information visit the Company’s website:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Anime Boston announces second round of guests

BOSTON, Feb 1, 2010 – Anime Boston is pleased to announce its second round of guests. Voice actors Josh Grelle, Clarine Harp, Christopher Smith and J. Michael Tatum as well as artists Bob and Emily DeJesus will attend Anime Boston 2010, April 2-4th at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Mass.

A native Texan, Josh Grelle was raised on stage and in the art studios of Central Texas. He performed on stage at the Tin Building Theatre for over 15 years prior to starting work for ADV Films at the start of 2004. Since then he has worked for ADV Films (Seraphim) and FUNimation Entertainment on numerous projects.

Grelle is known for playing the outrageous Taishi in Comic Party: Revolution; Kyohei Takano in The Wallflower; Kenichi Shirahama in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple; Ren Kannagi in Kaze No Stigma and Kyoushiro in Shattered Angels. He can also be seen as Chaos in Tsubasa Chronicles; Ox Ford in Soul Eater; G-6 and various villains in Gatchaman; Viscount Wolkins in Pumpkin Scissors; and Hammer in Xenosaga: The Animation. Josh was also recently involved in the much anticipated Halo: Legends project, playing the role of “Haka” in Production I.G.’s “The Duel”. Aside from theatre and the Anime Industry, Josh has also worked at Marvel Comics and other studios around the world.

Clarine Harp was first cast by FUNimation Entertainment in 2003 to give life to the character of Tweedledee in Kiddy Grade. Since then, Harp has been featured in a broad range of roles: Sei in Burst Angel, Sanae in Akira Kurosawa's Samurai 7, Ginza in Speed Grapher, Kaede in Negima, Miss Katz in Shin chan, Asagi in Witchblade and Laura in RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~ .

Harp can also be heard in El Cazador de la Bruja, Claymore, Jyu-Oh-Sei, Trinity Blood, Beck, Romeo x Juliet, Kaze no Stigma, Yu Yu Hakusho, Spiral, Fullmetal Alchemist, Case Closed, Evangelion 1.0, Hell Girl, Bamboo Blade, Aquarion, Desert Punk, Origin - Spirits of the Past, Mushi-Shi, Suzuka, Ouran High School Host Club, Ghost Hunt, Peach Girl, Sgt. Frog, One Piece, Save Me! Lollipop, Baki the Grappler and The Galaxy Railways.

Out of the booth, Harp spends her time producing DVDs for FUNimation, tending to her horde of rabbits and proudly spreading the gospel of sock knitting. She is also the inspiration behind the character Aubrey, a regular cast member on the popular web comic, Something Positive.

Chris Smith indulges his inner child every time he goes to work. Since the age of six, mesmerized by Kimba the White Lion and Speed Racer, he’s dreamed of being the voice of cartoon characters. Starting as background characters in Robotech and Captain Harlock, Smith now voices Ishidate and Shuura in Naruto; Rose and Wonderwiess in Bleach; Kittan in Gurren Lagann; Puppetmaster in Solid State Society; Hanamoto in Honey and Clover; Beloqui in Flag and many more.

His voice has also appeared in video games such as Street Fighter 4, World of Warcraft, Command & Conquer, Mortal Kombat, Samurai Warriors, Final Fantasy: Dissidia, Tales of Symphonia 2, Starcraft 2, Vandal Hearts 2, Lunia and many more.

J. Michael Tatum was nurtured on anime classics from the tender age of Star Blazers to become a voice actor/writer/ADR Director for FUNimation. Cast by sheer fluke as the warmhearted yet tormented Rikichi in 2005’s Samurai 7, Tatum’s inexplicable luck held long enough to see his flag hoisted on a slew of dream roles, most notably Kyoya Otori in the hit English language dub of Ouran High School Host Club. Other characters Tatum has voiced include: Doumeki in XXXHolic, Jiro Mochizuki in Black Blood Brothers, Isaac Dian in Baccano! God Eneru in the One Piece, Komui Lee in D-Gray Man, Dororo in Sgt. Frog, the titular loveable savage of Heroic Age, Lawrence in Spice & Wolf, and Scar in Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Reaching beyond voice acting, Tatum branched out to voice director and adaptive screenwriting in 2007. His directing credits to date include Aquarion, Jyu-oh-Sei, Romeo X Juliet, Big Windup, and Rin, while his writing credits include substantial work on both Ouran High School Host Club, Heroic Age and Blassreiter.

Emily DeJesus is a writer, editor, story creator and manager of Studio Capsule. Robert and Emily met at a convention called Anime Central and haven't been apart since that day. Emily has always enjoyed manga and anime, but never thought it could be her job. Emily has worked with Robert for over 7 years now. She helps write the web comic "How to Loathe Drawing in the Manga Style" and has just finished writing her first children's book. She enjoys the business side of working for Studio Capsule very much and is grateful that she has an opportunity to work in the manga/comics business.

Robert DeJesus is a writer, story creator, illustrator, storyboard artist and character designer for Studio Capsule. Robert is no stranger to the anime and manga community. An Indiana born, self-taught artist, who got his first art career break when he sent an eight page short story to comic publisher, Antarctic Press in February of 1990. He has drawn manga inspired art for well over 19 years and has been published nearly all over the world. He has worked for many companies like Playstation Magazine, Marvel, Hasbro, and recently with Harper Collins Publishing.

Previous guest announcements included voice actors Christopher Ayres, Greg Ayres and indstury guest Tom Wayland.

Friday, February 5, 2010

FUNimation Entertainment Announces U.S. Broadcast Debut of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Flower Mound, TX – February 5, 2010 – The Elric brothers are back! FUNimation® Entertainment announced today that the mega-hit “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”, a fantasy action-adventure series, will debut on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on Saturday, February 13. The series will air at 12:00 a.m. ET/PT each Saturday.

The blockbuster anime series “Fullmetal Alchemist” by the acclaimed Japanese studio Bones introduced Alphonse and Edward Elric and the followup film “Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa” ended the series but many fans wished to see the story continue.

“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” faithfully recreates the story first told in the classic manga by Hiromu Arakawa and featured in Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine. Set in a fictional world where alchemy – the transmutation of raw materials into objects – is science and the way of life, the series follows the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, on their perilous journey in search of the legendary Philosopher's Stone. They set forth in the hope that the magical artifact can restore their bodies after a failed attempt to revive their dead mother cost Edward's left leg and right arm, as well as Alphonse's entire body, leaving his soul affixed to a suit of armor. In “Brotherhood” the brothers will risk what remains to restore what was lost.

Acquired from Japanese producer and distributor Aniplex, the English-dubbed series is produced by Mike McFarland and directed by McFarland and Caitlin Glass. McFarland also directed “Fullmetal Alchemist.”

Reprising their roles from the first series are Vic Mignogna as Edward Elric, Caitlin Glass as Winry Rockbell, Travis Willingham as Roy Mustang, Laura Bailey as Lust, Sony Strait as Maes Hughes, and Mike McFarland as Jean Havoc.

Actor Maxey Whitehead is taking on the role of Alphonse Elric.

Originally Al in “Fullmetal Alchemist,” Aaron Dismuke will be featured in another role later in the series.

Episodic Descriptions for February airdates:

Episode 01 – Fullmetal Alchemist, premieres February 13

The Elric brothers adjust to military life and take part in a manhunt for the dangerous Isaac the Freezer, a former State Alchemist bent on bringing Fuhrer Bradley down.

Episode 02 – The First Day, premieres February 20

A glimpse into the past reveals the pain and desperation that drove the Elric boys to break alchemy’s greatest taboo – human transmutation – and their reasons for becoming dogs of the military.

Episode 03 – City of Heresy, premieres February 27

Science and faith collide when the Elrics confront Father Cornello. He claims to work miracles, but the brothers suspect he is abusing a Philosopher’s Stone to manipulate his flock.

Funimation Entertainment will release “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” Part One on DVD and Blu-ray on May 25. For more information about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, please visit