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Posts Tagged Canada

TCAF Welcomes Moyoco Anno to 2014 Event

Toronto Comics Fest and Vertical Inc Welcomes Moyoco Anno to 2014 Event

Exciting news from Toronto Comics Art Fest last week – the annual comics event announced manga artist Moyoco Anno as their newest special guest!

Moyoco Anno is a name familiar to many English manga fans; her works have been released by several manga publishers over the past decade. Plus, she’s pretty great! Her titles include Insufficient Direction, Sakuran, Flowers & Bees, Sugar Sugar Rune, Happy Mania and the upcoming In Clothes Called Fat.

Moyoco Anno previously attended New York Comic Con 2012.

Well-timed to this news from TCAF is Crunchyroll adding three new Moyoco Anno titles to their digital manga program. Buffalo 5 Girls is a completed one-shot, while Memoirs of Amorous Gentlemen and The Diary of Ochibi-san will be on-going simultaneous publications once the schedules line-up.

I’ve gone to TCAF for the past three years and have always loved it. The atmosphere, the artist’s present and the city itself are always worth the trip. This year is looking no less enjoyable! Along with Moyoco Anno, TCAF also recently announced est em would be attending. Can you say excited?


Manga on the East Coast at Animaritime 2013

Manga on the East Coast at Animaritime 2013

Apologies for the sudden unexplained absence, Kuriousity readers! This past weekend was Animaritime, an anime and video game convention that takes place yearly in New Brunswick. I’ve been a staff at this convention for a number of years and returned again for helping with its organization and to run a few panels.

This year was Animaritime’s ninth event and the first at its new location in Fredericton. The event saw a great increase in attendance and we were thrilled to welcome three incredible guests – Brad Swaile, Ed Chavez and Kumar Sivasubramanian. I absolutely loved getting to spend time with them. They were  all such personable, intelligent, experienced and kind individuals who I certainly hope enjoyed themselves as much we enjoyed having them there. And in case you guys read this, I drove past not one, but two, moose on the way home. It was the power of Canada Day!

My panels were all a lot of fun and I have so much love for the attendees who came. I saw a lot of familiar faces, and rooms full of new ones too. I hope everyone who attended liked my panels – [Boys’ Love], [Yuri], [Yaoi], Kumar Sivasubramanian’s [The Art and Business of Manga Translation] and [Manga!], where I was lucky enough to be joined by Ed Chavez and Kumar Sivasubramanian.

OPERAI also got to sit in on Ed Chavez’s Vertical Inc. panel and [Jonseing for Josei], where the manga know-how and title enthusiasm was high. Love for Vertical’s recently released Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin was especially notable. There’s also big title news is coming from Vertical Inc. soon – be excited! Be very excited! My lips are sealed until then though, sorry folks. But seriously. Excited. Thanks to Ed’s Josei panel, I also was quick to purchase a couple issues of the boys’ love magazine OPERA that I found in the Garage Sale, and am very pleased I did. The quality and diversity of the art and stories is beautiful, and it’s home to many of my favourite creators and series.

My thanks to the staff, volunteers, guests, hotel and convention centre staff, our sponsors and, of course, all the attendees for making this another fun Animaritime!


TCAF 2013 Report – Comics, Comics, Everywhere!

TCAF 2013 Report - Comics, Comics, Everywhere!

Last weekend was  the Toronto Comics Art Festival – a “celebration of comics and graphic novels and their creators, which culminates in a two-day exhibition and vendor fair featuring hundreds of comics creators from around the world.”. Summed up, TCAF is an event where comic creators and lovers from around the world come together to celebrate and adore all things comic-related. And it’s wonderful!

This was my third year attending and the show continues to impress, getting bigger and better every time. Thankfully it’s yet to ever waver in the consistency of it’s spirit – this is an event free from the Hollywood and mainstream influence that shadow over comic conventions such as NYCC. Thousands and thousands of people, all crowding (quite calmly and politely) into a library. It’s all about the comics and the creators, and there was no shortage of art to buy and people to talk to.

Read more…


Super Savings: Manga for May at Amazon.ca’s Victoria Day Sale

Super Savings: Manga for May at Amazon.ca's Victoria Day Sale

Happy long weekend! It’s Victoria Day in Canada which means an additional day off for some, and thanks to Amazon, some sales for all! Amazon.ca has put a whole bunch of stuff up for sale this weekend including a fair stack of manga volumes with savings up to 90% off!

There are over a hundred books listed, but here are some random highlights:

Gossip Girl: The Manga (Vol.01) $1.28
You’re So Cool (Vol.04) $3.50
Pita Ten (Vol.02) $3.58
The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya $4.00
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Raising Project (Vol.10) $4.40
Gate 7 (Vol.02) $4.80
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (Vol.24) $5.60
Trigun Maximum (Vol.11) $5.00
Bring It On! (Vol.03) $1.88
Blood+ (Vol.01) $5.60
Good-Bye $6.78
With the Light (Vol.02) $6.90
Hayate x Blade (Vol.01) $7.40
Young Miss Holmes (Vol.01-02) $7.60
Fallen Words $7.98

And remember, on Amazon.ca you get shipping for free on any order totaling over $25. With a sale like this, that could mean a hefty box arriving on some readers’ doorsteps next week. Enjoy!


RightStuf Warns of Boys’ Love Book Seizing at Canada Customs

RightStuf Warns of BL Book Seizing at Canada Customs

We have ketchup chips, Kinder Eggs and house the fantastic, and recently completed, Toronto Comics Art Festival, but even we here in Canada aren’t perfect. It saddened and concerned me to read this bit of news over the weekend, credit for which goes to Ash on Twitter.

RightStuf has posted the following warning on all four volumes of SuBLime‘s boys’ love series, Bonds of Dream, Bonds of Love by Yaya Sakuragi:

“Note: This item is banned in Canada, and will be seized by Customs if ordered.”

From what I can see, this is the only SuBLime title to have a note about being banned. We can assume it’s a note made based on a particular incident, though of course this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard negative stories about manga going over the border. Anime and manga have become buzz words of sorts for customs’ agent which see the youthful drawing of some characters, and sexual nature of others, reason to blanket the medium as pedophilia and pornographic in nature.

Bond of Dreams, Bond of LoveAs for Bonds of Dreams, Bonds of Love, I can see why they might ban it – with disclaimer I don’t believe in banning artwork like this – but it’s still not a series I’d ever viewed as being an obvious trouble-maker. Of course I speak from the viewpoint of a seasoned manga reader who is used to the distinctions of age and art style. One of the leads in this series is a teenager who very forwardly pursues an older man whom he’s known since he was very young. Though the young one is the more aggressive of the two,  it still follows a budding sexual relationship between an adult and a teenager and the age discrepancy is heavily emphasized in the way they’re drawn.

Interestingly, I actually received volume three of this series from RightStuf just a couple weeks ago and didn’t have any issues. Then again, being buried among many other items certainly helped. The requirement to buy $250+ worth of material to get the free Canadian shipping from RightStuf ups the chance that any supposedly-risky material like this can glide through in similar fashion. Of course, this depends on if RightStuf will actually choose to deny** the ordering of these books from Canadians or leave it to the buyers’ own risk.

For Canadians looking for the books, who don’t want to risk border bans, you can still order the books via Chapters/Indigo, Amazon.ca and your local book stores via special order.

**May 16th Update: RightStuf has since updated the warning to the following: “Note: We cannot ship this item to Canadian addresses, and it likely will be seized by Customs if ordered.” So no more ordering even allowed for Canadians of these books anymore. An unfortunate turn of events, one that could set a very bad precedent for other material from one of the mediums’ most prominent supplier.


New Ways to Get Your Stuf: RightStuf Updates Canadian Shipping Options

New Ways to Get Your Stuf: RightStuf Updates Canadian Shipping Options

Last year I briefly wrote about RightStuf’s change in shipping policies to Canada. Prior to that, the popular anime retailer had a threshold of $150 for purchases to achieve ‘free shipping’, where as now Canadian shoppers must buy $250/US worth of items. This increase has obviously meant less purchases for my friends and I with $100 being quite a bit of additional cost, especially when it dramatically increases the amount of money we would likely be charged at the border.

That being said, yesterday we received our first RightStuf shipment since these changes went into place. With a big box of goodies now in my living room for Andre, Marsha and myself, I can happily say that RightStuf’s previous statement that they were “currently looking into alternative Canadian freight options, and we are doing our best to find an economical solution that continues to provide reliable service”, has made a really great update to their Canadian shipping.

RightStuf now sends their shipments to Canada via FedEx, which has resulted in three significant differences: shipment tracking, faster shipping times and upfront brokerage fees. Tracking numbers for your shipments and faster shipping is obviously great, but I was most impressed by the upfront brokerage fees.

Sailor Moon KeychainTo briefly explain, even though we’ve always reached the threshold of ‘free’ shipping, this only covers RightStuf’s expenses to ship. We would still be stuck paying considerable additional costs when our packages arrived because of custom fees. Ouch, right? You don’t even want to know what the total cost of my Fate/Zero box sets ended up coming to.

However now with FedEx, buyers are told upfront when  ready to check out just how much FedEx will charge to handle all the usual “taxes, duties, customs and processing fees”. This means that 1) you know immediately how much it will all come to (so you can also decide to go ‘nope!’ if too much), and 2) no waiting for weeks in fear you could be charged as much for delivery as what you paid for the stuff itself, and then dealing with the bill when it arrives!

As sign of how awesomely this new system has worked for us here at Kuriousity, in the past we have always paid an additional $50-$150 for every order we’ve gotten from RightStuf, and this was for orders totaling no more than $300/US. It has typically taken about two weeks for our orders to arrive once notification came that they had left RightStuf’s warehouse. This month we put in an order for $534 worth of goodies, and via FedEx paid an extra $78. Our order arrived within four days and came to the door with a simple signature, smile and not a penny more!

In conclusion to this long-winded ‘news’ post, well-played, RightStuf, well-played. The $250 threshold still makes it a bit more difficult to order as often as we did before but with shipping improvements like this (and, who am I kidding, the ease of reaching the threshold when combining orders with friends’ is obvious), you’ve definitely ensured we’ll keep going back for more and taking advantage of those awesome sales you hold.

(And for those curious about what we bought, keep an eye out for future Swag Bag posts!)


TCAF 2013 To Host Manga Creators Gengoroh Tagame and Taiyo Matsumoto

TCAF 2013 To Host Manga Creators Gengoroh Tagame and Taiyo Matsumoto

One of my favourite events of the year is the Toronto Comics Art Festival, and much to my joy they’re back again this year with an already exciting assortment of guests. Plus they’re not on Free Comic Day this year which means I get to enjoy one of the coolest days of the year at my local Strange Adventures and still make it to Toronto for the amazingness that is TCAF. I’m already checking airline ticket prices as my eyes scan over this year’s Exhibitor List. You can bet I’ll be there!

Among their featured guests for the 2013 event – taking place the weekend of May 11-12 – are two manga artists: Gengoroh Tagame and Taiyo Matsumoto.

Gengoroh Tagame is a well-known artist in the bara community, which is a genre of stories about gay men that are targeted towards gay men (as opposed to boys’ love, which is predominantly created by women for women). This will be his first event in North America and it coincides with the release of his English translated book, The Passions of Gengoroh Tagame.

Taiyo Matsumoto is best known for his manga, Tekkon Kinkreet, which was published by Viz Media. His series Blue Spring and Go Go Monster have also been released in English. Taiyo Matsumoto’s newest series, Sunny, will debut at TCAF, also published by Viz Media.

Last year TCAF’s manga guest was Konami Kanata, creator of Chi’s Sweet Home. More guest and event news will be announced for TCAF in the next few months leading up to the festival. Currently there already announced plans for a display of Taiyo Matsumoto’s work including a special screening of the animated adaptation of Tekkon Kinkreet.


More Bucks For The Border – RightStuf Increases Free CDN Shipping Level

RightStuf Increases Canada Minimum Shipping Requirement

Some sad news came this past Monday from RightStuf – easily the best source of anime/manga merchandise in English online –  they’ve increased their free shipping minimum for Canadians to $250.

Before now, Canadian shoppers were required to purchase $150 worth of merchandise to qualify for free shipping. While it was quite a bit of money, it was still a very easy threshold to reach when you got started in their vast library, or went into shipments with a couple of friends. An additional $100 though is substantial. It also pushes purchases to a point where Canadian Customs is pretty much guaranteed to tax you heavily, adding an easy $100 minimum extra onto every order you purchase (I say from several experiences).

While increased costs for them leading to this is an understandable reason, it’s still a real shame to see such a huge increase to us. It will definitely affect how much I purchase from them because I can rarely afford purchases that large, or risk the massive additional customs fee on top of them. RightStuf does note that they are “currently looking into alternative Canadian freight options, and we are doing our best to find an economical solution that continues to provide reliable service”. Your Canadian consumers have their fingers crossed, RS!

You can read RightStuf’s shipping prices for Canadian orders that do not reach the $250 threshold on their Shipping Info page which begins at $10.50 for the first item.


The Con Staff Countdown – Animaritime 2012

Animaritime 2012

Kuriousity had a bit of an unexpected hiatus there for a couple weeks as I join my fellow staffers in the last month rush for preparing for the upcoming Animaritime. It’s the only anime & gaming convention in Eastern Canada and suffice to say there’s a lot of work to be done before reg lines open on June 29th!

Along with being staff, I also run a number of panels at the event. This year I’ve got four returning panels:

• Boys’ Love
• Yuri
• Yaoi (18+)
• Manga! Manga! Manga!

I think all the titles are pretty self-explanatory :) Fellow Kuriousity-contributer, Andre, is also veteran staff of Animaritime and will be hosting his Anime Trivia panel, as well as scheduling all the anime showings. Our schedule is jam packed with events this year from volunteers, staff and guests like never before. I’m tired just thinking about the three-day madness schedule but twice as excited. Also my huge thanks to our sponsors, including Vertical Inc. and Yen Press.

Updates will continue to be bit a sparse until after the con ends but there’s nothing quite like the inspirational charge a freshly survived convention gives you. 26 days and counting!


Swag Bag: Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2012 Edition!

Swag Bag: TCAF 2012 Edition

This past weekend was Toronto Comics Art Fest – one of the best comic shows in North America for meeting and greeting comic artists and checking out their work. It was my second year to attend and I loved it. And who can possibly leave a show as magnificent as TCAF without an armful of comics? Certainly not I! The ability to buy directly from creators is an experience that blows my mind, I adore it and TCAF offers the perfect fix.

Bento Comics – a collection of artists whose works you can read online then have published print-on-demand – had a new anthology available: Peter Pan and the Language of the Dead. I was giddy to see it, as a fan of Bento Comics’ anthologies and a huge Peter Pan junkie. The theme combo was brilliant – it was so unnerving but at the same time fascinating. Wonderful!

Ultimate Kate or DieAnother anthology collection I picked up was Cautionary Fables & Fairy Tales which includes a story by one of my favourite artist/writer combos, Katie and Steven Shanahan. It’s a pretty hefty book with a bunch of artists new to me. I’m looking forward to discovering some new creators to follow.

Becky Cloonan premiered her new self-published short, The Mire, and I was quick to nab a copy. I haven’t read it yet but just the print quality and a quick flip-through shows it was worth each and every penny. Fellow Haligonian Jordyn F. Bochon also premiered a print collection of her comic, The Terrible Death of Finnigan Strap. Two other Halifax artists present whose works I couldn’t miss were Mike Holmes‘ – who had copies of his creative multi-style self-portrait art book, Mikenesses – and Kate Leth who debut her collected comic, Ultimate Kate or Die.

A lot of artists at the show were selling print editions of their web comics so I took the opportunity to buy a bunch. I don’t typically read comics on the web but when an opportunity to try them out via print arises, I go for it! I bought a book of Octopus Pie, Earthsong (Vol.01) and In The Air (Vol.01). Of the three I’ve read In The Air so far and it was great! I hope I enjoy the others just as much, and it’s fun knowing there’s more to read online should I be unable to wait for more to hit the printers.

Teahouse (Chapter 03)There are a few web published comics that I read each week though, and of course I couldn’t possibly resist purchasing the print versions of those. The print editions of Starfighter (Vol.01) and Teahouse (Vol. 03) were both gorgeously reproduced and will now sit proudly on my BL shelves (once I’ve finished oogling them for hours). The colourist of Teahouse, Christina, was also selling hardcover books of her web comic (which I also follow regularly), Fox Sister.

Vertical Inc had a booth at TCAF and I was able to pick up a few volumes of manga from them too. For new volumes, I got Flowers of Evil (Vol.01) – very twisted! – and GTO: 14 Days of Shonan (Vol.02). An older book I’d been having trouble finding was Osamu Tezuka’s MW, which I’m now happy to have in my hands.

Outside of TCAF, I visited The Beguiling where I always know I’ll find a stack of goodies to buy. I was giddy to find a missing volume of One Thousand and One Nights (Vol.07) and an out of print copy of an old comic favourite of mine, My Faith in Frankie. Then it was boys’ love stock up time with Right Here, Right Now (Vol.01-02), The Desert Prince, Black Sun (Vol.02) and, in currently joint ownership with my awesome roommate, four volumes of bara manga. Not easy finding this stuff! Well… unless you’re at the Beguiling. Thanks, Chris!

Thus sums up my Toronto Comics Art Festival purchases for 2012 – all fantastic! It’s a great show that I look forward to attending again next year and I hope others do as well (and let me know!).


Take me back to the top!