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Thursday, 24 March 2022

December 1990 Pt. 10 So lets look back at the year 1990.

So let's look back at the year 1990.

This of course is all from my own perspective as a fan of Japanese comic books (Manga), and Japanese Animation known as 'Anime', while living in England, and how a hobby and interest evolved from the mid 1980's, into the beginning of a fandom in 1990, and then beyond.

The change from being a passive fan, to a motivated and active fan in a newly started Fandom, who would write to the UK's Embassy of Japan, and springboard off from that into writing to Kodansha Publishing in 1990, asking if the Akira anime would be distributed in Britain. 

Where I and others strove to promote the recognition that Animation is a medium and art style that is aimed at many different age groups, and with as many different genres that are normally associated with live action motion pictures, or Television programs.


I would also keep my apperception of the Manga comic books, that were then translated into English, and imported from America to the United Kingdom, many of which had a single creator, and were illustrated in Black & White (and yes there were exceptions of partnerships between a Story\dialogue writer and an illustrator, and the colourisation of their artwork by the American publishers too).  

Many of these Manga would have some kind of animated production; TV episodes, cinematic films, and OAVs, would influence my Anime collection.


The grass roots movement of pen-pals and tape traders, that were in such small numbers, with meetings\showings in people's houses, where bed rooms and front rooms were taken over to provide the floor space, that would then see an emergence into the Video rooms of Science Fiction Conventions. I will add to this the time scale, and geographical spread. 


Many pages on this site cover my own acquisitions; consisting of English, American, and Canadian fanzines, and American and Japanese Anime magazines, and those translated Manga, and a few that I had imported from Japan too.


As I had just started to get monthly subscription of Japanese Anime magazines mailed to me via the Japanese Book shop (Books Nippon) near the back of Saint Paul's cathedral in London, we can make assumptions on what Anime was shown to be popular by their front covers, and we could take note of advertisements as another data source (I did not have the start of the year, and some issues have not survived post 2000). 

Japanese Anime magazine covers;


NEWTYPE (missing January & May issues).


ANIMEDIA (missing January, February, and May).

ANIME V (missing January, February, March, & June).


ANIMAGE ( I had just these 2 examples).


As a Fan what else did I spend my money on as part of my hobby?
Manga comic-books when I could find them in comic-book shops\stores either in Nottingham or Leicester, even with 3 shops in each city it was still hit 'n' miss to find and pick-up issues.

What Manga comic-books were published for the American and English speaking markets in 1990 ?

'AKIRA #16, #17, #18. #19'
'AKIRA #20. #21, #22. #23

 'AKIRA #24, #25, #26,'

'AKIRA' #16 to #26 (1-38)  from Epic Comics.

'Lone Wolf and Cub #31, #32, #33, #34, #35'

'Lone Wolf and Cub #36, #37, #38, #39, #40'




'Lone Wolf and Cub #41'

'Lone Wolf and Cub' #31 to #41 (End of 1-45) from First comics,




 Outlanders. #14 to #24  (1-33)

from Dark Horse Comics.


Crying Freeman: Part One  #4 to #8 (1-8)

Crying Freeman: Part Two  #1 to #5  (1-9)

COBRA #1 to  #11 (1-12)

Horobi: Book One #1 to 8 (1-8)

Horobi: Book Two #1 (1-7)

2001 Nights #1 to #6 (1 – 10)



Gunhed #1 (1-3)

 from Viz Comics.


Lost Continent #1 to #3 (1-6)

Appleseed Book 3 #4 to #5 (1-5)

Dominion #2 to #6 (1– 6)

Black Magic #1 to #4 (1–4)

Cyber 7 BOOK TWO #1 to #10 (1-17)

from Eclipse Comics


GOLGO 13 – Hopper the Border #2  (1 – 2)


Dirty Pair III A Plague of Angels #5 (1-5)

from Eclipse Comics


Lensman #1 to #5  (1-5)

Lensman Galactic Patrol #1 to #5 (1-5)


from Eternity Comics


Trade paperbacks and stand-alone Graphic Novels;

The Laughing Target (GN)

Shion – Blade of the Minstral  (GN) VIZ 

Hotel Harbour View (GN) 


PINEAPPLE ARMY (GN)

What's Michael? (GN) BOOK #1

What's Michael? (GN)  BOOK #2

The Legend of Kamui – the Island of Sugaru (GN) Book #1

LUM (Vol #1)  (GN) Book 1 #1

Appleseed Book #1 (GN) Promethean Challenge

Appleseed Book #2 (GN) Prometheus Unbound

Dirty Pair – Biohazards (GN) Book #1

Crying Freeman Vol.(GN) – Portrait of a Killer                      

Crying Freeman Vol.2 (GN) – Portrait of a Killer  

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (GN ) Vol .2







 AKIRA: The Movie in the U.S.A. 
(more than a year before its UK release!)

With Marvel's off-shoot label 'Epic' colourising Otomo 's work, what else did they provide?

There were the up and coming release dates for AKIRA: The Movie (in the U.S.A.)
Just 6 cities starting in December of 1989, and ramping up to 40 or more venues in 1990  when Streamline Pictures was the distributor (this was the first run).

“Epic is proud to announce the limited release of the English-language version of AKIRA in six cities over the 1989 holiday season.”

Confirmed showings of AKIRA are as follows:

San Francisco, CA
Rocxie Theater
AKIRA will open approximately
December 26 and play for two weeks

Berkeley, CA
U.C. Theater
January 12—15

Washington, DD.C.
Blograph Theater
Film will open approximately
December 26 and play for two weeks

Portland, OR
Cinema 21
December 29—January 4.

Seattle, WA
Neptune Theater
Between the end of December and mid-January.

Santa Cruz, CA
Sasch Mill Cinema
Between February 15 and 21, 1990

“AKIRA will probably play Boston and Los Angeles sometime in January, and Chicago in the spring.
New Yorkers can expect to see AKIRA in the summer of 1990.”

“Although there are no plans to release the film on videocassette or broadcast  television for the next year, disappointed fans who cannot find their hometown on the previous list needn't worry –
AKIRA Will open in at least 40 other cities in 1990.  We'll keep readers updated.

NEXT READERS' UPDATES;

“Confirmed showings of AKIRA during the month of April are as follows:

Sal Lake City, UT
Cinema in Your Face
March 30—April 5

Chicago, IL
Music Box Theater
March 30—April 5

Hinsdale, IL
Hinsdale Theater 
April 6—April 12

Pittsburgh, PA
Fulton Theater
April 6—April 15

Honolulu, HI
The Academy Theater
April 20—21

Cleveland, OH
The Cleveland Cinemateque
April 26—29 

“AKIRA will play in San Luis Obispo, CA during the month of May, and will play New York City during the summer.”

Streamline Pictures,
P.O. BOX 691418,
WEST HOLLYWOOD,
CA 90069

On October 20th. 1990 was Katsuhiro Otomo's first ever book singing at NEW YORK's 'Forbidden Planet' that took place, this coincided with NEW YORK's premiere of AKIRA the animated movie.


[NOTE: comic book stores also had a tie-in (promotion with Streamline Pictures) free movie posters give-away, if you could show a movie ticket – taken from the March\April issue 1990.]

“Confirmed showings of AKIRA during the month of April are as follows:

Sal Lake City, UT
Cinema in Your Face
March 30—April 5

Chicago, IL
Music Box Theater
March 30—April 5

Hinsdale, IL
Hinsdale Theater 
April 6—April 12

Pittsburgh, PA
Fulton Theater
April 6—April 15

Honolulu, HI
The Academy Theater
April 20—21

Cleveland, OH
The Cleveland Cinemateque
April 26—29 

“AKIRA will play in San Luis Obispo, CA during the month of May, and will play New York City during the summer.”

Streamline Pictures,
P.O. BOX 691418,
WEST HOLLYWOOD,
CA 90069


[MORE:  American AKIRA movie news would continue to be supported in print with 'Epic comic books, in 1991 with cinematic and VHS releases of the English dub.]


Staying on topic of AKIRA;

I would receive a reply from my letter to the big publishing house that is Kodansha Ltd. On  May 7th. of 1990  from Ken Tsunoda





May 20th. 1990 sees another reply to the letters I was sending out overseas.

This time it was from America, and 'Studio Proteus' whose founder Toren Smith selected Japanese comic books to be translated into English, His talent spotting could then be used by American comic book publishers, such as “Dark Horse”, and “Eclipse”!
[NOTE: looking into 1990 and the hint that “We haven't yet done any anime translations, but we may be involved in one before the end of the year.  Of special interest to you is that the investor for this project is located in England, and intends to release the anime in the U.K. Both as video and in theatres.” - This just adds more questions?]


More on Letter writing;

Gathering information, you can read the English names of Japanese Companies, but how do you contact them...
 It is 1990 after all and there are NO search-engine for a World Wide Web!   Each city in England had a main 'Post Office', that had a number of telephone directories, one of them should be for the London capital and thus you could find the name and address of  foreign Embassies listed there.

Sending off my letter of enquiry to the Japanese Embassy on February 1st 1990, I got a quick reply on the 7th of  February (if not that my name and gender had some errors upon their return).


JAPAN INFORMATION AND CULTURAL CENTRE
(Embassy of Japan)
101/104, Piccadilly,
London,
W1V 9FN

“We regret to say that we were manage to find only three address of the companies you inquiered.
The addresses are as followed:" (sic)

TOKUMA SHOTEN
4-10-1 Shinbahsi
Minato-ku
Tokyo 105
Japan
Tel: 03 433-6231

KODANSHA LTD.
2-12-21
Ptone
Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo 112
Japan 
Tel: 03 945-1111

BANDAI
2-5-4 Komagtae
Taito-ku
Tokyo 111
Japan 
Tel: 03 842-5151

[NOTE: I have even copied the errors that were in the original letter, to give you all a flavour of the level of staffing from that time!]

[NOTE: I would share these companies' addresses to other Fans... ]







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