Marvel Superheroes

Marvel superheroes have charmed children as well as adults the whole world over. Marvel comics have created superheroes that we have looked up to and so will our children and our grand children. Most of these superheroes have not only been depicted in the comic books but have since moved on to TV shows as well as the big screen.

Superheroes like Captain America, Iron Man, Giant Man, Black Panther and the other Avengers have given positive messages to how we can save our planet as well as how we can grow up being patriotic to our country. Other superheroes that from marvel such as the X-Men have shown us how hard it is to grow up when you are different and have shown us how indifference is a bad thing and that people are scared of what is different from them. Basically most of marvel superhero comic books and cartoons have messages and are just plain fun to read.

Several Marvel Superheroes have gone on to become big merchandise for the company such as the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, Blade, Daredevil and not forgetting Electra. Superhero action figures as well as plain figurines have been created by the Marvel group for children to play with as well as for keeping if you are a collector. If you are interested in buying the collector items of Marvel superheroes you can always find them online, where you will also find the new and old comics as well as movies and DVD.

2 Ways To Keep It Cool As You Learn Japanese

Listen, if you are the brave person who has chosen to study Japanese you are taking a path less trodden regarding languages and choosing a less commonly learned language will stand out on your resume and will set you apart from the crowd. Congratulations and more power to you! However, learning Japanese can be challenging and if you are feeling overwhelmed, do not be discouraged. Learning to speak fluent Japanese, will give you direct access and insight into the special terminology used in these 2 cool Japanese activities that will keep your learning and knowledge of Japanese fresh and interesting.

Join a Japanese martial art school. There are many different schools ranging from Jujutsu to Aikido to choose from. Not only will you get in great physical shape and learn self-defense, but this will also help you to learn Japanese quickly because you will be using the terminology associated with your marital art. How many of us have or had our children enrolled in martial arts? And the reason we did this was because the practice of martial art is a way of life that encompasses the physical, spiritual and moral discipline with a focus on self-improvement and personal growth. Child or no child, learning a Japanese martial art is a cool thing to do to for self-improvement and to learn Japanese. And who knows? You may make a new friend or two.

If martial arts are not your cup of tea, you could check out other Japanese art forms such as Japanese film, animations or comic books. Anime animations and Manga comic books are everywhere and are made for youth and adults alike. Anime and Manga have many genres typically found in any mass media form. Such genres include action, adventure, comedy, drama, medieval fantasy, horror, romance, and science fiction. Manga books are readily available at specialty bookstores or at major bookstore chains such as Chapters. Anime DVDs series or movies such as Spirited Away, Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence plus many more are also readily available in DVD stores or you can download or watch Anime for free online. It's a cool thing to do with your family or friends. Or how about some Japanese horror (also known as J-Horror) films which were commercial hits remade in English such as Ringu, Kairo, Dark Water, Yogen, or the Grudge series? You can watch these in their original Japanese version and do not forget the popcorn!

These activities hand-in-hand with an excellent Japanese course will surely be able to make your learning less tedious or abstract. When you incorporate your learning with real-life activities, you will improve your retention, comprehension and auditory skills for Japanese thus making your path to learn to speak fluent Japanese shorter and more enjoyable.

Is Cosplay an Absurd Escapism Or Creative Self-Expression?

Is cosplay a cool pastime to hone creative self-expression or a nerdy and expensive way to escape pressures of the world? And do you care either way?

CosPlay 101 for the uninformed and misinformed

What the heck is CosPlay? Sounds like a new online video game or a new Facebook apps like Farmville to you? Well, no. CosPlay is a combination of two words: "Costume" and "Roleplay." Therefore, a Cosplayer is a geeky, not necessarily good-looking somebody who assumes the role of a character from an anime show, a video game, comics, manga, comic series, movies or TV series. These cosplayers step into the shoes of the characters that have inspired them or they think is really cool and copy their costumes, prosthetics, make-up, hair and uber-cool accessories. Here's what really surprised me, cosplayers not only have to look like characters, they have to act like, sound like and essentially be the characters they portray down to the last giggle.

There is this issue among cosplay elders as to how and when this social phenomenon really started. However, they seem to agree on one thing - the origin of the word Cosplay. Most of the elders agree that the journalist Noboyuki Takahashi, first coined the term in the article "My Anime," after attending the 1984 World Science Fiction Convention and seeing a bunch of Trekkies (Star Trek fans) strutting their stuff. From there, cosplay has evolved into a subculture among enthusiasts of anime, manga, comics, movies and basically everything fun and fictional under the sun and elevated into an art form and subculture in various countries. In the Philippines, the popularity of cosplay has also spiked in the last few years.

Cosplay and The Modern Escapist

"I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?"
-- J.R.R. Tolkien--

I'm no card-carrying psychologist or sociologist, but I can tell you roughly on the observations I made that cosplay is now part of the modern escapism. Mr. Webster defines escapism as the habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine.

I'm sure you will agree that the world in which we live is full of stress, threats, constant noise, irritating soap operas, unhealthy fast-food junks, dizzying billboards, and overnight facebooking. Hence, we all need to escape - to refocus our attention on things pleasant or enjoyable, as opposed to the hard realities of the everyday world. When we are stressed we want nothing more than escapism, and cosplay certainly offers that for others.

It is nice to add a bit of fantasy to an otherwise boring or stressful world. Yet, translating someone's fantasy into reality can be tricky. I don't know if parents should really get worried about their teens' expressing strong desire to live in fantasy world of anime, perhaps they should consider that as healthy and part of today's social reality. And that the desire to 'escape' is part of the complicated process of discovering ourselves. I think we are all escapist in different ways.

This is where I got myself into the most trouble-of-judgement. I failed both to understand how important the notion of escape is to many cosplayers and to clarify the exact type of escape I was addressing. I admit that many Filipinos nowadays participate in cosplay not mainly to avoid their own personal wars such as their jobs, relationships, school pressure and other life hassles, but rather to have fun, compete, and even make a living.

The Magical World of the Escapist

"Harry goes off into this magical world, and is it any better than the world he's left? Only because he meets nicer people. Magic does not make his world better significantly. The relationships make his world better. Magic in many ways complicates his life."
--J.K. Rowling--

Is there a difference between healthy and unhealthy escapism? In today's reality, we cannot do our ancestor's way of escapism - which is telling stories around the fire or do writing on the caves. We now escape the woes of the world by reading books, watching soap operas and movies, browsing the internet, blogging and so on and so forth.

As I said earlier, cosplay is a new and modern form of escapism. Unlike other forms of escapism, cosplay is much more involved. Other "characters" are directly playing in their magical world, interacting using their assumed personality. Events, such as regular conventions and gatherings, also take place in this new form of escapism that is directly dependent on the authors of the anime characters.

Fantasy Self and the Anime World

Therein causes the problems of the cosplayers. This is just my theory OK. The assumed character, which I will call the Fantasy Self begins to rival the real world. Because of the sheer complexity and magic of the anime world, the Fantasy Self may continue to rely on the cosplay as his or her form of escapism. There is a possibility that the Fantasy Self will treat the anime world as a large part of the person's real life and may dominate the real world.

When the anime world becomes part of the their real world, any stress from the anime world will be brought with them when they enter the real world. Now, no longer does the cosplayer have to be concerned with only real world, but also must be concerned with the happenings in the anime world. Such cosplayer are those who come home so stressed and depressed after attending a cosplay convention - when it is supposed to be just a fun day walking around in costume and be someone extraordinary for a day.

The Collapse of the Fantasy Self and Real Self

The other possibility that might occur with prolonged stay in the anime world as a form of escapism is the collapse of the Fantasy Self into the Real Self. I repeat, this is just a possibility, I'm not a psychologist - but I do read psych books - and it's just my theory. This is the situation when the cosplayer loans money to buy costumes, skip classes or work to attend cosplay conventions, and if they started claiming that cosplay is more than just costumes. Actions such as these are clear demonstrations of where the cosplayer's priorities lie.

The trouble with this sort of collapse is apparent. As their real lives are no longer the focus of their attention, their grades in school will falter, their health will falter, their performance at work will falter as will their social lives - often sacrificing time with friends and family for time with cosplaying.

The Cut-off Point

I guess the cut-off point is whether it can be a healthy means for not getting completely depressed by reality, and on the other side, in its extreme form, whether it results in obsessive behaviors that make people completely ignore reality to their detriment.

After all, I'm not the final arbiter of what counts as healthy or unhealthy, and more importantly, I can't claim to know everything about cosplay- I am not a cosplayer myself. I just want to give my comments and learn surprising things about what is happening around me. For people who are more extreme than I am, I respect their choice to be that, just as I hope they respect my theories and opinions I make regarding my observations or what I prefer to keep as leisurely pastimes.

I can safely conclude that Cosplay, can be a healthy form of escapism and a great opportunity in developing creativity and self-confidence. Of course, extremes have bad effects.

Read Comics Online - An Offshoot for Valuable Entertainment

The humor media, which is a combination of the art of sketching and of writing, is even offered on the web making it far more accessible to those people who are interested in comics. Considering that the public are now able to read comics online, many people get more opportunities to find and read comic books that are of their passion.

With the ability to read written comedy on the web can help people select the comics they really want in an easier and quicker option. Simply search for it on the internet, and within seconds, you will get the comics that you have been searching for.

The web also offers a broader array of choices of humor books to choose from. Since they are already made available on the web, readers could select from several genres of comic books. Comics have various types and genres to fit each and every individual's choice. Among the current genres of comic books are superhero, manga, suspense, crime, slice-of-life, romance, humor, science-fiction or fantasy, non-fiction, horror, crime, informative or possibly a combination of the types pointed out. Making comics available on the web provides more choices and easier entry to the excitement from comic books.

You will also have the opportunity to access comics that were released years ago any time you read comics online. You can search online for tales that were published many years ago via numerous websites that offer online comics. Most of them, if not all, would certainly be accessible, especially the famous and most read ones.

Folks who read comics online may also be able to save their favorite comics and read through all of them over and over again through their computers and laptops. Internet sharing of comic books may also be done among those individuals who read comics online. Due to this, they get to read a lot more stories and share all of them with fellow comic enthusiasts.

Yet another advantage caused by reading comic books on the internet on within online humor sites is that you will get to read suggestions of fellow comic readers. You are able to decide comics that will be wonderful to read and be capable to recommend comics to other people as well. Thus, if you read comics online, you can also promote and swap opinions with others which happens to be a brilliant way to determine what comic books are nice to read through.

How to Start a Webcomic - Basic Steps and Tools

Webcomics are getting popular for self-publishing manga or comic artists to showcase their talents. That is because self-publishing physical comic books has a high overhead start up cost, which may total up to thousands of dollars, while starting a webcomic can be as little as zero cost to a few hundreds of dollars.

However, few aspiring manga or comic artists know how to start a webcomic from scratch. We are going to discuss some of the needed tools and basic steps required to start a webcomic.

Tools needed to start a webcomic

You will need:
1. An image scanner.

Reason: This is essential if you want to plan to draw your artwork on paper and scan it into your computer to upload into your website.

Alternatively, you could buy a graphics or drawing tablet and start drawing from your computer. However this method is not encouraged as it takes skill and time to adapt to drawing on your graphics or drawing tablet.

2. A graphics or image editing software.

Reason: This is important to do changes and touch up on your artwork images files. When we draw, we are bound to have lines or pencil sketches that are out of place. Having a graphics or image editing software is necessary to make corrections on our artwork.

3. An Internet connection.

Reason: Without an Internet connection, it will be impossible to start with your webcomic in the first place.

4. A hosting site for your blog or website.

Reason: You need to have a website or blog online to feature your webcomics to the Internet community. There are free blog hosting sites like Blogger and Wordpress.

Be sure to include an image gallery for your website or blog. That will house your webcomic images.

How to start a webcomic: Basic steps

The following steps are recommended if you do not have a graphics or drawing tablet, or you are not able to draw on a graphics or drawing tablet well.

1. Draw your manga or comic art on a piece of white paper.

2. Scan the completed artwork into your computer via the image scanner.

3. Start inking and toning your artwork in the computer.

4. Do necessary clean up and corrections onto your artwork with the graphics editing software.

5. Add speech balloons and conversations if you haven't.

6. Resize your image file so that readers do not have trouble reading your webcomic. Save your image file into a web-compliant format. For example, png, gif or jpeg files.

7. Upload your webcomic images into the gallery of your website or blog. Arrange them in sequential order according to your comic script.

These are simple steps and necessary startup tools to start a webcomic online. These basic steps and tools will help aspiring webcomic artists in starting up their webcomic without much cost.

Creating Characters For Children's Graphic Novels

While the world of book publishing has been experiencing all sorts of staggering jolts of late-stores closing, staff cuts at major publishing houses, the conversion to eBooks and e-readers-one of the few bright spots has been the emergence of the graphic novel category. Despite what some misinformed parents may believe, graphic novels are not books focused on salacious activities. Graphic novels are basically comics in book form. They can be collections of classic comic strips, or comic book series, all-new comics stories, or even non-fiction in comics form. Until recently, bookstores had just two sections devoted to graphic novels-the clearly labeled Graphic Novels section and the Manga (collections of Japanese comics, usually in thick, black and white paperback editions) section. Since graphic novels are created for readers of all ages, a Children's Graphic Novel section is the newest space being carved out on the bookshelves.

Writers and artists of comics, especially the formula-driven super-hero variety, looking to find new work in this new category often assume that editors are simply looking for simpler, or dumbed-downed versions of existing comic book titles. Fortunately for us, they're sadly mistaken. Comics and graphic novels for children are perhaps just as demanding, if not more so than most mainstream superhero titles. That's because children are looking for imaginative material that appeals to them on many levels-compelling storylines, fun characters, and colorfully fantastic artwork.

In many ways, kids are looking for the same types of characters found in most other books created especially for children. Not surprisingly, boys enjoy boy characters, girls enjoy girl characters, and both boys and girls enjoy stories featuring boys and girls. Of course, there's far more to it than that, and we hope to offer you several insights on creating characters for children's graphic novels.

Like anything creative, the first rule is that there are no rules. It's really subjective. All any article of this type can hope to do is give you an understanding of what already exists and perhaps offer the conventional wisdom of the day. But anything can, and often does happen. The creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, created the Man of Steel from their personal fantasies, and were passionate about the character, while Batman creator Bob Kane was more focused on creating a successful property that would make him rich. So, while it's far nobler sounding to encourage you to pursue that character of your dreams, which may embody many of your personal visions and ideas, it's true that great characters can also be created somewhat cynically, or even by accident. In some cases, characters can even be created as parodies of existing properties or celebrities, which then go on to become hits on their own-such as Miss Piggy being inspired by Miss Peggy Lee or Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being a parody of a run of Daredevil comics by Frank Miller.

One of the most successful graphic novels created for children is Jeff Smith's Bone. Like most popular properties, the characters in Bone are involved in an epic quest, not unlike the quests in Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Yet the latest sensation in Children's Graphic Novels is Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which is far more grounded in the everyday reality of childhood. While at first glance these two series may appear totally different in every way-the larger than life fantasy elements of Bone, the mundane reality of Wimpy Kid; the lush graphics of Bone, the stick-figure-like art style of Wimpy Kid-they're both still about characters off on metaphorical journeys or real quests that capture the attention of a young audiences.

Does it matter that the Bone characters are neither children nor human? Of course not. What matters is that the characters are recognizable types that children easily recognize, understand, and like. Which brings us to the question of how does one create such characters? Perhaps the real question should be-how does one tell a story that will captivate a young audience? Most of the greatest children's fiction characters are little more than simple, almost seeming one-dimensional, characters that are there to represent the reader as he goes on a fantastic journey. Whether you're Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland, you are experiencing the story through that character. When Nancy Drew solves a mystery, the reader is secretly a sleuth. When Hannah Montana transforms into a pop star, the reader is right onstage beside her.

But how does this relate to the world of graphic novels? Unlike prose fiction, which despite descriptions of lead characters' physicality, a reader is still free to project themselves into the role of the protagonist, graphic novels actually show exactly what the story's lead character looks like (although, the stick-figure drawing style of Wimpy Kid and the amorphous blob-like creatures in Bone allows for reader identification in a sly way) and it's important that readers respond positively to the character's depiction. Fortunately, cartoon characters are usually quite lovable. Generally, the main character is usually more of an every kid-not too outstanding in any obvious way, unless it's something that one would ordinarily consider a flaw of some sort. The character may have a special skill or power, but it may not be obvious from simply looking at the character.

While most cartoon characters seem to always wear the same clothes every day of their four-color lives, comic book and graphic novel characters aren't that different. Characters such as Tintin or Geronimo Stilton may change their clothes to suit their ever-changing environments, but they'll soon revert back to their traditional garb at the first opportunity.

But clothes alone don't make memorable children's graphic novel characters. Quite often there is something unique visually to set the characters apart. It could be a physical feature, or even the distinctive style of the artist drawing the character. Obviously, it helps if the visual distinction is meaningful to the character, such as the lightning bolt scar on Harry Potter's forehead, but it could just be a distinctive hairstyle, as is the case with characters such as Bart Simpson, Naruto, Charlie Brown, Archie Andrews or Tintin.

Naturally, it helps if the character is designed to fit the types of stories you hope to tell. A character designed to be a competitive swimmer, for example, should feature something that would make him or her stand out against other swimmers, but in a way that's not unbelievable or too cartoony - unless the series itself is intended to be over-the-top. A compatible art style also makes sense. For a dramatic series, you don't want the characters to appear unbelievably cartoony, and likewise, you wouldn't want a humorous character to look too serious.

Theoretically, your character could be anything. If you happen to be an expert on rocks, and think you could do stories about a character who is actually a rock-go for it! No matter who your main character is, you'll still want the character to be identifiable, and able to get into as many compelling adventures as possible. If you've secretly been hoping to do a series of graphic novels about your pet dog, an historic figure as a child, or about a light bulb-there's no reason you can't do it; no rulebook that says such ideas are not allowed. Although you may want to do a search online to see if your character's name isn't already taken - you don't want to waste time creating a character that already exists.

The true creative challenge is to put together your graphic novel, either by yourself or working with an artist or a writer, and create a story that excites your chosen audience. An easy way to see if you're heading in the right direction is to put together a presentation for a group of children you hope will enjoy your graphic novel. You probably won't need more than a few sample covers and a few completed story pages. If kids respond to the character in a favorable way, and love the stories you've created, you're on the right track. You'll find no other first readers who will be as candid and as honest as a child. You'll know instantly whether they're bored or excited.

Creating characters isn't easy. And creating your character is just the first step. And it should be noted, that there is no market for characters in and of themselves. Publishers buy books, not ideas-so you need to put the whole graphic novel together before approaching a publisher. And after you've written and drawn your children's graphic novel, the really hard part begins-finding a publisher (unless you intend to publish it yourself). Comics and graphic novel publishers are bombarded by new submissions all the time. Some even refuse to look at new material to avoid potential legal trouble-for example, a publisher may already be working on a project similar to yours, and if they look at yours before theirs is published, you may assume they stole your idea and sue them.

But selling a graphic novel is a whole 'nother story. Creating a Children's Graphic Novel character is an exciting challenge. If you succeed and go on to create a Children's Graphic Novel character (and series) that becomes a classic in the field, the rewards can be greater than you can possibly imagine. The opportunity is real, the competition is great, but if you have that special magical character that generations of children are sure to love, then by all means, get to work, and do it!

How to Draw a Manga Illustration in Five Easy Steps!

Manga is another word for Japanese comics. While American's may know it as one of the centuries latest fads, Manga has been an important part of Japanese culture for years, and brings in billions of dollars in revenue. From the kid friendly Pokémon to the more mature and dramatic Sanctuary, there is something for every age group and walk of life that covers many subjects: romance, action, comedy and adventure. This is what makes Manga so popular and why so many people want to create their own Manga illustrations. For an easy how-to guide to proper Manga drawing, follow the steps below.

1. Have supplies on hand. Before sitting down and getting started, you'll want to make sure to have all the supplies on hand that you'll need for a successful Manga drawing lesson. Since art supplies can be expensive, and you'll be doing quite a bit of erasing at the beginning, practice drawing on multi-purpose white paper, and with plenty of #2 pencils. A ruler, eraser and sketch pad will come in handy as well.

2. Become familiar with the basic shapes. The key to construct Manga learning and accurate drawing is to get the head shape right. As the most difficult part of the figure, the head is crucial and may require the most time you'll need to spend. It could help to buy a Manga drawing book from a local bookstore or from an online tutorial. Practice drawing spheres, cones, cubes and cylinders.

3. Start with an oval. Once you have a basic understanding of the supplies you'll need and the shapes you'll be drawing, you can get ready, get set, and draw! Here's our strategy for a easy step by step plan for successful manga drawing. First, start by drawing an oval shape for the head. Outline the shape by connecting a simple skeletal line for the body, making sure it is 6-7 heads tall. Then, begin to add cylinder shapes to the body for the arms, legs, shoulders, muscles and joints. Lastly, connect the joints by adding facial features and other fine details.

4. Concentrate on the eyes. Drawing your character's eyes is one of the most important parts of Manga drawing. You'll want to begin by drawing an upward curving line for the upper eyelid, and draw diagonal lines that come to a point. Make a circle within the eye to draw the iris, and draw a circular pupil and eyelashes that follow the curve of the eyelid. Darken the pupil until its black in color, add eyelashes and an eyebrow.

5. Apply the final touches. Lastly, you'll want to finish your manga character's face. Start with a circle and divide it into thirds with simple, straight lines. Draw a line underneath the circle, and this will be its chin. Along the second line, draw your nose and below it your mouth. Lastly, erase the lines and add facial details. Now you're perfectly drawn manga character is complete!

Writing and Selling a Children's Graphic Novel - Writer - The 10 Most Common Questions

The newest, most vibrant category to emerge in the volatile world of book publishing is the Children's Graphic Novel. That's a distinction that may be lost on some folks who may still believe that graphic novels, which are essentially comics printed in book form, are all for children. Fortunately most people are more enlightened these days and realize that graphic novels are, in fact, written for just as many audiences and types of readers as traditional books.

The confusion arises because "graphic novel" has been used to describe just about every type of book featuring comics, other than manga (Japanes comics). Unlike other sections of the bookstore, such as "Mystery," "Science Fiction," or "Romance," "Graphic Novels" is not the name of a genre, but a category. Like "Audio Books," which can also encompass a multitude of genres, "Graphic Novels" are not just one type of book. In other words, until recently every type of graphic novel has simply been stacked together in one section regardless of content.

The good news is that the Children's Graphic Novel is the first genre to break free from the generic Graphic Novel section. A wise move on many levels, especially because bookstores need to be sensitive to customers needs-particularly parents who don't wish to inadvertently purchase inappropriate material for their kids.

So as a new section is carved out of the always-crowded bookstore shelves, astute publishers recognize the need for material to fill this new demand. And that's when ambitious writers start sniffing around to see if they can get in on this new craze. But what do they really need to know if they hope to actually sell a Children's Graphic Novel to a publisher? Let's take a look at, and answer, some of the most commonly asked questions...

1) Do I need to be an artist?

No, but it doesn't hurt if you are, and your proposal should include either the entire finished Children's Graphic Novel or a sizeable sample. If you're not an artist, then you will need to find one. Comics are obviously a visual medium, so even if you're not an artist, it's important to think visually. If you want to keep a kid's attention throughout your Children's Graphic Novel, it's important to keep the graphics as compelling and as exciting as your script. If either the story or the artwork appears boring, why would any kid want to read your graphic novel? For the best guidance check out Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art, Will Eisner's Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative, and ScottMcCloud's Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.

2) How do I find a Children's Graphic Novel artist?

There are many ways. One is by attending comicbook conventions, especially those in large cities that feature portfolio reviews. Many professional or would-be comicbook artists attend these conventions hoping to find work from attending comicbook editors. Simply introduce yourself to these artists, explain that you're hoping to find an artist to work with to propose a Children's Graphic Novel. Don't feel obligated to work with the first artist who is willing to work with you. It may be best to suggest that you're looking for the right artist for your project, and that you'll need to review the work of several artists to find the one that's right. Another way to find an artist is by reviewing the samples posted on

3) Do I need a contract with the artist?

To be safe, it's probably best to have a written agreement between yourself and your artist before you actually start working together. For the best legal advise it's always best to consult an attorney. But if that's not practical, you should get an agreement in writing between yourself and your artist that spells out as much as possible, as specifically as possible. You want to be as fair, so the goal of the agreement is to your mutual expectations and goals, and to make allowances for either party to be able to walk away if things don't work out. No matter what, you should be clear that the copyright to your story is yours alone. The copyright to the artwork can belong to the artist.

4) Is there an app that I can use to format my script?

There may well be, but you don't need it. A comics script is similar to play, television, and film scripts, except it's divided into pages rather than scenes. While dialogue scenes can last for pages on end, especially in plays, comics and graphic novels are limited to how much art and dialogue can realistically fit on a physical page. It would be wise to study graphic novels that are similar to what you hope to do to get a clear idea of the word count in the word balloons and captions. Keep in mind, there are no hard and fast rules. If you wish to have sequences told without any dialogue at all, where you let the pictures tell the story (like the many thrilling silent sequences in Alfred Hitchcock films or in the imaginative wordless sequences in Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret), it's important that you give your artist as much information as possible. Unlike most modern movie screenplays that leave out character and set descriptions, as well as detailed information for each and every shot, comics scripts should have as much information for the artist as possible.

5) Where can I see a sample script?

Like everything these days, you can probably find many comicbook scripts online. The basics are fairly simple, as the short sample page illustrates:
Mister Snuggles [Title of Children's Graphic Novel]
Page Five [This is the fifth comics page, not necessarily the 5th script page]
Panel One:
(Mr. Snuggles is running to the front door of the apartment with a teddy bear in his mouth.) [Description of artwork for first panel.]
Caption 1: It's 6:00 PM and even though Mr. Snuggles can't tell time, he somehow knows when Cortney is due home. [Text for first caption.]
Panel Two:
(Close-up of Cortney's hand inserting her key into the apartment's front door lock. The key is on a key chain containing other keys and a small figurine of a dog that looks very much like Mr. Snuggles.)
SFX: K-CLICK [Sound Effect.]
Panel Three:
(The apartment door opens, and Cortney is thrilled to see Mr. Snuggles. Snuggles is also visibly happy to see Cortney and she bows down to pet him. Mr. Snuggles has dropped his teddy bear so that he can lick Cortney's face.)
Caption 2:..and he's always there to give her a warm welcome...[Note numbering of captions and word balloons is by the page, not by the panel or throughout the entire book. So Caption 2 indicates that this is the 2nd caption or word balloon on the page.]
Cortney 3: Hey, I'm happy to see you too, little feller!

6) How do I know how many panels to place on a page?

It depends on how big your printed page size will be, and how much you have happening within your panels. European graphic novels tend to be larger than American graphic novels, and contain far more panels per page, yet the format has not proven to be that popular in the United States. Even classics such as Tintin have been reformatted into smaller books in recent years. Standard American comics, which are about 6 ½" x 10" tend to average from four to six panels per page, which is fewer panels per page than was the norm decades ago. Manga or digest-sized comics will either have fewer panels per page or far more simplified page layouts. But again, there are no rules-as soon as an uncommonly sized Children's Graphic Novel becomes a bestseller, it's guaranteed that other Children's Graphic Novel publishers will start publishing at that size.

7) What type of subject matter is taboo?

That's a tricky question, and the answer truly depends on the publisher. Most major publishers hope to sell as many Children's Graphic Novels as possible, especially to schools and libraries, and are not too eager to test the boundaries of what's acceptable and what's not, preferring to play it safe. Other more daring independent publishers may be more willing to tackle controversial issues, in a politically correct fashion, to generate publicity and attention. Because Children's Graphic Novels are so visual, they're quite often even more conservative than many traditional Children's Books. While certain questionable words or scenes exist in such classics as Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer or Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, they're buried in the book's text, while any type of controversial scene could easily be taken out of context, by holding up the page before TV news cameras and pretending to be shocked at what the evil publishers are feeding to our innocent children. As a result, most of the people who buy Children's Graphic Novels for bookstores, schools, or libraries are careful to avoid ordering anything risky or controversial. The end result being that many kids may find the content in certain Children's Graphic Novels to be far too tame or juvenile for them. This poses is a constant challenge to publishers-to provide Children's Graphic Novels that can get past the overly protective gate-keepers and still be entertaining and hip enough for today's kids.

8) Do I need an agent?

While many traditional publishing houses still insist on exclusively dealing with agents, many graphic novel publishers are willing to work directly with authors and artists. Because this is still such a relatively new development in the world of traditional book publishing, the doors still remain open to creators without agents. Even literary agents haven't quite figured out how to respond to the demands of this new category. Children's Graphic Novels aren't quite the same thing as Children's Books. In fact, most Children's Books editors will not even look at a Children's Book proposal that comes with an artist attached, while editors looking at Children's Graphic Novel proposals wouldn't know how to find an artist for a graphic novel at this point.

9) How do I find a publisher?

If you have an agent, that would be the agent's job. Without an agent you need to be willing to do a lot of research. Many authors make the mistake of considering only existing Children's Graphic Novel publishers as their only potential publishers. The truth is that many traditional publishers may consider publishing a Children's Graphic Novel if it's something they believe they're uniquely suited to publish. For example, a business book publisher may have no interest in publishing a Children's Graphic Novel about a squad of dragon-fighting pixies, but they may be interested in publishing a graphic novel that attempts to explain basic business concepts-how a checking account works, for example-to children. Publications such as Publishers Weekly can offer a good overview of the book-publishing field and can provide invaluable information on countless publishers. Also, self-publishing has become far more common as the technology for print-on-demand has advanced. No longer is there a stigma attached to what used to be called "vanity press" publishing as more and more authors eliminate the middleman and self-publish.

10) Does my Children's Graphic Novel have to be published as a physical book?

No, it could be published as an ebook, especially as such technological breakthroughs as Apple's iPad make it possible for full-color, lavishly illustrated Children's Graphic Novels to be viewed on a screen as they were meant to be seen. Of course, it's still very early, and the question is-do enough children possess this kind of expensive hardware to make it financially worthwhile to be available exclusively in such a format? At this point, it makes more sense to have a digital version available as an additional option, and not the exclusive format.

If ever there was an opportunity to break into publishing, creating a Children's Graphic Novel could be it. Good luck!

The Best in Android Applications

Android based phones are quickly becoming the top choice for mobile users. This OS have already attracted many users and continue to make buzz around. It is rumored to provide the performance and stability that even the iPhones have fallen short on. Another buzz word is application and believe it or not free android applications have given many a phone apps a run for their money. You can get everything from street directions to help on how to draw a manga or free manga comics via these amazing programs. Now let us discuss the best among this array of apps:

• Google Sky Map: There is nothing that Google can do wrong (fingers crossed) and its sky map is just over the top. Once downloaded, you can point your the phone to the sky and this app will show the stars, planets, constellations, and will even help you identify the celestial objects.

• Astro File Manager: This app lets you navigate through the Android file system; something along the lines of a windows style file explorer. It makes your handset work and navigate like a computer.

• Seesmic: The Android world is replete with many a Twitter apps. Though Twitter has launched a branded app recently, seemic has had some loyal followers and users. One of the main advantages of Seesmic is that it offers support for multiple accounts, it has a home page widget that shows latest tweets, and has an incredibly slick and professional design.

• Mobile Maps: It can be downloaded directly to your smartphone and helps you get free satellite navigation facility and images onto your Android devices. The app works like a SAT navigation device that is switched on with every turning direction. Your phone's GPS works by plotting the directions and the journey ahead of you as per traffic conditions.

• BeyondPod: This application integrates with the Android music player. It helps you find and manage audio and video podcasts. Though the base version is free. The premium version at $7 / INR300 provides better controls to update and manage subscriptions.

• Weather Channel: It offers accurate current conditions with extreme detail down to wind speed, humidity and UV index. Additionally, the Weather Channel's app also offers hourly and 10-day forecasts for planning ahead.

• Google Voice: It provides you a phone number that can ring at multiple places or devices. It allows you to access all of your voicemail and text messages over the Web. For people who need privacy, the app can also make outgoing calls such that the receiver gets only the Google Voice number and not your phone number.

• Advanced Task Killer: It helps you manage your apps to ensure that the performance or battery life is not hurt. It comes with a widget that you can tap once to kill all open apps. So simply put, it is an app to manage all your apps.

• Astrid: or Android's Simple Task Recording Dashboard maintains and follows up on to-do lists and helps you organize your life within the phone. It integrates cleanly into the Android interface, and can motivate you on your deadlines and give humanizing reminds.

Though the Android world is replete with apps for all occasions, one would still have to wait for something as phenomenal as online SEO tools or SEO web tools to strike the app world and take it by storm. Until then we will have to live by the aforementioned apps.

Where to Watch DBZ Episodes Online

DBZ is short for Dragon Ball Z and many fans use this to refer to this show or specific episodes on the series. If you want full length shows for GT, Z and all other dragon ball TV shows you will have to do a little bit or research online. But if you just want some clips, video sharing sites like YouTube have plenty of clips that you can view or watch. Just go to their website and do a search for the episode that you want and you'll get several listings of videos that users have uploaded and that you can watch over the internet.

DBZ is a very popular Japanese animated TV series produced by Toei Animation (used to be produced by Toei Doga). It is the sequel to Dragon Ball Anime, the first 16 volumes of a 42 volume Dragon Ball Manga series created by Akira Toriyama. DBZ adapts the last 26 volumes of the original manga (Manga is the Japanese word for comics). The series features the adventures of Son Goku and his companions who defend the Earth and other fictional planets from different super villains. The series has lots of fans and viewers worldwide and thousands of people search internet search engines looking for news, episodes, games and more online. The series has finally become extremely popular in the US too. Here are some tips to help you locate and find places where you can watch Dragon Ball Z episodes online over the internet.

One of the easiest places to find links to video streams to the series is the discussion sections of fan sites. The series has millions of fans some of whom have set up websites where they frequently post gossip, news and other things. Some sites have discussions forums which are quite helpful if you are looking for specific information about the show. You will normally find a knowledgeable person who will be able to tell you or provide you a link to a site where you can find the information or video streams that you need. Remember, there are lots of fans who are looking for the same episodes that you are after and many committed fans usually like to share their discoveries with other fans. So fan sites are a good place to start if you are looking for DBZ episodes or where to download and watch them online.

You can also watch the episodes from the websites of the television stations that are currently airing the series. Just look in the TV guides provided by satellite and cable television companies and make a list of the channels that are showing the series. Next visit their websites and find out if they stream or web cast their programs online. If they do, then you don't have to look any further unless you are looking for particular episodes.

You can also try checking TV guides for international and foreign TV stations. There are many sites online that lists these stations including their internet TV streams so that you can watch their programs using windows media or the Realplayer. Note down the ones that are showing the DBZ program and bookmark them so that you can find them easily next time you want to watch an episode. There is also software that you can use to pick up TV streams from thousands of TV stations. If you do a search online, you'll find a lot of search engine listings with different software offering this type of facility. In order to make a good choice, read several reviews about the software from various independent sites so that you don't get ripped off.

Popularity of Video Games

While conventional video game makers are creating video games on a host of varied genres, and minting money from them, there are actually a group of people who are making games available for free. Though they may not be that serious a threat to the existing industry right now but online video games are the latest attractions in the cyber world. They are increasingly become a strong competition to the normal video games. This is largely due to the easy availability of such plots in the internet and also that they are almost always provided free. There has been a observable growth in online gaming in the past few years. The number of providers of such games have also gone up significantly.

Nowadays, a simple search of 'online bizes' in any search site would yield thousands of valid results. In fact 'free online bizes' in consistently becoming one of the most searched items at popular search sites like Google and yahoo. Another attraction to online gamers is that the sites normally add new bizes every week and so you a large variety of games to choose from. Most sites classify the games into various genres like Arcade, Action, Strategy, Sport, Board Games etc to make things easier for the user. The burgeoning popularity of such games is also due to their exploitation of popular comic characters and Japanese manga characters. Many multiplayer online games are also becoming popular now. They come in many themes too, but unlike the other online games offer the users an opportunity to interact with each other. Some of these games have become quite popular and a few social networking sites have also started hosting such games. Their popularity has also influenced the online adult industry to make adult themed online games which have also caught on with the mass. The social networking sites are a great platform to find these apps and free online games which keep people hooked to these sites while they make money!

There is also something for the kids. As more and more children have started using the computer at a very tender age, parents want to ensure that they develop their analytical skills, communication skills, reflex etc while sitting on the computer. Thus there are games meant specifically for children like word games, painting games, etc. The rules are quite simple and very easy to follow.

Play games to take a fascinating break from reality and delve into a magical world where the impossible looks possible!

How to Speak Fluent Japanese - Tips

Do you want to become fluent in Japanese? Are you looking for some tips on how to speak fluent Japanese? If so, keep reading, because this article is for you. I'm going to show you three tips that will greatly help you work on your Japanese skills. Here they are!

1. Travel or move to Japan

Moving to a country in which your target language is spoken is the best way to learn it. Most people can't do it, but you can still travel to Japan for a few days or a few weeks and it will also greatly improve your skills (given that you speak in Japanese all the time and interact with native Japanese speakers on a daily basis).

2. Read manga

It's way easier to read comics/manga than read regular books or articles. You can guess the meaning of words thanks to illustrations. There are a lot of free manga sites online - start reading them to improve your reading skills and learn new vocabulary! You can also buy some original Japanese mangas on eBay.

3. Watch Japanese movies

The Japanese movie industry is pretty big. There are a lot of great Japanese movies and in Japan there are a lot of movie genres that you won't find anywhere else. Look for "Cinema of Japan" on Wikipedia to learn more about it or go to IMDB to find hundreds of movie titles (with summaries). You can also watch anime if you are into it.

That's it - three tips on how to speak fluent Japanese. Learning Japanese doesn't have to be hard - it's all about doing the right things (follow these tips!). Have fun while speaking Japanese fluently!

A Beginner's Introduction to Reading Graphic Novels

Graphic novels hold a completely unique position inside the comic book market these days. They're just thought to be more constant and financially beneficial than a monthly comic book series. Ordinary comics are replaced every few months, and offer fewer profits. That makes for a more attractive deal to small and large booksellers alike.

In the course of the years, comics had been produced the same way; the stories were being fastidiously drawn in pencil, hand lettered, afterward inked and at last dispatched out for a special hand color separation procedure. The end product seemed economical but serviceable for the narrative.

Shortly around the eighties as well as nineties, color processing grew to be less expensive and new procedures ended up being put to qualify for the job of constructing these colorful stories more beautiful and lively. Lately artists utilize Photoshop, and other graphics programs to improve the pace with quality of the material.

It can be fair to mention that even with the very best artwork imaginable, the story continues to be what makes readers come back to search out further titles and read further adventures of a character or keep an eye on line of books. That's because the material is still internalized as it is read in sequence. Great stories insist on the reader to invest emotionally in the material whatever the genre.

Graphic novels usually present a complete account in much the same way as a typical novel would. This puts greater demand on the story and its characters since there is no series long build up. The bulk of U.S. graphic novels give attention to super heroes but Asian and European publications have a much more wide-ranging choice of genre from office situations to golf. These pocket sized graphic novels have generated decade's long storylines and characters.

For anyone who is new to graphic novels or comics and wish to read a few of the great you can get on the market, try this list:

1. Watchmen

2. Kingdom Come

3. Maus

4. Miracleman: The Golden Age

5. The Dark Knight Returns

6. One piece

7. Lone wolf and cub

5. Crying Freeman

6. Death note

7. Mai, The Psychic Girl

8. Phoenix

9. Eyeshield 21

10. Shonen jump

I'm biased of course but hey, I'm writing this article. Create your own list and remember to look out for the adult warning on some books. Their storylines are varied, multifaceted and entirely addictive. Allow me to share several to choose from.

The expansion of graphic novels within the U.S. remains to be no match for the enormous quantity of material created by the Asian countries. Japan has long been the leader in providing products called Manga. If you are new to this kind of reading matter or else you are just wondering what is offered, you will have a big selection to choose from.

Some of these are available in volumes or in the series. Whether you favor U.S. style graphic novels or Asian style manga, just take your time and forage through the material until you discover your favorites. You may be hooked no matter what your age.

Ben 10: Can A Child Be A Superhero?

A superhero is a hyperbolized image of a hero who if fighting the evil, and his main outstanding features are some paranormal abilities, as well as an easily recognisable costume and often a mask. In the American tradition--both in comics and films--it is common for a superhero to wear a costume, have a codename, fight super-villains (who are pretty much like themselves, also have costumes and codenames, but--naturally--are evil). Along with the above said, a superhero may also have a secret identity, and come as a result of an experiment, able to outlive his/her creators.

Superheroes may be normal people leading their ordinary everyday lives, but at the periods of time, when their city or the humankind needs help, they turn into superheroes. They may even be ill-fated and have a lot of complexes, yet in their magical form of superheroes they make up for all their mishaps and enjoy fame and acknowledgment.

That is perhaps one of the reasons why there finally appeared a child superhero. The image of such a hero serves as self-esteem booster for thousands of kids and teenagers who do not feel secure among their peers and grown-ups. At the certain period of time in life, pretty much every kid goes through this stage of establishing himself or herself as an individual, so such positive images as superhero child might be of great assistance. Ben used to be an ordinary boy, but after he had become an owner of a magical artefact Omnitrix, he became able to turn into different aliens, each of them having their own extraordinary power. So he fights different villains from various planets and saves the Earth now and then.

There might also be another reason that we needed Ben 10 to emerge as a child superhero--the thing is that within the last couple of decades, the popularity of superhero comics is believed to be declining rapidly in America, and it is nowhere else but in specialty shops that the remaining hardcore fans can find a decent selection of superhero comics. Some earlier superheroes like Batman and Superman have become a part of the American pop culture, though. But still--the lack of demand for American comics and cartoons featuring superheroes was the reason many people started to address the foreign tradition, e.g. Japanese anime and manga for fresh ideas to revitalise the genre.

Thus, the appearance of a new superhero who is a child is, same as switching onto the foreign tradition, the way to liberate from the conventional stereotype of a superhero that is viewed by many as a necessary precondition for the revival of public interest to the genre. And here he comes--Ben 10, who is not only a kid, but who also can turn into several different superheroes and not just one. Unlike the 'traditional' grown-up superheroes, Ben 10 is not contained by one style, but he rather combines several of them. Perhaps that is why he has become so popular not only as a movie character from Cartoon Network series but also as a character for many online games.

Thousands of boys and girls in different countries enjoy following the adventures of Ben 10, and when it comes to computer games about Ben, the good thing about them is that while some of them deal with the boy superhero's alien fights (e.g. "Ben 10--Saving Sparksville", "Ben 10 Alien Hunter"), others develop your logical skills or memory (e.g. "Ben 10 Fix My Tiles", "Ben 10 Memory Balls") or even stimulate you to learn academic subjects ("Ben 10 Mathrix").

Anime TV Online and the Nature of Animation

For those individuals who cannot get enough satisfaction from merely watching anime on television, anime TV online is good news for you. Complete anime lists are made available online, which connect you to video hosting sites for viewing. The lists are so comprehensive that all of them display anime titles that are not yet available for public viewing on traditional television networks.

The term anime is actually an abbreviation of the English word animation. Most western people regard anime as a media material coming from Japan but the term actually pertains to all animation media as a whole. Most fictional themes are expressed through anime. It had already conquered almost all media formats may it be in films, TV series, video games and even internet videos releases. Although it originally traces its origins back from Japan's manga or comics, computer technology had aided anime makers to enhance its quality and make it a successful hit worldwide.

Some anime fanatics regard it as being a form of art, a medium that highlights its creator's creative visual styles. However, most of the fans plainly see it as an exaggerated piece of entertainment media possessing overstated facial expressions, which attracts more viewers each day. It is also important to know that anime conveys numerous important stories and messages ranging from: hierarchy, politics, triumph of good over evil and impossibility becoming a reality. And probably the only best way to view complete anime series anytime of the day is through anime TV online or buy DVD at online retailers like

Anime Wallpaper

Anime wallpaper has become a big hit nowadays with several of your favorite characters being portrayed in their outfits and their weapons of choice. Just like the comic book heroes these anime heroes have also been put on wallpapers for your room. However you will find that most of the wallpapers are the kind that you set up on your PC or Mac desktop.

If you love your anime cartoons then you will probably love to see them each and every day and the best way to do this is by getting anime wallpaper. This wallpaper can be set in the design of your favorite anime character and you can put them on your computers desktop. Many people enjoy watching these anime cartoons whether young or old and that is why many of these wallpapers are downloaded everyday. The pictures or anime wallpaper can be in any color you want and some even come in black and white. Some of these wallpapers can have wonderful Japanese art invoked in them and they usually look cool being on your desktop.

The wallpapers can feature characters from your favorite anime series such as Naruto, Samurai Chaploo, Karas, Bleach, Hell Sing and many more. They can also feature your favorite anime movie characters such as the ones in Full Metal Alchemist, Ninja Scroll, Matrix and even characters from the US animation cartoon movies. Manga comic's characters are also featured in wallpapers that you can place on your desktop.

Try getting this animation wallpapers from various websites and you will find that most are in three dimensional or two dimensional. The good thing is that when you get tired of looking at one character you can always go back online and look for another.

Things to Love and Dislike About The Novel Network

The Novel Network, the latest and hottest e-book download site today is becoming the top choice of many readers and they have a very good reason too! This is a list of things to love and dislike about this website. Hopefully, it will help you form a decision whether you want to become a member or not. Do take note that if you want to maximize the site, you must have a Kindle, iPad, iPhone or a laptop at the very least. Want to know the reasons to fall in love with the site? Read on!

What to Love about The Novel Network:

1. For a single and one time pay of 49 dollars, you are already a member and you can download practically any book that you want to. You name, the chances are very high that they have it. From classic novels to modern books, manga comics and graphic novels, you can bet that The Novel Network has it. You will not be disappointed. Forty nine dollars may seem like a pretty big amount at the start but considering how many traditional books that you have to buy and its cost, the membership fee will be more friendly to your pocket in the long run.

2. You can save a lot of time by being a member because instead of checking numerous sites to look for the book titles that you want, now you only have to visit one and they most probably have what you are looking for.

3. The Novel Network helps you build an electronic library. That sure saves you more space than looking for cabinets and storage bins to place all your paperbacks and hard bounds. Plus, you can be assured that the pages will never turn yellow or smell old.

Not so Likeable things about The Novel Network:

1. Just like anything else you download online, you are at risk of downloading harmful virus to your computer. Make sure then that you have an anti virus to protect your files. That last thing you need is to have corrupted files in your iPad or computer.

2. For now, the website has a lot of books and novels but all of them are in English. Hence, if you are a speaker of different language then I am sorry to announce that being a member of The Novel Network is not for you ... at least not until they expand their selection to other languages.

3. You need a good internet connection or else your download could take forever. Once you're download is finished though, you can read your e-book anywhere you please.

Such are the things to like and dislike about The Novel Network. It is up to you to decide on it.

What Wizard Magazine Entails

The wizard magazine is an information magazine, where you go if you are interested in knowing how much certain comics cost. The Magazine features all kinds of comics and cartoon characters you might be interested in such as the DC comic collections as well as the Marvel comic collection, and not forgetting the Japanese made comic collections which are known as Anime and Manga series.

The wizard provides you with all the information a normal store does, only difference is that the magazine is also online and provides more than just pricing, it also gives you a full history on the comic you may want as well as electronic price listings. The magazine is part of the Wizard Entertainment group which prints the magazine on a monthly basis as well as tells you how to get valuable or collector able comics and also gives you the latest news on what new releases are out or when they will be coming out.

Created in 1991 by Gareb Shamus, the Wizard magazine has gone on from being just a newsletter that told people what was the best buy in Garebs parent's comic store to becoming the most sought after magazine to give you the top ten list of what comics to buy, where you can get them, top writers as well as now it also includes more than comic but also novels and much more. If you are looking for a magazine that will deliver not only in being reasonable cheap for someone to buy but also in giving you the right pricing, righteous buys and of course the right place to find those collector comics and their pricing then the Wizard magazine is just what you need.

Cosplay Under the Spotlight

Everybody just love wearing costumes, right? Either for Halloween, Christmas or any occasion that human mind can give out; people are always excited to dress as their favorite cartoon/anime character, famous ghost legend or an ugly ghost. And thus, cosplay (or costume play) came to view, originated from Japan, fans dress up as characters from manga, anime, video games or even comic books. It started as a simple gathering of friends who wore costumes of from their favorite manga (comic books) or video games; it became a total hit in Japan until it finally reached the Westerns and the whole world. Cosplayers can be seen attending comic trade shows or cosplay parties at certain establishments like theme parks or malls.

Cosplaying is very popular to the teenagers but there are also grownups that are avid fans of the said costume playing. But then, cosplayers are not the only ones who got famous, but the photographers as well. Cosplayers and photographers eventually became instant partners when cosplaying came into blooming into the promotional market. It's wasn't long enough when Japan realized that they can use the cosplayers for promoting items, new games and other trends. The phenomenon was obviously a total hit; years after years more countries had been participating to the new addiction and more teenagers are joining the coolest trend.

In Asia, more cosplayers are active not only for work but also to gain popularity. In the Philippines, one of the most popular cosplayers is Alodia Gosingfiao. She's a graduate in Ateneo de Manila and had earned her popularity all over the country because of her famous cosplay photo shoots on the anime entitle "Death Note" and other video game characters. She had also been appearing on television shows lately and had been hosting cosplay competitions on conventions. She had also been putting items on sale and bid on her sites and been earning from it quite fairly. From costumes, figurines, commissions, elisa kits, and some of her personal items like her PSP, people had been bidding for it with high prices. All of her costumes and poses came out worthy, and it gave her fame (and fortune) she was not expecting when she first tried cosplaying.

Her photographer, Trisha, had also been gaining praises for all her photos, not only those who are about cosplays but also her own personal works. Her page on one site had frequently been visited by people who are fans of Alodia and even some of her fellow photographers. They had been selling prints when there are comic conventions and also put her items on bid online (though she's not been selling elisa kits). Trisha and Alodia only proved it that there's much more in cosplaying than meets the eye; they had both gained fame, fortune, a lot of friends (and fans, take note), and most importantly, after graduating from college, they still enjoy what they had started before - dressing up as a fictional character, taking pictures of it and posting it on the web, the easiest way to be popular, I guess.


Uclick a division of Andrews McMeel Universal which is a syndicate and publisher of humour based content has announced the launch of a new mobile comic strip called Thunder Road. This is to be delivered through their gocomics mobile reader which is available through operators in the US and the UK. Uclick produce other content products for mobile as well including games and Japanese Manga. Manga on the mobile has been steadily growing in Japan over the past four years and now has over 300 titles and the total value of the Japanese mobile Manga market in 2006 was USD20 million. Some of these Manga titles now bypass print altogether and go straight to mobile just like Thunder Road.

What is interesting about the growth of mobile comics is that they require mobile readers in order to have a satisfactory experience. The gocomics reader is a java based application whilst many of the Japanese readers are flash lite based. They both effectively allow for page scrolling with one complete art panel at a time available on screen. Could this be a driver in the war of App against WAP? It is clear that with many different types of content their true potential cannot be delivered through browsers. There have been fits and starts in the traditional online comic industry and this may have been largely due to the computer screen and browsers not necessarily being the right place to deliver comic content. Most of these online comic producers resort to using technologies such as flash or e-zines to distribute their content in an enjoyable and meaningful way.

Once again we are faced with the question of what is the best way to deliver content on the mobile. As mobile content is evolving more and more with the increasing adoption of smarter and smarter phones, it is clear that the answer will not be a clear cut as we might have hoped. The way forward seems to be that the format and relevance of the content will determine how it is presented. As far as comics go, Mobile may well be the way in which they digitally truly come into their own.

A Beginner's Guide to Reading Manga

Manga is the Japanese word for comics and cartoons in print. (Anime, on the other hand, is animated cartoon for TV or film). Even though manga is essentially a cartoon, manga holds a higher place in Japanese culture than comics do in American society. Manga is well respected as both art and as a form of popular literature. In fact, much the the adult population in Japan read manga and several major manga magazines in Japan sell several million copies each week.

This should tell you that manga is not just kid's stuff.

What kind of story would you be interested in?

A hard-boiled detective hired to locate a missing girl?

A world dominated by animal-human hybrids in the aftermath of an apocalyptic war in 2054?

A boy-meets-girl-meets-giant-robot adventure?

A historical play revolving around the shadowy generals of the Genpei War?

A successful journalist who takes in a handsome homeless man as a pet when her fiance leaves her?

There are hundreds of stories to choose from in manga books and there is something that caters to everyone's taste. Furthermore, many manga titles combine artful pictures and frames with nuanced stories for very entertaining and addictive reading.

Manga is generally categorized into different genres. The most popular ones include:

- shonen manga for boys and male teens

- shojo manga for girls and female teens

- kodomo for children

- redisu for adult women

- seinen for adult men

- jidaimono is historical drama

- suiri is crime and murder

- ecchi is erotic fare

So, how to get started with Manga? Easy.

1. Walk into the store. Most large booksellers have a section dedicated to manga, but to really get a range of titles, try a comic book store. Either way, manga books usually have covers in color and maybe the first few pages as well, but the rest of the story is usually in black and white.

2. Look through the books, read them a little. Stop when you find something that you like and take it home.

3. If you are comfortable with surfing the Internet, read manga online first. Do a search for one of the many directories of online manga sites and scan those sites for titles that are interesting. Many of the sites will actually show the manga book-drawing and text-from its Web site.

Remember that when you read manga, you read the frames from the right to left. Often, when you open up a manga--just like you would a regular book--there will often be a page that will tell you how to read it.

Give a few manga titles a try to get a feel for what you like. Once you find a title you like, you can look for more of the same or similar titles with that publisher. Look for the English publisher's Web site in the front of the book, then check out that site--it will probably contain descriptions of all their books and maybe even a little sample online.

Anime Statues and How to Start Your Own Collection

The anime abnormality originated in Japan and it is an action appearance that is afflicted by manga or Japanese comics. The characters accept ample eyes, continued limbs, big hair, ever abstract facial expressions as able-bodied as added characteristic features. Anime is berserk accepted all over the apple and it is getting acclimated in TV shows, films, video amateur and commercials.

If you are a fan of anime and would like to alpha a accumulating of anime statues, you accept a lot of choices. The aboriginal affair you should do is be abiding that you accept a abode in the abode to affectation your collection. There is little point in accession if you cannot put your statues on display, so acquisition a acceptable area and if necessary, acquirement a affectation case or two so that your anew acquired animes will accept a abode to be kept. The best way to activate a accumulating of this affectionate is to alpha with purchasing some of the older, a lot of accepted figures, as they will be the atomic big-ticket to purchase. It is aswell wise, abnormally if you are on a budget, to activate by purchasing some of the abate anime statues such as the Inuyasha figurines that are four inches tall. Each of these statues appear on a abscess agenda and cover such accepted characters as Inuyasha, Sesshomaru, Kagome, Sango and Miroku. This accurate accumulating came out in 2005 and can about be begin online.

The "Love Hina" statues are aswell 4 inches alpine and cover the baby of Urashima Keitara, the 20 year old with the not-so-good luck that gets into a abundance of agitation with the 5 girls he hangs about with. Look for the changeable statues in this alternation such as: Mitsune and Kaolla Su. The acumen for starting your accumulating with the abate figurines is that they are bargain and simple to find. As time passes, you can plan your way up to beyond figurines. The best blazon of anime baby accumulating is one that includes statues of all sizes and from abounding of the a lot of accepted series.

After you accept a admirable accumulating of the baby statues, plan your way up to the eight inch sized. The Mon-Sieur Bome' alternation was berserk accepted and these abstracts were created by one of Japan's a lot of acclaimed sculptors - Bome'. His plan speaks for itself. His She Devil appearance absolutely is a must-have for any anime collection, so be abiding to aces her up. Don't overlook about Kasumi - the changeable ninja who was in the Mugen Tenshin Appearance of Ninjutsu. The brand wielding charlatan Ignis is from the actual accepted Japanese video game: Jingai Makyo, so try to locate one of these as well.

One of the best places to acquisition anime statues is online. You can appearance abounding collections and actualize for yourself a 'wishlist' of anime statues that you would like for your collection, again accomplish affairs to ensure you can aggregate them all.

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Cheapest Ways to Ship Your Products Overseas

With the advice of the internet, the apple is shrinking. A adolescent boy from Japan can calmly buy a banana book from the United States and at the aforementioned time a adolescent boy from America can buy a accepted Manga title. Now, humans advertise all altered kinds of artefact online, from steaks to underwear. Articles of all admeasurement and shapes are now getting awash online. It could be as baby as a collector's brand and we accept even apparent a afterlife ray awash in E-bay. Whether it is a big or baby product, your account have to ability the buyer. Otherwise, you can accede the transaction a failure.

One have to not overlook that you are sending your artefact across to accomplish a profit. If you pay too abundant to forward your goods, again you may not accomplish abundant of a accumulation to abide your enterprise. Raising your prices is a accurate advantage but at a assertive point you will be too big-ticket for humans to afford. A added applied addition is to lower costs and addition is a acceptable as abode as any to start.

To lower the bulk of your addition you charge to accept how the industry works. Whenever you address appurtenances you are affairs amplitude on the freighter. There is a bound bulk of amplitude and, of course, the added amplitude you absorb the college the transaction the air or sea bales aggregation would demand.

One of the means you can lower the bulk of your addition is by application boxes that are just big abundant to fit your product. A abridgement of the box to accord a close fit will lower the addition costs, however, be alert of authoritative it too baby because you do not wish to breach the amalgamation acute you to forward addition one over.

The admeasurement of the box is aswell important. A aboveboard and a ellipsoidal box is recommended because it keeps its appearance bigger even if it is put on top of anniversary other. Circular boxes do not assemblage able-bodied and can could cause the bulk for addition to rise.

Shaving off a few pounds in your addition can aswell advice lower your costs. You can lower the costs by allotment ablaze weight packing materials.

A addition amplitude like any added article becomes cheaper if it is bought wholesale. You can either buy a specific bulk of amplitude for a best aeon of time or you can buy a beyond amplitude for a lower rate. You can just ample in the aberration with added customers, alms a bigger rate.

You can aswell buy burden amplitude in advance. Addition companies wish to advertise their spaces aboriginal and they are accommodating to accord massive discounts to admeasure those spaces. It is important that they advance the address to abreast its abounding accommodation so that there would not be any ashen opportunity.

These are just some of the means a being can lower the bulk of money they absorb on addition their articles to their customers. You can apprentice added by talking to able community agent and aggravating out these tips and award out new methods.

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Manga Games - Innovative Past Time For Kids

The Manga games have their origin in Japan. Manga is used for a Japanese comic or a graphical novel. Artists who design these games have their unique style and give a unique appearance to their character. The drawings of the characters are never over embellished. Artists generally use pen and ink to give a realistic appearance to their animated characters. These artists over emphasize the body of their characters.

Some popular games online

Some of the common Manga games include release the Pokémon, sailor Senshi maker, dragon ball Z tribute, Japanese street fashion, sailor Senshi maker, Naruto RPG 2, Neko girl dress up, sailor fuku fashion makeover, the robbed gallery, demon hunter, kumagoro fly fly and many others.

• Release the Pokémon: - In the game 'release the Pokémon', kids need to find and capture all the wild creatures available. This increases kids' concentration and memory power. Kids design their own sailor in the game sailor Senshi maker. One is asked to design everything about a sailor from his clothes to his foot wears.

• Japanese street fashion: - This is an innovative game, which tests the fashion knowledge of a child. This colorful game increases the style sense of kids. Naruto RPG 2 game is filled with suspense, thrill and action. Your kids would polish their skills by playing such a game.

• Kumagoro fly fly: - As the name suggests, Kumagoro fly fly is an innovative game in which kids need to help a rabbit in eating carrots. Such games increase the knowledge of small kids.

• The robbed gallery would surely keep your kids busy for quite a long time. This is a puzzle game full of adventures. Kids need to kill the evil powers prevailing around in the game named demon hunter. This game beautifully generates moral values among the children.

Manga Games designed for girls

Some of the popular games designed especially for girls include new year Chinese zodiac, magical girl bunny, geeky girl, mori girl dress up, Thursday dress up, Anime makeover, Xmas heart dress up, sailor fuku fashion makeover, vampire style makeover, sweet dreams pajamas makeover and many others.

• Sweet dreams pajamas makeover: - In this game 'sweet dreams pajamas makeover' kids have to design a girl with new pajamas in a complete manga style. One of the popular games named mori girl dress up would provide you ideas to doll up in a complete Japanese style.

How to Find Free 3D Drawing Software On The Internet

When we allege of cartoon and sketching, the earlier bearing would apparently anticipate of account boards, canvas or cartoon boards. But for the newer generation, abstraction and cartoon are hardly able manually anymore. Cartoon are now generated through cartoon software, and calmly so as able-bodied due to the actuality that you can access these software chargeless on the internet! Chargeless cartoon software has helped millions beyond the apple to draw, acrylic and account calmly and in a added hassle-free manner. And it has aswell helped abounding out there that accept called the career of an artist, as it allows a lot of adaptability in agreement of angel editing, and cuts down on diffusion considerably.

If you are absorbed in award cartoon software (especially the absorbing 3D software), you could acquisition the chargeless options on the Internet calmly artlessly by active a Google search. You would be accustomed a ample amount of advantage to accept from, and this too ability could cause a bit of a botheration as you ability be borderline of which software to opt for. Let us now browse through some of the added adjustable and easy-to-use cartoon software that you should attending at:

  1. Sketchup - this one provided chargeless by Google, and is altered from the blow of the chargeless software that are provided due to the actuality that it deals in 3D. If you are belief architecture, designing or artlessly adulation abstruse drawings, this software would apparently be ablaze for you! It is provided chargeless of allegation by Google, and accession takes alone ten minutes. The software is not too new nevertheless, as it was appear a few years back, but the affection of Sketchup charcoal impressive, and I would acerb acclaim this one for beginners who accept just started with 3D cartoon or designing
  2. Another accepted one today is InkScape, one that offers agnate appearance such as Adobe Illustrator or Freehand, but after a amount absorbed to it. Easy-to-use with simple instructions that would acquiesce even beginners to plan with the designs, this is appealing abundant committed for illustrations. A lot of professionals in actuality achieve use of InkScape, and the actuality that it comes to you chargeless of allegation is absolutely addition advantage!
  3. Gimp is addition chargeless cartoon software that you should consider, abnormally if you are searching for one that can achieve 3D sketches. Very agnate to Adobe Photoshop, Gimp was originally acclimated in Japan (in creating banana and manga books). Now we accept English translations of this software, which agency that it can be acclimated on a added all-around scene, abnormally with the actualization of advantageous training abstracts on Gimp. If you wish to use Gimp, you should accede a tablet, as it would be easier to use Gimp on a tablet, it gets a little awkward to draw on Gimp with a mouse. Those who are acclimated to cartoon with a pen, pencil or even brushes would absolutely plan bigger on Gimp through a tablet.

The three cartoon software that I accept mentioned aloft are some of the bigger ones that are accessible chargeless online, appropriately if you are absorbed in them, you accept the befalling to download them for chargeless and alpha application them immediately. Good luck!

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Watch Naruto Episodes

For the committed Naruto fan, the convenance of fandom in commendations with this actual accepted anime alternation goes aloft just getting able to watch Naruto episodes. Any getting who considers himself or herself as one who is aloft the boilerplate Naruto fan will adjure to this. This is because the account of this abundant and able-bodied admirable anime alternation is embodied by those who absolutely adore it in as abounding forms of artistic announcement as there are episodes of this show. True, the abstraction of watching these episodes circadian or on a approved base is an act of fandom in itself, but these die harder Naruto admirers are not arguable in this alone.

There are those of these types of admirers who, afterwards they watch Naruto episodes, go to their admired manga or banana book abundance and acquirement latest releases of Naruto on manga which, although they reflect about the aforementioned artifice and storyline, admission these big admirers the achievement of getting able to see the adventure in a altered bend as able-bodied as on a altered medium. Also, there are those who are able in art and actualize fan art assets of their own and column them on the internet. There are as abundant means to characterize Naruto and his accompany in agreement of the assorted mediums that could be acclimated as there are account and concepts on how to draw them. As for those who are able in writing, abounding of these Naruto admirers address their own fan fiction and allotment them with online communities. So don't just watch Naruto episodes.

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Anime vs Manga

If you are a magna fan and reading up on the latest anime and manga releases and the history of the subject, you will find there has been a lot of confusion between anime and manga. Oftentimes, fans will ask others on forums or on blogs or in chat rooms what the difference is. But this is like having the blind lead the blind in most cases.

There are experts who visit these sites and can answer questions intelligently, but since they do not usually leave links to back up their claims, it can be unclear if what they say is true or if they are really experts. If you go to an online encyclopedia, you often find so much information to wade through with so many big words, it's hard to fully make sense of it all.

Suffice it to say that manga means Japanese comic books, or in other words, those drawn-on-paper cartoons originating in Japan. Similar to the American comics with Superman and Spiderman, these comics were often made into different series and are still produced in quantity. Anime is animation, or you could say, the animated versions of manga.

Any animation actually needs to start out as a cartoon drawing of some kind. Manga artists create the characters and story line, then their drawings are made into animated film. The animation process is long and detailed, and takes a number of talented people to bring off the final product. The artists who originally create the character, his personality and the scene where the action takes place play a large part in the production of the anime.

Sometimes, besides the creator of the manga itself, studios take the artwork and make the backgrounds and other details with the labors of other animators. These drawings are combined and photographed or scanned as one piece, making an entire scene with the character, extras and the sights of a modern city or whatever is being portrayed. Thus anime is created.

Rumko Takahashi created the popular series, Inuyasha and Ranma ½. She does the original drawings and assists in the animation process along with other artists in the studio that produce the final anime. And so it is with many manga-kas (manga writers).

Which came first, manga or anime? That is easy to answer in studying the history of cartoon drawing. In Japan, the most famous manga artists were in production in the 1940s, for they were producing cartoons regarding the World War in progress at the time. That doesn't mean there weren't other cartoonists prior to this time. Certainly there were.

In the U.S., comics were in vogue early on. As early as the late 1700s, Benjamin Franklin started the first editorial cartoon. This soon expanded to the longer comic strips, the first of which was drawn by Richard Outcault in 1895. Then in the 1930s there were the debuts of such heroes as Superman and Batman.

Exo Force LEGOs Are Just Way Too Cool

If thoughts of Sentai Mountain are calamity your arch at this time, and you are accustomed with that byword way aback in 2006 if this accepted mecha brand from Japanese manga and anime aboriginal rocked television, acceptable to the club. It's either you yourself are an ardent fan, or accept accouchement who were consistently alert to the TV whenever characters like Hikaru, Keiken and Meca One hit the screen.

With a arresting storyline, action-filled scenes, and a star-studded casting pitting robots adjoin humans, it's no admiration that the apple of Exo Force has beyond media and abstract and is now a accepted LEGO craze.

For a lot of mecha admirers out there, they accept continued acclimated LEGO artery to accomplish their designs on their interpretations of archetypal mecha. If LEGO absitively to accomplish a accomplished toy band based on the Exo Force theme, it could not accept appear at a bigger time. There was an advancing approved online banana that showcased all the data of the contest in the LEGO sci-fi world. Along with that was a aggregate of abbreviate cartoons (2 minutes) aired on primary accouchement stations such as Nickelodeon. Everything fit into place.

Hobbyists and Exo Force Lego enthusiasts can acknowledge the ambit of sets accessible like the Action Support Sentry, Combat Crawler Plus X2 and the Sentai Fortress. Some of the action machines such as the Stealth Hunter, Thunder Fury, or Grand Titan appear with a assemblage designation, minifig and an another model. One can get these items at superior LEGO shops or discounted LEGO food at prices that ambit anywhere from $20 to added than $150, depending on the popularity, architecture and model.

There are aswell online merchants that accommodate you with bigger deals and ability even accept the exact blazon you are searching for. If you adjudge on this option, be abiding to analysis the blueprint of the archetypal you choose, as able-bodied as the absolute aggregate including shipping. Some sites action chargeless shipment for aggregate purchases.

Of course, one of the coolest things about these Exo Force LEGOs is the aggregate feature. With just a few adjustments and re-building, two or added action machines can be abutting calm to accomplish one cool action machine. You or your adolescent may be accustomed with the Assault Tiger / Chamelon Hunter combination, or the Dark Panther / Storm Lasher formed into one.

It's absolutely a abundant acumen for admirers and collectors to accomplish abiding they accept the complete and aboriginal set!

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Things to Remember When Looking to Buy Manga Action Figures

You are probably familiar with the term "Manga". It means "whimsical pictures" in Japanese. This Japanese word is used to describe comics and cartoons that conform to the Japanese standards, which originated in the 19th century. Its development branches out from two complementary processes. Some believe that the pre World-War II period had the most influence on its development, while other writers believe that Japanese culture is the only major influence behind them.

Their audiences were divided according to gender and age. The content of the comics were created to suit the needs of the individual reader. Comics for both men and women were made available in the market. In fact, you will be able to find a list of Manga magazines, which dedicate approximately 20-40 pages to these comics in a single issue. The Manga craze has not only conquered Japan, but has managed to win the hearts of European audiences as well. Nowadays these fans are not pleased with having only the comics or cartoons. They actually need a piece of it to collect and preserve in their close proximity.

Manga Action Figures have come as a blessing for all those die-hard fans who wish to keep a memoir of their favourite Manga character. However, before you buy any particular figure you must remember a few important points. Making the right choice is essential because these figures are costlier than the other toys available in the market. Therefore, you must first decide on what you want to buy. It is wise to buy your favourite characters first and then go for other characters.

Next, check the appearance and the condition of the figure. Proper inspection will ensure that you do not waste your money into defective products. Its overall condition contributes to the price you pay for it. Besides these, you also need to have an idea of the acronyms necessary for buying them. For instance, "A/O" means all original or the product is intact and complete. These terms will help you make more informed decisions.

For further guidance you can use online price guides to have an idea of their price. You also need to be cautious to avoid buying fake or bootlegged products. It might be difficult for you to distinguish between a fake and an original one, however checking the packaging and the colour might help you. Always make sure that you buy the Manga action figures from a reputable shop, this significantly reduces the risk of buying a fake product.

The last and one of the most important steps towards acquiring your Manga action figures, is to carefully go through the terms and conditions of the purchase. So now, that you know about the indispensable things to do while buying these Manga figures, your shopping is certainly going to be meaningful.

Anime Statues and How to Start Your Own Collection

The anime abnormality originated in Japan and it is an action appearance that is afflicted by manga or Japanese comics. The characters accept ample eyes, continued limbs, big hair, ever abstract facial expressions as able-bodied as added characteristic features. Anime is berserk accepted all over the apple and it is getting acclimated in TV shows, films, video amateur and commercials.

If you are a fan of anime and would like to alpha a accumulating of anime statues, you accept a lot of choices. The aboriginal affair you should do is be abiding that you accept a abode in the abode to affectation your collection. There is little point in accession if you cannot put your statues on display, so acquisition a acceptable area and if necessary, acquirement a affectation case or two so that your anew acquired animes will accept a abode to be kept. The best way to activate a accumulating of this affectionate is to alpha with purchasing some of the older, a lot of accepted figures, as they will be the atomic big-ticket to purchase. It is aswell wise, abnormally if you are on a budget, to activate by purchasing some of the abate anime statues such as the Inuyasha figurines that are four inches tall. Each of these statues appear on a abscess agenda and cover such accepted characters as Inuyasha, Sesshomaru, Kagome, Sango and Miroku. This accurate accumulating came out in 2005 and can about be begin online.

The "Love Hina" statues are aswell 4 inches alpine and cover the baby of Urashima Keitara, the 20 year old with the not-so-good luck that gets into a abundance of agitation with the 5 girls he hangs about with. Look for the changeable statues in this alternation such as: Mitsune and Kaolla Su. The acumen for starting your accumulating with the abate figurines is that they are bargain and simple to find. As time passes, you can plan your way up to beyond figurines. The best blazon of anime baby accumulating is one that includes statues of all sizes and from abounding of the a lot of accepted series.

After you accept a admirable accumulating of the baby statues, plan your way up to the eight inch sized. The Mon-Sieur Bome' alternation was berserk accepted and these abstracts were created by one of Japan's a lot of acclaimed sculptors - Bome'. His plan speaks for itself. His She Devil appearance absolutely is a must-have for any anime collection, so be abiding to aces her up. Don't overlook about Kasumi - the changeable ninja who was in the Mugen Tenshin Appearance of Ninjutsu. The brand wielding charlatan Ignis is from the actual accepted Japanese video game: Jingai Makyo, so try to locate one of these as well.

One of the best places to acquisition anime statues is online. You can appearance abounding collections and actualize for yourself a 'wishlist' of anime statues that you would like for your collection, again accomplish affairs to ensure you can aggregate them all.

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