Animationstudies 2.0

Today, the Society for Animation Studies  has inaugurated a new blog, animationstudies 2.01, which is being edited by Nichola Dobson, and devoted to issues in animation scholarship. As Dobson points out,

The pace of published research has often lagged behind the vast technological developments in the animation industry and as such there is often seen to be gaps in the discourse.  This blog intends to attempt to fill some of these gaps by providing scholars (and fans) a more immediate place to engage with current research.

Initially, the plan is to have one post per week and a new theme each month. Forthcoming themes include: “Technological developments in animation” and “Sound and music.” The opening theme is not specified, but the first post, by yours truly, is “Writing Animation History.” (It’s all about my three books in progress, which I hope to write more about here.)

Needless to say, it’s one blog I will be checking in on a regular basis!

Skwigly is Back

Skwigly logo


Back in 2004, when I was living in London, I had the pleasure of occasionally writing for Skwigly, an online magazine that seemed to position itself as a British version of Animation World Network ( I was happy to continue my association when I moved to the Atlanta area. But soon after, they seemingly went out of business and their site was taken down. (I did post an article I wrote for them on this blog on Joanna Priestly here.) Then, all of sudden, I got an email from its editor, David Smith, indicating they were back!

Arriety poster

As might be expected the site is structured as a blog and recent pieces include a review of Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Arrietty (Kari-gurashi no Arrietty) from Studio Ghibli, an interview with Alex Williams and a review of Animated Performance, the new book by Nancy Bieman.

Needless to say, it’s good to have Skwigly back. My only complaint is there is no easy way to search the site, especially if you’re looking for my articles (if you’re interested here are links to my interviews for them with Bill Dennis, Linda Simensky and Robert Lione).

Last update: January 29, 2017.

Japanese Edition of Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas

Astro Boy and Anime Japanese coverThe Japanese-language edition of  Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas, by Fred Ladd (with my assistance) has been published by NTT in a translation by Kumi Kaoru, the author of two books on Hayao Miyazaki.  The Japanese title is Anime ga Anime ni naru made (How the Japanese Cartoon Became “Anime”’).

Kumi-san emailed me that “Nihon Keizai Shimbun (the Wall Street Journal of Japan) published a brief notice last Sunday, which he roughly  translated (with some editing on my part) as:

Osamu Tezuka’s Tetsuwan Atom, which began in 1963, appeared in the US in the autumn of the same year as Astro Boy, and turned out to be a precedent-setting event for the international reputation of Japanese animation. Mr. Ladd, who directed the English dubbed version, wrote this memoir with the support of Mr. Deneroff, cartoon scholar. It is full of previously unknown stories about the very early days of anime’s English adaptation, such as how the adaptation staff beat their brains to soften the “violence” in Atom so that it could meet American TV standards.

It is available from Amazon Japan here (and presumably other outlets) for ¥2,940 (about $31.50).