Archive for November, 2011

The Cel Shaded report, 11/24: Say a prayer for Mr. Thorne

November 24th, 2011

This particular edition of the Cel Shaded report was supposed to be a bit more lighthearted, a bit of a celebration of our beloved anime and manga and our local art community in honor of Thanksgiving. A note posted by cartoonist/friend of the blog Jon Murakami early Tuesday evening on Facebook, though, prompted me to take a more reflective turn.

The note was about Dave Thorne, fellow cartoonist, fellow friend of the blog, and teacher and inspiration to a whole bunch of other local cartoonists out there. He’s also the creative mind behind “Thorney’s Zoo,” one of three local comic strips rotating in the Star-Advertiser every Sunday. (Go ahead, feel free to take a look around that archive I linked to — contrary to what I reported this year, I’m happy to report that it looks like our local Sunday comics archives aren’t behind the paywall, after all.) Here he is lecturing at McCully-Moiliili Library back in April.

Those of you who keep track of such things may have noticed that there hasn’t been a new “Thorney’s Zoo” strip yet this month. There’s a reason for that. From Jon’s note:

About November 8, 2011 DAVE THORNE was rushed into emergency surgery for a torn aorta.

Since the open heart surgery, he is doing fine (last talk with Lorraine his wife on 11/23 shows that he is healing very well.)

Earlier he was available for visitation but was sent back to ICU due to complications with his diaphragm so he is unable to breathe properly and finds himself short of breath and gets tired easily. His lungs aren’t completely filling with air, but Lorraine assures us that he is fine and despite using oxygen -  is getting rest and healing properly.

The “Dave Thorne Get Well Page” posted on Facebook (note: you must be signed in to view it) garnered 32 members in a span of about four hours and stands at 75 members as of this writing, with a whole stack of get-well notes and drawings piling up.

I’ve only known Dave personally since the Cartoon Art Mural event at Kahala Mall in March. That’s only about eight months. And yet, I love the guy. Meeting him for the first time felt like I had known him for forever. There’s just a childlike innocence and enthusiasm to him whenever I see him drawing, and the big-eyed anthropomorphic animals can please people of all ages. I linked to this video back in June, but I think it’s worth posting here again so we can see him in action. (Besides, it’s only had 12 views since then! Twelve! Okay, so I’ve actually had the thing on semi-private mode, only accessible through that one post, but still!)

He’s applied that art to a lot of things over the years, including comic books (naturally) …

… as well as T-shirts, milk caps, even informational brochures.

As I mentioned before, he’s taught a lot of cartoonists over the years, too. Here he is at McCully-Moiliili Library’s Mini Con in September, chatting with one of his proteges, nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi.

And here he is talking to several people from local art group Pen & Ink Works. If you look really closely at the paper in front of him, you can see one of those trademark elephants that he often draws.

While we certainly have a lot to be thankful for in this season, I think the one thing we can all be thankful for more than anything else is being able to live for another day on this lovely little planet of ours. Sure, there are aggravations, obstacles and setbacks that we encounter — some days more than others — but in the end, as Arumi Asahina said in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, “Bein’ human, havin’ your health … that’s the most important thing.” And we’re all certainly thankful that Dave’s still with us and recovering nicely.

Here’s praying for your continued speedy recovery, Mr. Thorne. And I say that with hands folded and a little nod and bow. Just like he would, really.

Crafting craziness continues

It looks like the place to be to get your holiday craft fair groove on this weekend will be the Islandwide Christmas Crafts & Food Expo at the Neal Blaisdell Center, where nemu*nemu co-creators Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga and idkwhat2wear will both be exhibiting. Audra and Scott will be unveiling some new charms, along with a customizable, made-to-order charm bracelet at the event; while idk will have their usual selection of buttons, T-shirts and hats. Show times are 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; general admission is $4, with military and senior citizens 65 and older getting in for $3 and children under 12 getting free admission.

If you can’t make it out to the Blaisdell (or don’t want to … and I can’t say I blame you there, because the one time I took my mom out to that fair, the crowds were insaaaaane) you can also catch the idk crew at the Hawaii Okinawa Center Winter Craft Fair (94-587 Ukee St. in Waipio Gentry; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday), or Christmas in Honolulu at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (2454 S. Beretania St. in the Manoa Grand Ballroom, 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday). Both of those events are free. Also, a few tips for the Okinawa Center fair: A $5 donation will allow you admission to the exhibition hall a half-hour early. Bring some canned goods, too, and you can exchange those for a free andagi.

For more information, visit or

Anime around town

>> MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit

>> Oahu Anime Explorer: The group is making plans for its annual Christmas party, being held Dec. 3 at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu, 1239 Olomea St. Cost is $15 per person and includes a no-doubt-lovely meal spread from Tanioka’s. RSVP to

Simply Ono (the manga, not the food truck)

November 21st, 2011

There’s a truck that’s shown up here on Oahu during the current food truck boom — well, okay, maybe it would be more accurate to call it a fleet of several trucks, if you look at their website — called Simply Ono. “Ono,” for those of you who aren’t from this string of rocks in the middle of the Pacific, is a term we use locally to point out that something is supreeeeemely tasty. We’re talking “Snuffles the Dog from the old Quick Draw McGraw cartoons enjoys dog biscuits” tasty. True to its name, the fare that Simply Ono serves up is diverse (yet affordable) and certainly a cut above what’s usually served at these trucks — just look at this menu and try to keep your mouth from watering.

But this isn’t a blog post about local food culture — if you wanted that sort of thing, you’d be reading the posts from the gang over at Take a Bite. (If you’re ever in town and come upon one of these trucks, though, I highly recommend the furikake-encrusted ahi, baked mac-and-cheese and warm bread pudding with creamy vanilla sauce.) It is, however, a post focusing on the star course of this month’s Manga Movable Feast, hosted by Alexander Hoffman over at Manga Widget: the works of Natsume Ono.

Like Simply Ono, Natsume Ono serves up a pretty tasty, yet diverse, menu of series that’s a cut above the usual manga fare. I’m not just talking about her two series with restaurant ties, Ristorante Paradiso and Gente; there’s also her tale of feudal swordsmen, House of Five Leaves; Tesoro, an anthology of short stories that just hit U.S. store shelves about a week or two ago; and La Quinta Camera: The Fifth Room, which sneaked out into U.S. publication back around July when I wasn’t looking, thus continuing what’s now been a three-month streak of my anticipating a book for the MMF arriving after the MMF wrapped up. (Side note to Kodansha: I really do have a fun idea planned for the review copy of Love Hina omnibus vol. 1 that you graciously sent me. It’s just a matter of finding the time to write it.) If Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys and Pluto are the foundation upon which Viz’s two-year-old Signature Ikki imprint was built, Ono’s works could be considered as a good portion of the structure, making up a healthy chunk of the imprint’s offerings.

Which brings us to the one title I didn’t mention above, the one I read for this month’s MMF: not simple. True to its title, it’s not a simple title to wrap your head around.


The Cel Shaded report, 11/17: Droppin’ that craft fair beat

November 17th, 2011

There are a handful of readers — perhaps equal to my entire readership left, given how inconsistent I’ve been posting here lately — who may be wondering where I’ve disappeared to following my last post about Museum of Terror, as well as what happened to the used-to-be-regular-but-Lord-knows-what-happened Cel Shaded reports.

I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that work has kept me plenty busy lately, leaving me with little energy to do much outside of work. So when my two-week vacation kicked in starting last week, I went into super-lazy stealth staycation mode, hunkering down in an APEC-proof bunker in an undisclosed location in Central Oahu known only to tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J., emerging only occasionally for a lunch with Wilma or to buy baked goods, grilled musubis or certain other essential purchases. (Yes, my vacation also happened to overlap with the local APECalypse. Yes, several coworkers were jealous that I somehow managed to land that vacation window.) I needed some time to recover my energy, but I’m back!

My brief writing hiatus meant that I’ve already missed mentioning the first craft fair of the season for nemu*nemu-ites Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga. Time eternally marches forward, though, so we’ll just have to put that aside and mention their second stop on the holiday circuit: the annual St. Andrew’s Priory Holiday Fair, being held at the school at 224 Queen Emma Square downtown from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Can’t make it then? They’ll be at events for almost every weekend through Dec. 10; check out their full calendar at

Meanwhile, Terri & Karl Dux and the gang at idkwhat2wear, sellers of T-shirts, hats and buttons that have adorned my office ID lanyard for several years now, will be island-hopping this weekend. They’ll be at the 24th annual Christmas Craft Fair “EG”stravaganza at Edith Kanakaole Stadium, 350 Kalanikoa St., in Hilo on Friday (5-10 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) On Sunday, they’ll be back on Oahu at the Pearl City High School Craft Fair, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school, 2100 Hookiekie St.

Once again, if you can’t make either of those events, they’ll also be making appearances at various shows through Dec. 10; keep up to date at

Meeting roll call

>> Aiea Library Anime Club: 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. This month, librarian Diane Masaki will be screening either Moeyo Ken or Legend of the Millennium Dragon, depending on which one she can get screening clearances for first. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or email