Comic, anime heroes come to campus


Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies, Kiva from “Naruto” and Abel Knightguard from “Trinity Blood” were on campus this past weekend for the first ever Mikomicon, an anime and comic book convention hosted by the CSUN Anime Club.

Dressed up like their favorite characters, anime lovers in attendance were treated to Taiko drum displays, concerts, panels and workshops from artists and voice actors from the industry, martial arts displays, Super Smash Brothers tournaments and so much more.

Brian Kruise and Jackie Graph, dressed as Genma and Tsunade from “Naruto,” came from San Diego, the staging ground for most comic book conventions, to attend Mikomicon with their friends who live in Northridge.

“We love anime cons,” Kruise said.

Erich Humsher came dressed as Able Knightguard, the vampire from “Trinity Blood” who hunts other vampires. Humsher and his wife Yumiko, dressed as Ester the nun, came from Lancaster, having just won “Best in Show” for their costumes at another convention.

Kyle Herbert, who voices Kiva on the Cartoon Network show “Naruto,” was at the event and shared with fans what it is like to work as a voice actor in anime shows. Voice work for these shows pays very little, Herbert said, and the real money comes from voice work for video games based on the show. Herbert also said that while he voices a character who typically acts like a dog, his parents did not allow him to have a dog when he was a boy.

Tokyopop, a Los Angeles-based publishing company, was at the event to present its upcoming line-up of manga books, which are Japanese comics with black and white art and stories set up so that they are read from the back cover of the book to the front cover.

Marketing manager Jonathan Chen said the company would be releasing the entire “Kingdom Hearts” series in a packaged set coming out later this month. Continuing in the tradition of anime-style characters existing in the same realm as classic Disney characters, “Kiala Princess” tells the story of a young princess who must rescue kidnapped Disney princesses.

“Dramacon” is a manga about a girl who falls in love with a boy at a manga convention but has to wait for a whole year to see him again since they live far away from each other. A woman from Azuza, who would only identify herself as Anneki, came dressed as Lucius Malfoy, the father of Harry Potter’s nemesis Draco Malfoy. Anneki designed the black costume herself, which she tailored to look exactly the way it did in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

Anneki submitted three entries for the Video Game Movie Awards that took place on Saturday night. The entries were videos put together from different anime shows mixed with popular rock music. It can take months to put one of these videos together, Anneki said, as the character’s lips have to move in accordance with the music’s lyrics.

Comic book and sci-fi celebrities were also in attendance, such as Jack O’Halloran, who played the mindless Kryptonian brute Non in “Superman II,” and Cliff Simon, who played the arrogant Goual’d Baal in “Stargate SG-1,” which was recently cancelled after 10 years.

Simon said the producers of the show had told him that they were “pretty positive” they would find a place for his character on the show’s spin-off series, “Stargate Atlantis.”

“I told them that Baal could go down there with a scuba suit,” said Simon, who just finished filming the episode “Dominion,” one of the show’s last 10 episodes, set to premiere in 2007.

For the more traditional sci-fi fan, Rob Caves showcased his fan series “Star Trek: Hidden Frontier,” which is set during the 24th century, the same time as “The Next Generation.” The show begins at the outbreak of war between the Federation and the belligerent Atholians, an alien race from the Briar Patch that first appeared in the film “Star Trek: Insurrection.”

“We like to feature alien races that were not explored in much detail in the movies or T.V. shows,” Caves said.