2017 Guest Announcement: Helen McCarthy

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Please join us in giving a warm Anime Central welcome to Helen McCarthy as a 2017 Guests of Honor!

Helen McCarthy has been going to conventions for over 42 years. For most of that time she successfully hid her secret identity as a unicorn through the anonymity of cosplay. When that failed, she vanished into a forest of books from which she still emerges for conventions, somewhat haphazardly disguised as a normal human being. Part of her still lives in the Middle Ages and another part is in revolt against a future with no jet cars.


This year she’s finally finished two novels. Now she just has to edit and sell them. She’s writing an update of her book on Hayao Miyazaki. She also wrote over a thousand poems in 2016 and hopes to create at least that many in 2017, possibly including a few good ones.


Helen first encountered Japanese popular culture in Europe in 1981. There was no book on anime in English, so she set out to write one. She’s had twelve non-fiction books published in seven languages – English, French, Italian, Brazilian AND standard Portuguese, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. These include a biography of Osamu Tezuka acclaimed in Japan, two drawing manuals, a cross stitch book, and co-authorship of The Anime Encyclopedia.


Encouraged to be creative and radical by her mother, grandmother, aunts, and the nuns who educated her, Helen is an independent scholar and proud founding member of the Fandom And Neomedia Studies organisation (FANS.) She was honoured to be the keynote speaker at their first conference. Her lectures and workshops about anime, manga, haiku, costuming, needlework and creative business have taken her around the world and are scheduled to take her to Japan for a symposium on cosplay this year.


So if you spot someone small, loud and British around the convention, stop her and say hello. You will survive the experience, and you will have met a unicorn. That’s weird, but also rather cool.


PS: bring haiku

PPS: bring haiku, chocolate and kittens.

PPPS: bring haiku ABOUT chocolate and kittens. And really big shiny edged weapons. But only if they’re properly secured according to convention rules.

PPPPS: only dreaming about the weapons. Nobody should ever give me edged weapons.