MangaBento’s taking over the Contemporary Museum in Makiki Heights and bringing some talented local artists along for the ride.
The group of young artists inspired by anime and manga is hosting "Manga Mayhem," a manga-drawing event for the young and young at heart, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Thursday. Attendees can get art advice from MangaBento members, design their own manga-style characters or color existing designs. All sorts of art tools, from markers and pens to computer programs, will be available to test out.
For those of you with more a competitive nature, MangaBento will host two "Art Champ" contests. Contestants will be given a theme and a time limit to finish a picture, with prizes for the top three finishers. Elementary and intermediate school students will compete from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., while anyone high school age and older gets their turn from 1:45 to 2:15 p.m.
In addition, professional artists will be on hand to give advice. In attendance will be:
» Roy Chang, MidWeek editorial cartoonist and art teacher, who will be offering his popular art portfolio critiques, a staple at Kawaii Kon for the past few years, throughout the day. (Bring your sketchbooks!)
» Audra Furuichi, co-creator and artist of the popular plush pup Web comic "nemu*nemu," who will give a half-hour talk and demonstration at 1 p.m.
» Jon J. Murakami, Star-Advertiser cartoonist, illustrator and creator of the "Gordon Rider" comic series, who will give a half-hour talk and demonstration at 11 a.m.
The best part about all this is that admission to the event and the museum’s exhibits will be free, part of the museum’s regular policy of offering free admission on the third Thursday of every month. Confession time: The last time I visited the Contemporary Museum was to do an extra-credit assignment for an art class sometime in the mid-’90s, and I’ve been meaning to go back ever since. It’s certainly a nice campus. I think I’m long overdue for a return visit, don’t you think?
Video game club scores $5,000 grant
As I was researching this next item, I found a rather eerie coincidence: The last time I mentioned the Mililani High School video game club and its campaign to get a $5,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh project was April 18. … and the lead item in that column was a MangaBento workshop. I don’t plan these things in advance, I swear.
As those of you who follow "Otaku Ohana," the blog that tag-team partner in fandom Wilma Jandoc and I update whenever we can find a spare moment (blogs.starbulletin.com/otakuohana) already know, club adviser Sean Hamamura wrote in last week to let me know the club was the top vote-getter in the $5,000 grant category for June.
Hamamura plans to use the grant to take the club to a one-day YMCA leadership and Ropes course as a way of reinforcing character education principles, pending approval from the school principal. First up, though? Filling out the actual grant application. "I heard it was 17 pages," Hamamura told me.
Anime around town
» MangaBento: Regular meeting will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. For more information, visit www.manga-bento.com.