Hello Kitty

Friday Things: 02/06 - All About That Cake and Quackerjack

LinksKristina PinoComment

[Whoa, actually on time? Why, yes. It's because my weekend is pretty much booked, and I had the presence of mind to write this up a day early. Enjoy!]

On Disney:

Some cute Disney-themed Valentine's Day cards if you're into printing and making your own.

A few screenshots of the upcoming Frozen short, Frozen Fever.

On Books and Comics:

If you're passionate about comics and interested in writing about them, consider applying to PANELS!

If you're the type who likes to "read it before ya see it," here are three books for upcoming adaptations.

The next Hello Kitty comic has just been released! It's called Hello Kitty: It's About Time. Oh yes, I'll be grabbing this.

Stuff I Wrote:

On Panels: Art Roundup: Spotlight on Quackerjack.


Michelle Phan wrote up some tips on handling homesickness. She nailed it with keeping busy as well as keeping in touch. I Skype with folks back in the US all the time, and I try not to have too much idle time in general.

A glance at what some school lunches around the world look like compared with the US. If you read my blog regularly, you know what Japanese school lunches look like, but have a look at others like Greece and Spain!

A publication sent out a call for science writers, and dude was rejected because he isn't a science writer. His response to the lady who runs the site is appalling.

Awesome dad gets tattoos of his son's doodles.

A+, solid parody.

[See ya next week!]

Friday Things: 12/1 - Learn to Draw Baymax, and Check Out Some Dorky Astronauts

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[This week was kind of rainy and stuff - I hope yours was sunnier than mine!]

On Books and Comics:

There's a YA comic out called El Deafo about growing up deaf, and this review by Cory Doctorow has convinced me I need to read it. It looks and sounds fantastic.

If you have a pal who's into comics, this newly-released hard cover edition of Saga collecting issues 1-18 might make a great gift this holiday season.

Dorky astronauts being dorky (Douglas Adams fans, do click)

On Disney:

Draw Baymax!

Anyone else looking forward to the costumes in Cinderella as much as I am? Droooooling.

Stuff I wrote:

My latest art column is a spotlight on Naruto's Hinata Hyuuga.


The amazingly talented Sonya Belousova has some great work up at the Player Piano YouTube channel. I was originally going to drop the video of her improvising Nintendo song arrangements on the spot, but I actually fell in love with her rendition of David Arnold's untitled waltz and went for that instead. You should really see everything on that channel, though - she's also done an arrangement of the Tetris theme that is not to be missed.

Super cute stop motion animation video filmed with wooden toys for Hello Kitty's 40th anniversary.

When I watched Mean Girls, I was fascinated by the realization that there are people who grow up the way Cady did - with wild animals and local tribes as friends and family, and then transferred to some Western city and a public school system. Well, Tippi's parents are wildlife photographers and raised her in Namibia, Africa for her first 10 years. I'm shocked I haven't heard about her until now, considering she's written a book and participated in 6 documentaries. More on her here.

[Have a great week!]


Comics and MangaKristina PinoComment

I just recently finished reading Hello Kitty: Just Imagine... and even named it my top comics pick in PANELS' October round-up, and I've just noticed today is the release date of the next book in the series, Hello Kitty: Work of Art. Heck yeah! Check out the cover and blurbage below:

Picture this:

Hello Kitty and her friends are making music, producing plays, snapping photos, solving mysteries and...playing with dragons? Art is all around, and Hello Kitty and her friends know exactly where to find it!

And don’t miss three lovely pieces by Maite Oz!

Stories and art by: Jacob Chabot, Giovanni Castro, Ian McGinty, Jorge Monlongo, and Maite Oz.

Friday Things: 10/25 - The Terror That Flaps in the Night Returns

LinksKristina PinoComment

[It's getting cooooolder!]

On Blogging:

Are you a blogger? There's always room to learn more things. Here are 11 tips from The Nerdy Girlie.

Also on the subject of blogging: how to protect your privacy.

On Comics:

People interviewed the awesome Amanda Conner. I feel like they were trying to bait her to go in a certain direction the way some questions were framed, but she gracefully brushed it all off. All positivity, all confidence. Love her~

Ridiculously excited we're getting more Darkwing Duck comics, and even more excited that James Silvani and Aaron Sparrow are going to continue working on it.

New Edward Scissorhands comic!

Stuff I wrote this past week:

I take turns with a co-contributor on Panels for our weekly column Comics Fetish, in which we feature comics-related merch you can totally buy. This week was my turn.

Also on Panels, I wrote about Batman, and made a call for book recommendations.

On Book Riot, I wrote about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

And finally, on Quirk Books, I rounded up some of my favorite Hello Kitty-related recipes/tutorials from YouTube.


Excited for Disney's upcoming Moana in 2016!

[Have a great week!]

Link Bits: 05/19 - JUST IMAGINE...

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[It's Monday again....!]

Just Imagine...has been revealed as the 4th book in the Hello Kitty graphic novels series, but its release is all the way in August. What a long wait! Ahh! Anyway, this book will feature contributions from its regulars: Ian McGinty, Jacob Chabot, and Jorge Monlongo; plus some new people: Sarah Goodreau and Giovanni Castro.

Jen Campbell has finished writing The Bookshop Book and it's slated for release October 9th. Read more about it at her blog.

A teaser trailer was released for Disney's upcoming live action Cinderella film, and it leaves much to be desired. Not giving an inch!

Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at!

Graphic Novel Review: HELLO KITTY: SURPRISE!

Comics and MangaKristina PinoComment

It's no secret that I absolutely love the Hello Kitty books that VIZ Media imprint Perfect Square have been releasing (digitally and in print, by the way). And I'm happy to report straight from the start that the third book in this new series is still the same delightful stuff I fell in love with in volume 1.


"What’s that? Who’s there? It’s a surprise!  Expect the unexpected! A day at the beach is more than just fun in the sun. A mysterious egg holds a tiny secret. Mama and Papa have a few secrets of their own. And a quiet afternoon with a good book is more enchanting than Hello Kitty ever could have imagined! Plus, prepare to be amazed by Anastassia Neislotova’s tales of wonder!"

Where Here We Go! (reviewed on Japanator previously) focused on Hello Kitty traveling and having adventures here and there and everywhere, and Delicious! (reviewed on Japanator previously) focused on adventures surrounding food, Surprise! naturally focused on.. well, surprises. Only pleasant surprises, I assure you. And of course, what all three books have in common is you'll probably get cavities. 

Ian McGinty made his big co-creator debut in this volume, and it looks like there was a big focus on showcasing his talents this time around. He handled four of the seven major stories in this book, which alternated with stories by Jacob Chabot and Jorge Monlongo, and shorts by Anastassia Neislotova (bonus: take a look at the endpapers and one of the shorts by Neislotova). Though I was sad to see less of the others, it was still refreshing and fun to follow Hello Kitty's adventures as told by McGinty, who had been briefly featured in Delicious!.

Despite only having one story, Jacob Chabot did some really stand-out work in this book (story by the book's Editor Traci N. Todd - credit where credit's due). Specifically, I love the big change in art style when Hello Kitty went on an adventure that was literally out of a book. The textures and even the background under the panels were completely changed since everything except Kitty herself was made out of paper. Delightful work, right there.

Altogether a wonderful presentation (reminder: these are wordless graphic novels) that is suitable for all ages, these books are a fun read to toss into the TBR pile for when you need a break from the heavy stuff. The stories are guaranteed to make you smile, and are told in the simplest way - artwork that isn't too busy, and nice, bold colors. This book was released on April 1 and there doesn't seem to be a listing for a fourth title yet. Once I see it, I'll be sure to post about it on this blog, though.

VIZ Media selected press excerpts: Miyazaki memoirs and a dose of Hello Kitty

BooksKristina PinoComment

I couldn't wait to share these once I caught up with my inbox, so here's some good news from VIZ Media.

The first is that Starting Point, which chronicles Hayao Miyazaki's career from 1979-1996 and was originally released by VIZ Media in 2009, is being re-released in paperback.

Turning Point covers 1997-2008 and will be released in hardback on April 8th, the same day Staring Point is released.


"TURNING POINT: 1997-2008 is the companion second volume to the earlier Miyazaki chronicle, STARTING POINT: 1979-1996, which was originally published by VIZ Media in 2009. This volume examined the first part of Miyazaki’s career, during which he rose from humble beginnings to create the seminal animated features Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind, Castle In The Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Porco Rosso, as well as his launch of Studio Ghibli. A fitting introduction is offered by John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and Walt Disney. VIZ Media will release STARTING POINT: 1979-1996 in a new paperback edition on April 8th under the Studio Ghibli Library imprint with an MSRP of $16.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN.
TURNING POINT: 1997-2008 follows Hayao Miyazaki as his grand vision continued to mature, cinema-lovers worldwide discovered and embraced his creations, and prominent film critics such as Roger Ebert delivered tremendous acclaim for the director’s films. In his legendary career, these crucial years represent the turning point. In the mid-1990s, Miyazaki moved from success to success as his work found a fervent audience outside of Japan. His animated films of the era, including Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo, were internationally lauded, and Miyazaki won an Academy Award® in 2003 for his film, Spirited Away, which was a commercial and critical hit."

 April 8th will also see the release of the art book for The Wind Rises titled The Art of The Wind Rises (MSRP: US$34.99).

Hello Kitty: Surprise!

is finally being released this week. I can't express my love for this series enough, and you'll see my thoughts on it here soon, too. It's being released for US$7.99 in print and US$4.99 digital via the Perfect Square app.

Friday Things: 03/17 - Gaston needs to cut on those calories

LinksKristina PinoComment

[Another Monday edition, and on St. Patty's, no less! I didn't really celebrate in Japan, unless drinking a beer and having a slice of pizza on the side with dinner counts, but I hope you all have a fine day/night!]

On Disney:

If you're on Facebook and you like the Muppets, check out Amy Mebberson's totally free sticker pack, which you can download in a chat window to spice up your PMs.

Funny little thing that Oh My Disney published about how many calories Gaston must eat in a day.

In case you're as much of a Disney nerd as I am and are looking forward to the Dwarfs mine train ride coming to Fantasyland, here's a video released by Disney Parks comparing onboard footage and the early CG sim.

I love Taylor Davis' work so much.

On Books:

(via FashionablyGeek) Starting April 4th, you'll be able to get your mitts on some Game of Thrones -themed rings and necklaces, made by Pyrrha in collaboration with HBO. They'll be for sale at HBO's online shop if you want to fork out the dough.

(via BoingBoing) Book spine masking tape. Seriously.

VIZ Media have announced a fall release for their Perfect Square imprint that I'm already drooling over, titled Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories. It's a hardcover book that celebrates her 40 years through art, comics, toys, and more. If it's anything like their other Hello Kitty book releases the past several months, I know this is going to be absolutely fantastic. Speaking of Kitty, April 1st marks the release of the third volume in her graphic novel series, so look out for a review here shortly after.

The state of children's books by and/or about people of color published in the US is worse than we thought.

Now that I've gotten into reading audiobooks, little studies about info retention and the like have been on my radar . I have, indeed, found that the more hours I clock in listening to audiobooks, the easier time I have focusing on their content.


More exciting details about the Wizarding World expansion planned for Universal Studios Orlando.


Friday Things: 10/26 - Saturday morning Jim Cummings, milky pinups, and Earthsick jellyfish

LinksKristina PinoComment

[Whoops, looks like I completely missed last week's link dump! I wasn't feeling too productive after my trip to Disney, alas. I had a blast, by the way~

This week we had a near-tyhpoon to deal with, but it totally missed us in the end. There was also a pretty solid quake off the coast this morning, about a 6.8, and nothing serious. What was weird about it was how it lasted a long time. Earthquakes are usually just momentary rumbles, but this one went on and on and on. Very strange! But we're all good, here.

My intro is a little bit long today, and I've got plenty of links to share since I missed this last week, so you'll have to click the jump if you're viewing from the front page. If not, then look right below!]

Literary links:

Awesome literary tees for the book geek.

DarkHorse is selling Game of Thrones lunchboxes! (GoT | Iron Throne)

New web series: Geek's Guide to Dating. Very cute.

I reviewed an awesome comic published by Perfect Square (a VIZ Media imprint) titled Hello Kitty: Here We Go! It's the first in a new series of Hello Kitty comics, and the second one, Hello Kitty: Delicious! is already announced and dated.



On YouTube: 

Cool cover of Jai Ho by Peter Hollens and Alaa Wardi.

Some sweet make-up tutorials, including a bunch of Disney characters.

Mickey Mouse can talk to guests now - so cool. 

Jim Cummings delights with his voice work as Pooh Bear while reading some of Darth Vader's lines from Star Wars. Darkwing Duck makes a cameo.

I vlogged! I'm not sure how regular they'll be, but I'd like to try to at least post something on my YouTube channel once a week, so whenever I don't have a review or some concentrated topic, I'll just chat about what I'm doing or what might be happening in Japan at the time. The first vlog was a bit about the last typhoon, my hair cut, and other things. This week's vlog is about eReaders



On Photography:

Very cool photography: "Milky Pinups." Way more effective ways to get some people to drink milk than the Got Milk? mustache shots, I think.

Last week's update on my photo blog was Japan's cherry blossoms. This week's was about my visit to a cat cafe.


We're seeing now that jellyfish born in space are having an awful time back on Earth. It doesn't bode well for babies born in space.

Henry Selick is working on a live action fairy tale movie!

Awesome food art one mom makes for her daughters. I love this~



Friday Things: 10/12 - Disney covers, pumpkin carving, and the real questions we should be asking about YA lit

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[Oh yes, I do realize that it is indeed, once again, Saturday when I'm posting this link dump. I'm thinking maybe I should just keep it to Saturdays, but I don't want to change the name of this column! Conundrums.]

On Disney:

Doing some pumpkin carving this year? Here are some stencils of the Hitchhiking Ghosts as well as Mickey Mouse to make it easier for ya.

Nick Pitera covers This is Halloween. Fun video~

Evynne Hollens sings Part of Your World.

Disney has been named the most socially responsible company!



The latest upload by The Piano Guys has them performing at the Great Wall of China. Yes, they're actually, really there. Incredible~

Another Celebrity Mean Tweets segment. I love these - it highlights the fact that celebrities are real people who may or may not be affected by the awful things people say at them.

These talented fellows played Mozart's Turkish March on bowls and plates and cups and wooden spoons. It's pretty awesome.

Nerdy Nummies shows you how to make Deadpool cupcakes. They look adorable~

ASAP Science explores whether we could survive the sun's death.

 Don't believe everything you read on the internet, kiddos. Not even the stuff that's labeled as a "lifehack."

Shameless Self-Promotion:

Reminder that Les Literables is a thing you can Like on Facebook! It's a community for daily book news, discussions, and stories.

I reviewed a new travel-themed graphic novel titled Hello Kitty: Here We Go! for Japanator this week. It's fun and funny; give it a shot!


Someone with a lot of talent and patience gets newspapers and turns them into art - they look like embroidered lace.

Boom! and Fox have made this deal involving comics and movies and stuff.

Kelly Jensen gets it. I'm tired of this whole business about adults reading YA, and if it means they miss youth, or adults "confessing" they read YA books, and bla bla bla. Kelly offers some suggestions for people to write about the topic that don't involve confession posts or tired gender arguments.

[See ya next week! I might be on time or extra late, depending on things, because I plan on going to Tokyo DisneySea next Saturday. Yay!]