SEPTEMBER 2020: Professor Northrop Davis's scholarly book, Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood has now been acquired by over 900 libraries worldwide
In more commercial news, it is also now sold at Walmart stores.
Prof. Davis was chosen by prominent Hollywood movie studio Lionsgate Entertainment to be interviewed for a documentary featurette included in
the 25th Anniversary Special Edition of the legendary anime franchise
Ghost in the Shell release (took place on 5/29). Here is the 4k trailer for the release! Also, the famous French movie and TV studio Canal+ documentary that Prof. Davis was interviewed for when they flew him to Hollywood last summer is now finished and has successfully premiered. Stay tuned for the announcements of it's air date on French TV and territories and elsewhere.
LATEST STUDENT CAREER SUCCESS NEWS BELOW and CLICK HERE for PRINT VERSION and CLICK HERE for DIGITAL VERSION of a brand new USC alumni magazine article on several successful grads and Prof. Davis's teaching and mentoring of them. Some of them are also interviewed in this earlier article, so you can see their huge career progress since then, including Brook Driver (below), after he sold his first screenplay.
JUNE 2020 TERRIFIC CAREER NEWS!!: A MOVIE THAT FORMER ADVANCED SCREENWRITING AND TV WRITING CLASS STUDENT BROOK DRIVER WROTE IS IN PRODUCTION TO BE RELEASED SOON!!! AND HE HAS SOLD TWO MORE TV SCRIPTS SINCE HIS PREVIOUS
HARRY POTTER PRODUCER SCRIPT SALE!!! (Update!)
Brook took Prof. Davis’s TV writing (Mart 521D) and Advanced Screenwriting (Mart 521A) classes, when he was an exchange student at the University of South Carolina. A while back, Brook sold one of his screenplays to one of the producers of Harry Potter (see story below)! Now, we are pleased with his extremely wonderful latest news: he has been further commissioned on that script to turn it into a TV Series! He has also sold two other TV scripts since his time at USC!
Additionally, you can read about the first one of his films to be put into production (which will be coming out early next year!!!) in the movie and TV industry's top news publication, The Hollywood Reporter here!
FANTASTIC CONGRATULATIONS BROOK!!!
APRIL 2020 FANTASTIC NEWS!!: TV PILOT WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY MART STUDENTS PICKED UP FOR STREAMING ON AMAZON PRIME!!!
MART senior Tyler Spaid takes school success to the worldwide pro level while still enrolled here, by getting his pilot script made, with him directing, and now Amazon Prime has picked it up for worldwide streaming!!! Read much more about it here!
Tyler, a graduate of Professor Davis’s TV writing and Advanced Screenwriting classes talks about the process and experience of how he wrote the script in the TV writing class, in this University of South Carolina article! And senior Holly Kuldell, who is currently taking Prof. Davis’s TV Writing Class and also took his Advanced Screenwriting class, did a comedy punch-up polish on Tyler’s script! So it’s also about students helping each other, and is a great example of collaboration with our wonderful theater department professors!
GIANT CONGRATULATIONS TYLER AND HOLLY!!!
MARCH 2020: Huge news!!! Manga class graduate Jarad Greene sells two of his graphic novels—in an auction! Read about it in the publishing industry's top news magazine Publisher's Weekly, here!
Jarad Greene, who took Professor Davis’s manga class several times as a USC student, and was very active in helping form the first wemakemanga.com student club, as well as a key participant in the development of the Wemakemanga.com website, has sold his two graphic novels in a bidding situation! With top representation, and such a bright future, Jarad is building on his previous graphic novel sale reported earlier on this blog.
What a big validation of the manga class, and the generosity he has shown giving back in his q and a’s to recent classes are so appreciated by current students! And we are delighted that he will speak to again in the manga class in fall semester 2020!!! Here is an early work of his from the class
ENORMOUS CONGRATULATIONS JARAD!!!
AKEEM ROBERTS, A GRADUATE OF THE MANGA CLASS, IS NOW A CARTOONIST FOR THE LEGENDARY
THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE!
He writes that,
I’m doing well in New York. I am currently working at the animation studio Holler.io in NYC. I am also a cartoonist for the New Yorker, working on 3 chapter book illustrations for Kokila (a diversity-focused division of Penguin Books and giant publisher Random House) and pitching a graphic novel to Harper Collins. Outstanding news, Akeem!!! You can see his manga that he made for the manga class, Donut Cop, here.
Professor Davis was awarded promotion to Full Professor at the University of South Carolina.
Professor Davis was flown by top French movie and TV studio Canal + to Los Angeles where he was filmed for their television documentary about Hollywood adaptations of manga(Japanese comics) and anime (Japanese limited animation). It will air in France and in French territories, as well as globally when it is finished.
More SVAD/Media Arts Grads/Prof. Northrop Davis's mentees breaking into the industry!
(Note: A few of Prof. Davis's scholarly research, publications and creative projects--which benefit our students as he continues to stay on the cutting edge of knowledge and experience that he can bring back to the classroom-- are listed below these recent student successes.):
Media Arts Alum hired as the writer's assistant to the show runner of a new Amazon television show
Prof. Davis's TV Writing and Advanced Screenwriting classes grad Tyler Peck has been hired to be the writer's assistant for show-runner Alice Bell on Amazon’s drama series The Expatriates, from Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films. Before that, Tyler worked on the CBS summer drama series Salvation as a writer's P.A., which is traditionally a step before staff writer. Previously he worked on Black-ish, LOVE, and Dice on the production side. Terrific news, Tyler!!! Even more spectacular, Greg Goetz works with him on the same show (see Greg's achievements below) and the two recently skyped into Professor Davis's TV writing class! Many other of his grads as well as Davis's e entertainment industry relationships have Skyped the students over the years, including Ashley Poston, Alexa Garfinkle, Brook Driver (more about them below!) and major figures like Ash Brannon (Toy Story 2 and Surf's Up writer/director), and successful show runners, TV writers and producers!
Graduate of manga class and animation class hired onto Netflix animated show with top studio Bento Box (Bob's Burgers)!!!
Huge congratulations to Carl Hilton, former member of Wemakemanga Productions who took Professor Davis’s manga class-- for being hired by Bento Box productions in Atlanta as an animator!!! They make, among other great shows, the hit animated series “Bob’s Burgers”! He also took Catherine Chi’s animation class in MART. Carl’s manga from manga class, and that of his writing partner on the project, Tyler Cheney (former WMM president) is excellent! HUGE CONGRATULATIONS CARL. He skyped into Professor Davis’s fall 2019 manga class, MART 521C and will do so again this semester!
PREVIOUS TO 2020:
Media Arts and SC Honors College Alum Greg Goetz has blazed into a Hollywood career - after working on the TV show Scandal among several other shows and co-writing two episodes of a major Shonda Rhimes network TV show l(update!)-- he is now working on Scandal with Tyler Peck! Prof. Davis met them both at the studio that show is shot at this past summer. Previous news on Greg:
Huge congratulations to Media Arts major and SC Honors College graduate Gregory Goetz, who took Professor Davis’s and Riley’s classes and previously was hired to co-write two episodes of the ABC TV/Shondaland series The Catch. The most recent episode Greg wrote aired during prime time on ABC on May, 17 2017 (the earlier episode he penned aired May 12th 2016). Greg previously was script coordinator for The Catch and another show Salem. Before recently moving onto Scandal, he was working on Salvation with MART and writing class alumni Tyler Peck (above).
Media Arts Alum Sells Screenplay Option
Congratulations to Brook Driver, who took Prof. Davis’s MART Advanced Screenwriting and Television Writing classes, and his mentee has sold the option of his original screenplay to a producer of
Harry Potter Tanya Seghatchian (some of her credits are listed here. Brook is now represented by the top screenwriting agents and agency in England, United Agents.
Graduate of Prof. Davis’s manga class and Wemakemanga alumni Jarad Greene sells his graphic novel publishing rights to a major comics publisher and now has a big time lit agent!
Jarad Greene’s SCULLION, in which a castle dishwasher with big dreams is kidnapped after being mistaken for the most famous warrior and bestselling author in the kingdom, on the morning of her wedding to the crown prince; he must channel his hero and figure out a way to save himself, to Hazel Newlevant at Lion Forge with Amanda Meadows editing, for publication in 2020, by Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world). Here is an early example of his student manga work that he created for the class. Huge congratulations, Jarad!!! Jarad skyped into Davis's fall 2019 manga class here at Carolina for a q and a with the students!
Wemakemanga head writer and Prof. Davis TV writing class alum previously hired full-time by “Harry Potter” publisher who published the highly rated Heart of Iron has finished its sequel Soul of Stars which came out in July 2019 from HarperCollins Publishers! Cross of Iron was a 2019 Rainbow List Selection!
Big congratulations to Ashley!! Previous to this, Ashley, English, 2012 graduate and a TV writing student at MART and former writer on the wemakemanga website, was named Marketing Designer for Bloomsbury Publishing. As a novelist she is now represented by Holly Root of Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. For information about Ashley - she now has two young adult fiction books at Bloomsbury Spark alone, those and her other books can be found here.
Manga and Anime class Grad Working on Disney/James Cameron's Pandora ride (update!)
Vivian Aultman (2016), a Studio Arts graduate and a former student in Professor Northrop Davis's The Art and Business of Manga and Anime class, is now a proud cast member at the Walt Disney World Company. She is currently working on the opening team in Merchandise on Pandora, which is Lightstorm Entertainment and Walt Disney World's physical realization of James Cameron’s Avatar universe and as Character Attendant at Hollywood studios. You can view her manga here: Warriors Risen.
Carolina Manga Class Alum is Hired by Major Taiwanese Animation Company (Update!)
Louise Wang, class of 2011, was hired as an employee and assistant animator at Next Media Animation, one of the biggest animation companies in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Previously Louise, like Ashley Poston, was selected for and took the internship set up between Kodansha USA, the manga division of Random House Publishing in NYC for several of Prof. Davis's students . Louise Wang’s work can be seen on this site, including Wedding Singer, and Fujo Club. More recently Louise has been studying Japanese language in Japan with hopes to become a mangaka there. UPDATE: she also inked and did the refined designs for Prof. Davis and his team's full length manga that he wrote, The Hole, that was funded by a USC Provost's grant! Due to the high quality of volume 1, Prof. Davis was generously awarded a second provost's grant and The Hole, volume 2: Space Airport is now in production-- so Louise is serving the same role again! Volume 1 will be published closer to volume 2 so as to keep readers of the series from having a gap between volumes. We will release preview images as the publisher allows it! Part of the idea behind this project is to bring the techniques Prof. Davis and his team learn and utilize on it back into the classroom, to increase the quality of work created in Davis's The Art and Business of Manga and Anime (MART 521C) class.
Grad Receives George Lucas Funded Scholarship
Bonnie Harris-Lowe (2017), a Media Arts and SC Honors College major and a former student in Prof. Davis's Honors College TV Writing class has been awarded $25,000 by the George Lucas Family Foundation Scholarship upon her acceptance at the University of Southern California's MFA Interactive Gaming program. As her academic advisor, Prof. Davis wishes her a big congratulations!!!
Taylor Flaim (Visual Communications, minor in Media Arts):
Taylor who took Prof Davis's TV writing class's
Big Break into Hollywood was landing an Office Production Assistant position for Fox's Sleepy Hollow and worked her way up to Production Secretary. She has worked on Boy Erased, Superfly, and The Mule, Clint Eastwood's new film. She hopes to be an executive producer on comedic features and television shows.
Clayton Tilley (Media Arts/MART major):
Clayton has performed art direction on three national commercial spots for Tide brand detergents. Other art direction credits include Samsung Electronics America, Miliken Textiles, and a music video for country music singer Ryan Follesse. This summer, he was an assistant camera for The Daily Show, and as a set dresser, Clayton has crewed for: The Righteous Gemstones (HBO), Halloween (Blumhouse Productions), Salvage (ABC Studios), Conrad and Michelle (Lifetime Network), The Sinner (NBC Universal), The Inspectors (CBS), Pilot Travel Centers (Commercial), Drunk On Your Love (Brett Eldridge), and the horror films Enclosure and Faceless (Black Bear Studios). Clayton was also a property assistant on the television show Mr. Mercedes (DIRECT TV) Clayton's other production experience includes: Top Chef & Southern Charm (BRAVO), Kingpin (HISTORY), Island Life (HGTV), The Circus & Active Shooter (SHOWTIME), Dare to Travel (TRAVEL), Triumph Election Special (HULU), Shining a Light (A&E), Concert for Valor (HBO), Million Dollar Critic (BBC AMERICA), The X-Factor (FOX), Wicked Tuna & Doomsday Castle (National Geographic Channel).
UPDATE: In 2019, Clayton worked as a set dresser on The Glorias, a biopic of Gloria Steinem's life. After that, he worked on The Righteous Gemstones as the Set Dec Warehouse Manager so that he could learn from the huge scale of the show during this first season. CONGRATULATIONS CLAYTON!
Alexa Garfinkle (Media Arts major, minor in Business Administration):
Alexa has worked at Showtime Networks since 2016 (Temporary Supervisor of Rights and Clearances, 2016; Creative Services Production Assistant, 2016-2017; Project Management. Coordinator, 2017-Present). Previously she was Producer's Assistant at 20th Century Fox Television (2016), Director/Producer's Assistant at Fox International Channels (FIC) (2015), Production Assistant at Paramount Pictures (2014), Art Production Assistant at Fox 21 (2013), and Production Assistant for Homeland at Fox/Showtime (2013, 2012).
UPDATE: Alexa has been promoted to Manager, Project Management!! In doing so she skipped the Supervisor level! HUGE CONGRATULATIONS ALEXA!
We are delighted to have significant career progress already on four Spring 2018 grads!:
Another Disney bound Media Arts/SVAD major writer/artist graduate:
Following in the footsteps of Vivian Aultman, Shelby Geter (2018), who took Prof. Davis's manga and TV writing classes was hired to work for Disney. Previously her internship with Prof. Davis had her working to schedule him at Anime production companies and manga publishers in Japan during his 2017 trip to Tokyo to show his manga The Hole and do research there.
Graduate of Prof. Davis's Honors College TV Writing class is on the fast track to being a Hollywood assistant director!
A graduate of South Carolina Honors College, Herman Phillips (Film and Media Studies, B.A., 2018) has worked constantly as a full time Set Production Assistant on various top television shows.
Phillips is currently staffed on season two of the Disney+ STAR WARS live-action television drama THE MANDALORIAN and will return to season two of HBO’s EUPHORIA this spring. Since moving to L.A., Phillips has worked on various HBO shows such as EUPHORIA, SILICON VALLEY, PERRY MASON, INSECURE, and BALLERS; Hulu’s SHUT EYE and upcoming Reese Witherspoon/Kerry Washington drama LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE; Netflix’s THE BLEEDING EDGE and RIM OF THE WORLD; and Apple and Super Bowl commercials.
After completing the Directors Guild of America’s 600 day requirement working as a set production assistant, assistant director, or unit production manager, Phillips will be eligible to join the DGA as an Assistant Director, whose role it is to facilite set operations, logistics, scheduling, and creative workflow.
Graduate of Prof. Davis's Advanced Screenwriting class and Davis's mentee Ethan Ravens is in LA working on an ABC Prime-Time television show!
Ethan is Production Coordinator on the police procedural drama series The Rookie. Previously he was a production assistant for NBC's Brooklyn Nine Nine. Congratulations Ethan!
Cailey Camaratta 2019 MART grad who took Prof. Davis's manga class and was his intern, is hired at her most desired job at this stage in her career in LA!
Cailey graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Media Arts along with minors in Studio Art and Anthropology. She is currently living and working in Los Angeles as a Motion Graphics Coordinator at Trailer Park in Hollywood in pursuit of her goal to become an animation or video game editor.
TV Pilot written in Prof/ Davis's 2018 Spring TV writing class by Ethan Hansen makes second round at The Austin Film Festival and then he breaks in in L.A.!:
Ethan Hanson's (MART, 2018) dystopian drama
Picking Sunflowers that he wrote in. Prof. Davis's Spring 2018 MART 521D TV writing class has placed into the second round out of approximately 10,000 entries.
UPDATE: Ethan writes that "...my first 6 months in LA couldn’t have gone any better. I’m currently a Graphic Designer for an ad agency called The Refinery Creative. It’s a really unique blend between visual art and the film industry, which has me right at home! I’ve gotten to work on projects for FX, HBO, AMC, Apple TV, Netflix, Nat Geo, Fox, and Disney+.
My goal is to become an Art Director at the company within 2 years. It’s an extremely competitive environment, but I’ve been under the mentorship of an industry veteran for the past 5 months, and am coping excellently."
CONGRATULATIONS TO THESE EXCELLENT GRADS!!:
We look forward to posting more news from our many other grads going full stride into their media careers!
We also urge our current students to take internships. Here's one example:
SUMMER 2019 MART student interns at a top Hollywood talent agency
Jacob Cohen, who took professor Davis’s Media Writing and Advanced TV Writing classes served in an internship at the giant Hollywood talent agency WME (William Morris Endeavor) this past summer. They represent such luminaries as Matt Damon, Quentin Tarantino, Donald Glover, Christian Bale, Michael Bay and many more. His job responsibilities included assisting agents, coordinators, and agent assistants on a variety of entertainment based projects including Comic Con and the Toronto International Film Festival. This gave him an inside look into the business of entertainment across an array of platforms to learn about the industry as a whole and expand his network. Jacob also met with Prof. Davis and several other working grads in Hollywood this summer to network between Gamecock grads in the business.
A FEW EXAMPLES OF PROFESSOR DAVIS'S RESEARCH:
Prof. Northrop Davis publishes three new scholarly papers that were published in prestigious print academic journals in 2018 and early 2019 are useful to our manga/anime, screenwriting and TV writing students:
Prof. Northrop Davis's scholarly paper “Peak TV and Anime: Why It Matters” was published in print in the wonderful International Journal of Comic Art 19.2 (March, 2018, pages 311-341) This research was funded by the Hoso Bunka (NHK network underwritten) grant referenced below, and updates his research from his book, Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood to cover the new phenomena of the current exploding relationship between American
Peak TV and anime, including Sony TV purchasing Funimation.
“Legendary Hollywood designer Syd Mead’s Important Contributions to Landmark Anime” was published in print in the International Journal of Comic Art 20.2 (March 2019: 20th Anniversary Issue). This interview explains how Mead, a key designer in Blade Runner and many other Hollywood sci fi classics has an equal impact on the redesigns of Gundam and Starblazers, classic Japanese anime.
Prof. Davis was also invited by a respected Japanese academic journal to write a review of a new book "The Anime Boom in the United States: Lessons for Global Creative Industries by Michal Daliot-Bul and Nissim Otmazgin (Harvard University Press). Davis's book review was accepted and published in the Social Science of Japan Journal The electronic version of his book review is found here, and was published in December 2018. Hard copies of the winter issue SSJJ were published in 2019 and are currently in print. Oxford University Press publishes this prestigious Tokyo-based academic journal.
MARCH 2018: Prof. Davis was flown all expenses paid by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in Syracuse, where he [presented his book and research] to students and their esteemed faculty.
NOVEMBER 2017: Prof. Davis's airfare and [lodging] for ten days in Tokyo were paid for by his hosts in Japan in exchange for him giving a book talk about his book Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016) and presenting the research from his paper
Peak TV and Anime: Why It Matters to an amazing group of professors and grad students from Japan and worldwide who attended the
Japanese Pop Culture on Aesthetics and Creativity symposium at Aoyama Gukuin University.
The other days in Tokyo Prof. Davis conducted research and met with executives and producers at esteemed anime companies such as Toei, Warner Brothers, and was also kindly invited to pitch his The Hole manga to top manga publisher in the world Shueisha, where he met with the editor of Ultra Jump magazine there. Special thanks to Professor Mariko Koizumi of the top manga university, Kyoto Seika, for coming with him to Shueisha and Toei, making the experience so much more fruitful!
Also, while in Tokyo he attended the giant Comitia comic con, where he met with editors of other manga publishers about The Hole manga, and did research on amateur and semi-pro manga artists who were auditioning for manga editors at major magazines there. Following that huge event, he attended the One Piece Super Kabuki show with Prof. Koizumi's husband Taketo...based on the world's most successful comic, as named by Guinness Book of World Records, traditional Japanese kabuki mixed with rock and roll and other media. He also visited Once Piece's merchandising store at Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo bookshop area with host Prof. Fondevilla and was interviewed by a top Japanese newspaper about his research and book.
APRIL 2017: Worldwide reviews for Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood!
-- Prof. Northrop Davis's book Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood (Bloomsbury Academic) and his book were referenced several times in recent articles in France’s highly respected and important Le Monde newspaper, which has been called the
New York Times of France. Here is one of the Le Monde articles in French.
Here is that Le Monde article's English translation.
Here is a review by the American Library Association's CHOICE magazine reviews (CHOICE recommends books for libraries to purchase, and the book is now in over 900 libraries worldwide, with all its hard covers sold out):
In this educational and engaging book, Davis (media arts, Univ. of South Carolina) examines the elements and influences Japan’s manga and the comics, animation, and movies of the US have in common. Although these media industries developed separately, they have exerted considerable influence on each other. In both Japan and the US, there is a close relationship between pop culture and graphics, and that relationship has resulted in new forms of media, storytelling, and creative expression―a sort of hybrid media industry that combines the highly successful models of Hollywood and Japan. In addition to creative and artistic influences, Davis considers the roles of business culture and legal culture―e.g., rights management and contractual obligations). The book is richly illustrated with examples of manga, anime, and adaptations to US television and movies. Especially enlightening are the interviews with media-arts professionals and the case studies that reveal the impact of collaborations between the Japanese and US entertainment industries. The book concludes with a discussion of the future of the hybrid media arts and a glossary of common terms in the industry. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.--C.B. Cannon, July, 2016, Vol. 53 Issue 11, p1607
Other reviewers, like anime scholar and organizer of the Anime Expo Academic Symposium Mikhail Koulikov, compare it favorably to a comprehensive list of other publications in the manga/anime field:
Animation Journal published a book review of it by Manuel Hernandez-Perez of the University of Hull, School of Arts, UK which states that "This book will surely be enjoyed by fans of anime but also by those interested in the world of film production.”
This review excerpt and others, as well as a chapter breakdown, is at the Bloomsbury Academic publisher's site
You can find copies in USA libraries including Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Duke, NYU, Columbia University, Georgetown, New York Public, University of Southern California and LA County Public-- and countries such as Japan (Waseda University, Japanese Diet Library, Kyoto International Manga Museum), England (University of Oxford), Netherlands (Leiden), Denmark, France, South Korea (Seoul National University), Germany, India, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Israel, UAE, Turkey, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Africa, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, and many other countries.
A partial list of 900+ libraries worldwide that own it is here:https://www.worldcat.org/title/manga-and-anime-go-to-hollywood/oclc/882531052
Among SC libraries holding it are Savannah College of Art and Design, Clemson, Richland County and University of South Carolina Thomas Cooper. Carolina system students, faculty and staff may also borrow the Ebook or hard back oversized book by going to: http://libcore.csd.sc.edu/iii/encore/plus/C__Smanga%20and%20anime%20go%20to%20hollywood__Orightresult__U__X0?lang=eng&suite=pearl
-- Prof. Davis has been fortunate to receive a grant from the Japanese Hoso Bunka Foundation funded by Japanese broadcast network NHK, with co-p.i. Associate Professor Mariko Koizumi of Kyoto Seika University, the top manga university in the world. Davis and Koizumi recently traveled to Los Angeles to interview executives and others in the anime localization industry for their research.
2016: Prof. Davis's book Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood first edition is published in England, America and globally. Summary: “The first ever look at how major Hollywood movies were adapted from Japanese manga and anime”-- Provided by publisher (Bloomsbury Academic).
Back cover testimonials to the book came from two of the most famous and respected manga/anime scholars in the west:
For some time now, there has been a bi-directional pop-culture mind-meld going on between Japan and America. In this lavishly illustrated book, Northrop Davis uses his industry insights and shines new light on the remarkable relationship between manga/anime and Hollywood. Kudos for a book both educational and entertaining!- Frederik L. Schodt, award-winning author of Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics and other books on Japan
Fans all over the world, in the West and in Japan, make comparisons between American cartoons and comics and Japan's anime and manga. Northrop Davis has given the debate a new focus. As an academic with one foot in Hollywood and a deep appreciation of Japanese graphics, he's brought together his experience as a writer, comic creator, teacher and passionate otaku in a book that mixes American student art with Japanese industry interviews, facts and figures with fun and a spirit of exploration. This engaging book shows what a fresh outlook can bring to the longest-running debate. It's both an interesting assembly of information and an enjoyable read.- Helen McCarthy, author of A Brief History of Manga and The Anime Encyclopedia: A Century of Japanese Animation
Professor Davis presented about his book, his 9th year invitation to speak at Anime Expo (here at the Anime Academic Studies Conference) July 2016.
MART undergrad Teresa Bui joined he and Prof. Koizumi to assist in their grant funded research about American anime localization-- attendance at AX shattered 100,000 one day. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2016-07-09/anime-expo-2016-shatters-record-with-over-100000-in-attendance/.104113 As a result many attendees learned about Carolina/SVAD/MART and the manga classes and WMM.
Article about a new project to put theater student voice acting onto manga on wemakemanga site:
https://www.sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/artsandsciences/theatre_and_dance/theatre/about/theatre_news/2017/news_voice_acting_students_bring_comic_art_to_life.php Eventually, we will be able to upload four manga with the voice acting on them, to be displayed on a new viewing system students are building for the website.. Stay tuned!
Each semester, Prof. Tobolski and Prof. Davis also collaborate on having Davis's screenwriters and TV writers who volunteer get live reads of their scripts by theater school actors.
Professor Davis traveled to Japan to, in part, learn from the top manga universities to help our classes improve at Carolina
In July 2015, Professor Davis was very fortunate to be invited to Kyoto Seika University's world-class manga program to present his research, and Osaka Arts University, where he learned some of OAU’s advanced manga teaching methods. And at Kyoto Seika University, he was invited to present his book’s research in Associate Professor Mariko Koizumi's classroom. At both of these foremost manga programs the manga students are taught by seasoned professionals. Editors from the top publishers as well as famous mangaka (manga creators) guest speak/teach regularly there. Davis was able to meet with the world class faculty and administrators at both universities.
Prof. Davis also conducted research at the Kyoto International Manga Museum, where over 300,000 volumes of manga are archived, along with a research center. The museum is housed in a former school, and funded by the city of Kyoto and Kyoto Seika University. Davis was treated to a tour and a demonstration by the late master of the form Yassan, of Kami-shibai (“Paper Theaters” or “Paper Drama”) an early 20th century form of entertainment that was a predecessor of manga. In this medium, a performer would display ornately drawn picture boards inserted in sequence in a frame as he narrated; he traveled between performance locations on a bicycle, onto which he would attach the frame containing the picture boards. This model is now being used as an experiment to record voice acting from our Theater School students onto some of the manga at wemakemanga.com, a project that originated when USC President Pastides introduced Davis and theater Professor Tobolski and asked them to work together.
In Tokyo, Prof. Davis did research at the Tokyo National Museum on Japanese woodblock prints called Ukiyo-e. These predecessors of manga depicted the
Floating World culture that began in the red-light district of Edo (now modern Tokyo). The “Floating World” was a celebration of the fleeting nature of life and youth before the onset of decay and death as sometimes symbolized by the cherry blossom’s brief flowering and rapid disappearance. The “Floating World” culture also appeared in other cities such as Kyoto and Osaka. Included in its subject matter were the brothels, Kabuki theaters, and teahouses that were frequented by the expanding middle class. Geisha, Kabuki actors, samurai, and nature were often the subjects of these mass-produced woodblock prints. You can read more about this in Davis’s book, or in Frederik L Schodt’s classic masterpiece Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics.
Much of the purpose of this research is to bring the knowledge back to our students at Carolina/SVAD/Media Arts. So that we can increase the quality of our work and create careers.
Prof. Davis was also extremely fortunate to meet Kazuo Koike the famous writer of the classic wandering-samurai Lone Wolf and Cub and Lady Snowblood manga, both were adapted into classic movie series, the latter was the basis of Kill Bill, at Osaka Arts University.
December 3, 2015
Media Arts/SVAD sponsored guest Speaker Legendary Comics Vice President and veteran graphic novel writer and manga industry exec. Robert Napton answered q and a and spoke via skype at the Russell House movie theater,
Robert Napton is an American graphic novel writer as well as a former long-time employee at Bandai Entertainment, which, along with Sunrise, distributed the massively successful Gundam and Cowboy Beebop anime franchises in America. Currently Vice President and Editorial Director of Legendary Comics (Legendary Entertainment is the company that produced Pacific Rim and the modern Hollywood hit version of Godzilla and its sequels), Napton story-edited Godzilla’s graphic novel prequel. He spoke about what it takes to be successful in the graphic novel/manga and comics industries and answer questions via video skype.
Media Arts/SVAD sponsored guest Speaker Brook Driver also spoke the Russell House movie theater:
A recent graduate of Prof Davis’s Advanced Screenwriting and TV Writing classes, as previously noted, he sold an option to his feature screenplay to a Harry Potter producer. Brook talked about what it takes to break into the international film industry as a screenwriter. As also noted earlier, Brook also has top agency representation. He answered questions via skype and did so again in fall of 2016 for Prof. Davis's Advanced Screenwriting class.
Below, some of Professor Davis’s other recent appearances speaking at the Anime Expo Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, in Los Angeles where Carolina students previously have also traveled to, including presenting papers and interfaced with manga publishing executives (Ashley Poston, Keyes and Mike Hughes). As noted, more are traveling there to present at the academic symposium summer 2016.
Above, presenting his research for the new book at the annual four-day Anime and Manga Studies Symposium at Anime Expo, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, July 4, 2014. Over 80,000 people attended Anime Expo out of 220,000 total turnstile visitors, which was a 30% increase from the year before. Attendance increased again when Davis spoke there in 2015, to 260,700 turnstile and a new record of 90,500 attendees for the peak day, as well as bidding wars that erupted over USA anime distribution rights, all indicating a sustained upswing in manga/anime popularity in the United States. Photo: Aldo Sarellano.
Below, one of the panels Prof. Davis organized to discuss the topic of his book at Anime Expo with Sunrise (as previously noted, the large anime studio that produces Gundam and Cowboy Beebop) executive Nobuo Masuda and Ken Tsumura, a producer of the Astro Boy adaptation, both are interviewed in Davis’s book. Photo: Burt Le.
Below are notable visitors from Japan and Anime Producer Sunrise at our manga class:
Back row, right to left are Professor Nobuaki Hosoda of Osaka Arts University’s Character Creative Arts Department, and Nobuo Masuda, consultant and point man for Sunrise’s Hollywood movie deals, who both visited here, observing Davis’s manga class in 2013. Successful mangaka teach at OAU including Kazuo Koike (as noted the writer of the famous manga Lone Wolf and Cub and several other classics), who lectured about manga story/script-writing on the day Davis visited OAU) and major manga publishers’ editors have visited there. Our students loved the opportunity for his professional feedback. Left back row, Davis’s book’s lead research assistant Austa Joye, a talented aspiring mangaka lauded by Professor Hosoda for her storytelling transitions (tempo)—see her various manga, including hybrid Cartoon Network style Pastel White, at Wemakemanga. Photo: James Henderson.
Below, Carolina students have traveled to present their papers at Anime EXPO's Academic Symposium in Los Angeles with Professor Davis, including Ashley Poston and Keyes. Mike Hughes also showed off his revisions of the WeMakeManga website there.
Above, a previous appearance of the wemakemanga group at Anime Expo, featuring previous wemakemanga webmaster Mike Hughes, who is on the far end to Prof. Davis’s right, American manga editor Lilian Diaz-Przybyl (second from far right) and Robert Napton (far right) who is interviewed in Davis’s book. Also pictured is American manga creator Tania Del Rio. On the screen projected behind the panel is manga class graduate Paul Choate’s Project Alpha (also at Wemakemanga). The hope is that these traveling students make career connections and further their skills by meeting publishers, artists, mangaka, executives and others. Photo: Bert Le.
Previously, Prof. Davis was on a panel with fine artist and illustrator Yoshitaka Amono (Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D) at the grand opening of the (Viz New People Cultural Center in downtown San Francisco in front of a large outdoor crowd and members of the world press. Top Viz (the largest USA based manga publisher, co-owned by Shueisha) executive Manami Iiboshi called Davis's students’ manga work “excellent” in a letter sent after his appearance with Amono. Iiboshi added: “We selected Northrop to share the panel with Amono because he is an expert who is at the intersection of Japanese manga/anime and television with Hollywood and is a professor teaching original English manga (OEL) at a major university…As a professor at the University of South Carolina, Northrop’s role as keynote panelist at the grand opening of this center brings his university into the forefront of visibility in the Japanese art, manga/anime, entertainment worlds.”
Here's Prof. Davis's first article about Hollywood manga and anime adaptations. And another of his early articles about the business and creative processes involved in Hollywood manga/anime adaptations.
We Make Manga student group is formed:
Wemakemanga Productions was approved by the University of South Carolina for student-club status through the efforts of first WMM Club president Tyler Cheney. Prof. Davis was, beginning at its inception, the group’s faculty advisor and in 2019 was joined in that role by Stephanie McFerrin, who previously took the manga class. Prof. Davis has also been the faculty advisor for Club N.A.S.H.I., the university’s anime club for many years. The new Wemakemanga.com club President for 2020 is John Barnett, who succeeds Joe Legette (Benjamin Greene served before Joe). Vice President Brice Trammell will begin serving as president in January 2021, and will perform an exciting site update which will allow us to upload the last several years of mangas from the manga classes, and expand the blog to include the making of
The Hole manga project, other of Professor Davis's articles and more!. And we all are deeply grateful to Skylar Smith and his fellow previous webmasters Mike Hughes, Noel Rodgers, Cecil Decker, Andrew Zah (who created the wmm blog) and graduated Art Studio major and professional designer Marlowe Leverette, who created the WMM logo. Marlowe's student manga Motherbot Connection can be seen on the site here.
Manga class and Wemakemanga.com student group members presented their creative work, teaching methods and plans for the class/website at Nashi Con, which is a successful offshoot of the aforementioned USC student anime club, Nashi in 2018 and previous years(the pandemic has made it not possible more recently).
On Sunday April 2, 2017 the USC Wemakemanga.com student club presented their plans for the website and class to the SC manga/anime community at Nashi Con at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (Panel 3). including President Tyler Cheney, VP Kyle Stephenson and Prof. Davis. The Nashi Con group are USC students and alum who have created their own annual manga/anime convention, Nashi Con, each spring that has grown so large it has moved out of Russell House, which it outgrew, to the Convention Center.
On Saturday, August 26th, 2017 Northrop Davis and students from the Mart 521c Art and Business of Manga and Anime class and Wemakemanga.com club members presented their work at Soda City Con at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Prof. Davis also spoke about the tidal wave of action in Hollywood currently regarding manga and anime and his internationally recognized manga production class, the Wemakemanga website and USC student club.
New informal USC Screen and TV screenwriting group is formed:
Tandria Fireall, Christine Shestko and Diana Barahona created a new writer’s group for USC students which, after they graduated, was run ably by Cliff Johnson. This is a forum for students to critique each other’s TV pilots and screenplays or other fiction writing. Writers intending to improve their scripts should join this active group! The new head of Cocky Screenwriters is USC student Brandon Bowens! That group can meet on Discord as well as in person. Brandon's email address is email@example.com.
Last but not least, currently WMM is highlighting work from students in SVAD taught by other professors, that is related to manga, in this case a project with some anime style, created by Adam Brown in Catherine Chi's class, titled Sad Kiwi Animation.
CONTACTING PROFESSOR DAVIS
Media and interested students and educators can email Professor Davis at DavisNF@mailbox.sc.edu for more information on his classes, book, quotes for media, requesting him for public speaking appearances, consulting, and his upcoming manga to be published “The Hole” (volume 1 to be published by Scout Comics upcoming--more soon on it!). Professor Davis's classes- The Art and Business of Manga and Anime (MART 521C) and Advanced Screenwriting (MART 521A) take place each fall semester, In spring, he teaches TV Writing (MART 521D) and one section of MART 321 (Beginning Screenwriting/ Global Storytelling). All are offered in the Media Arts (MART) area of the School of Visual Art and Design (SVAD) at the University of South Carolina's Columbia main campus, plus sometimes he teaches Honors College TV writing. There are also plans to take students to Japan to the manga and anime industry for a Maymester course in 2022 if he is available to do that. Are you interested in becoming a Media Arts major, minor or taking our classes? If so, please see: http://www.sc.edu/study/majors_and_degrees/media_arts.php. For a full list of other classes in SVAD, including recommended classes like figure drawing, color theory, which are ideal, but not required before taking Professor Davis's
Manga and Anime (MART 521C) class, please contact Undergraduate Student Services Coordinator Rebecca Boyd at BOYDRR@mailbox.sc.edu.