LOS ANGELES, CA.-
The Target Free Family Saturday series, a monthly Japanese American National Museum
event, will have the theme, "Be Animated", and feature screenings of the new series, "Afro Samurai", an animation workshop, a family improv activity, and a special lecture about the history of anime/manga in the United States by author Oliver Chin on Saturday, Feb. 7, starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. at the National Museum in Little Tokyo.
The featured activities begin at 12 noon when East West Players, one of the oldest Asian Pacific American theater companies in the country, invites everyone to their Drop In Family Improv Workshop at 12 noon. That will be followed at 1 and 3 p.m. by the Animation and Digital Storytelling workshop with Mar Elepano of USC. This workshop teaches participants how to create a "Quickstory" using index cards and a pencil. After creating a short narrative using the index cards, the participants will do voiceovers for their cards while they are being shot by a digital video camera. Elepano, who earned his degree from USC in film production, has been an instructor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts since 1993.
At 2 p.m., Oliver Chin will read his animated book, The Year of the Ox, which follows a young ox named Olivia, who has to act when her adopted sister Mei is in trouble. This year, 2009, is the Year of the Ox, and Chin is writing a series, "Tales from the Chinese Zodiac", which will illuminate the nature of the 12 animals in the zodiac.
Chin at 2:30 p.m. will then provide the history of anime and manga in America as he relates his part in making the Japanese craze "Pokemon" popular in the United States. Chin is the publisher of Immedium (www.immedium.com), which creates wonderfully illustrated children’s books. A graduate of Harvard, he has written many books including The Tao of Yao: Insights from Basketball's Brightest Big Man, the graphic novel 9 of 1: A Window to the World, Julie Black Belt and the The Year of the Ox from the popular "The Tales of the Chinese Zodiac" series.
Also, there will be continuous screenings of Spike TV series, "Afro Samurai." "Afro Samurai" is the story of a Black samurai in a futuristic yet feudal Japan who is on a mission to avenge the wrongful death of his father. Afro is a warrior who travels a solitary path encountering a myriad of enemies, friends, and challenges beyond imagination. Prints from the animated series will be on display.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., participants will be able to create their own animated flipbook, design their own mask and cape to become a superhero, and learn how to fold their own origami jumping frog from Museum volunteer Ruthie Kitagawa.