Tokyo International Comic Festival (Kaigai Manga Festa) 2017 with Kaiju King Matt Frank

2017’s Tokyo International Comic Festival, also known as the Kaigai Manga Festa, was held at Tokyo Big Sight on 23rd November, and Maction Planet was there! Mac, Founder of Maction Planet, was supporting legendary Godzilla and Transformers artist Matt Frank at his table.  

Kaigai, as it is still more commonly known, began in 2012. This year’s event kicked off an incredible 11 day period for comic book and pop culture fans in The World’s Greatest Metropolis, with Tokyo’s premier Artist Alley event Brave & Bold coming up, followed the next week by the second Tokyo Comic Con.

The guest list for Kaigai featured some top global comic book talent including Ryan Benjamin, Bryan Lee O’Malley and Philip Tan.

I was honoured to be supporting Matt Frank, world-renowned Kaiju King, at his table in the International Guests’ Artist Alley. Matt is in the middle of a month in Japan, and followers of his Facebook page will already know that he has had many adventures in and around the kaiju and tokusatsu subculture of Tokyo!

As is common for artists attending big cons, Matt had taken some pre-commissions, like this one for Yuko, one of Tokyo’s biggest Ultraman fans!

Matt also had prints and his sketchbook for sale. Fans who purchased a sketchbook got a free mini sketch inside.

The day also marked the release of Redman, a new comic book series based on the Tsuburaya Productions tokusatsu TV series of the same name. Matt Frank is writing and illustrating the new series featuring SIA Officer Sokomizu and the alien refugee spirit he merges with (trust me, it makes sense!). The series features interior colours by Goncalo Lopez. The comic is published by our friends at Phase 6, producers of the Japanese translation of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth.

Matt and I were also promoting his collaboration with Maction Planet Apparel – his exclusive original kaiju creation Goriwhale! To learn more about the production of this shirt, see Matt’s design process and find out about Matt’s previous adventures in Tokyo (including his engagement), you can read our ‘Mac on Tokyo’ interview with him here!

Having travelled to comic-cons all over the world, I have to say that Japanese fans are some of the very best – always extremely knowledgable about the creators and characters they are fans of, and extremely patient and courteous… and they bring presents. Especially wonderful for artists and their staff in the middle of a hard day and unable to leave their table are when these gifts are edible. Many artists who visit Tokyo need an extra case for all the gifts they get.

Check out some more of Matt’s amazing sketches and commissions. As well as many Godzilla-related requests, we saw a lot of love for Ultraman and some Transformers (from ever-popular Optimus Prime to the lesser-known Brainstorm). As a Brit, my favourite request of the day was Death’s Head II from Shingo, one of Matt’s biggest fans in Tokyo, seen above giving him some gachapon and other gifts.

Thanks to all the fans for coming out to support Matt, and to the organisers of Kaigai for another excellent event. Here’s to next year.

Matt Frank will be appearing at Brave and Bold on 25 and 26 November and Tokyo Comic Con on 1, 2 and 3 December. 

To grab your very own ‘Goriwhale vs. Tokyo’ T-shirt, click here

Maction Planet runs Tokyo Private Tours, including Tokyo Otaku Tours. The depth of Otaku experiences is diverse; checking out the insane arcades, drinking in Kaiju bars, visiting a maid cafe, shopping in the world’s largest electronic stores, heading deep into the world of models and figures, discovering amecomi (American comics) in Tokyo, paying respects at an anime shrine, searching for vintage manga, relaxing at a robot cafe, getting your inner foodie on at a theme izakaya, hunting down the limited edition merchandise and pop up eateries… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In true Maction Planet fashion, we also have a few secrets up our sleeves – venues that are not in any guidebook, that have no English-language information about them on the web, and no other tour company is taking their guests to!  At the end of your Otaku experiences with us you will have a deeper insight into anime, manga, cosplay and the culture that surrounds them. As our TripAdvisor reviews will attest, we will make sure you find what you are looking for. And, more importantly, you will have had a lot of fun. Join us! Email to begin your perfect, personalised time in The World’s Greatest Metropolis. 

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