20 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Dear Ms McCarthy:

    Thank you for your thought provoking introduction of the movie Ponio at the Freer gallery earlier today.

    I thought it was a fantastic movie!

    During your introduction you mentioned the name of what you feel is the best movie of all time (not just animated movie) but I did not catch the title (toto…something?).

    Could you please remind me of the name of this movie so I can see it with my son who is a manga enthusiast?


    Alberto martine

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed Ponyo! My favourite movie is My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro in Japanese) and I hope you and your son enjoy discovering it together. It’s a truly magical film for all ages

    • I took a look at the posts and it seems you guys have already made up your minds about most things. I also tweeted about this to a couple of you last night. The idea of “changing your minds” was raised (not by me – I think that’s for you to decide!) but we hold different opinions, and that’s fine. Or at least, that’s fine by me.

  2. Helen,

    I found your blog while researching Charles Wirgman. My family owns one of his oil paintings. It is fascinating to finally learn about this artist and the impact that he had on Japanese art! Thank you!


    • What a wonderful thing to own! I’d be fascinated to hear how it came into your family. (And if you can post a photo of it, I’m sure many Wirgman fans would love to see it.) His brother was a Royal Academician and his son also painted, so talent obviously ran through the family.

  3. Dear Ms. McCarthy,
    My name is William. I am from a seventh grade class in Vermont. I was recently given a project on anime and Manga art. And seeings how you’re so fond of it I was wondering if I could ask you a question. If you have time here is the question.
    When writing on manga or creating characters what goes through your mind?
    Thank you.

    • Hey WIlliam, thanks for checking in. When I am writing about anything, I keep two things in mind above all else: first, who do I want to read this? Second, what do I want them to take away from it? That dictates the kind of story I’m telling, the level of language I use, and the approach I take.

      Creating characters is a little bit different. every writer has their own approach, but I find that my characters usually emerge from something I’m thinking about. I’m not always aware that I’m thinking about it, but a character will pop into my head with a specific problem, or a line of dialogue, and I’ll start following that up and then realise that yes, this character is taking me somewhere I want or need to go even if I didn’t realise that at first. I spend a lot of time thinking about character because, for me, plot arises from how characters react to situations. So if you know your character well, you’ll know what he or she would do if they were kidnapped, or found a magic gizmo, or had to escape from danger. You’ll know what kind of things they would and wouldn’t wear, or like, or do.

      I hope that’s helpful! Good luck with your project!

  4. dear ms mccarthy i have uploaded a short story to your hotmail its nipponocentric i enjoy and respect your work and just want to know what you think of it if its any good please contact me if not thank you for your time

    • Thank you for your kind words but please note that I never open uploads sent by people or organisations I don’t know. They are always deleted unread.

      Also please be aware that editing is one of the things I do for a living. I’m happy to discuss terms for a professional critique or editorial services, but I don’t have time to read any story I’m sent for free. You wouldn’t go into a strange garage and ask if they’d just have a quick look at your car and tell you how to fix it for free, so you shouldn’t expect that of a writer.

  5. Thank you so much for attending Anime Central this weekend. We attended your panel on making a living in the creative field and we found you to be a delightful and informative speaker. My daughter left the panel feeling very inspired and she worked on her drawing late into the evening when we returned to our room.

    We hope you enjoyed your visit to Chicago and wish you a safe journey home!

  6. Hello Helen. My name is Shakeem Winn and I have been a fan of yours since the early days of Anime Insider. Your book Osamu Tezuka the God of Manga serves as a great inspiration for me. Now it is time for me to return the favour. I invite you to visit a world that is far beyond the boundaries of our own. It is a world where Cosmic Unicorns create worlds and heroin addicted mouse/cat’s try to regain control over their lives. I present to you, the Shakverse! And you can find it at http://www.shakwinn.wordpress.com. Live the adventures that will die!

  7. Hi Helen,

    Sorry to post here but I’ve recently e-mailed your Hotmail address about the possibility of a talk to follow a screening of Grave of the Fireflies in October. We spoke last year but it didn’t come off. (Dave from Bradford – d.robison ‘at’ bradford.ac.uk).

  8. Dear Ms McCarthy

    I just want to thank you for your academic work. Your texts have been incredibly valuable in introducing undergraduate students to Miyazaki Hayao’s work, and anime in general, at a university in South Africa. A large number of my students have shared stories of how deeper understandings of Miyazaki’s texts (encouraged and assisted by your writing) have enriched their viewing pleasure, and their lives in general.

    Much appreciated.

    • Thank you for those kind thoughts. Since learning is my greatest and purest pleasure in life – even ahead of chocolate – I hope to go on exploring and helping others to explore. Do get your students to check out A Brief History of Manga – my newest book – it may help them see how manga fits into the spectrum of world culture, not as an exotic alien artefact, but as the work of our brothers and sisters.

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