The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day, which makes it May 1st this year. On that day, participating comic book shops give away free comics to visitors. (Policies may vary.) Traditionally, there hasn’t been a lot of manga emphasis on that day, since the audiences don’t always overlap. (Although Del Rey’s giveaway this year promises an excerpt from The Last Airbender.)
So if you’re a manga fan in the New York area, you may want to make some time to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is hosting the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) that day. Events include
- Iron Cosplay, a costume creation contest
- “Animate It: Manga Made Before Your Eyes” in which “Pokémon voice artist Veronica Taylor gives voice to characters by manga maven Misako Rocks!”
- anime stand-up comedy by Uncle Yo
- a manga library
- and a manga and anime artist alley, including appearances by Abby Denson and Vertical
You can see a slideshow of last year’s festival cosplayers (from which I took the image here), plus there are non-manga cultural events, including dance performances, poetry readings, karate demonstrations, hot-pot cooking, and sessions for kids featuring origami and flower making.