AsiaPOP! Guest Speakers
Ben Applegate has been working in English-language manga since 2007 as a translator, editor, and publishing professional. In his capacity as director of publishing services at Penguin Random House Publisher Services, he has managed publishing, editorial, and production work for the Kodansha print manga program since 2015. Prior to that, he was senior editor on the Kodansha Comics team. He lives in one of those “small New Jersey towns” across the Hudson River from New York City with his wife Winnie and two superb cats.
Heekyoung Cho is an associate professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington. She is the author of Translation’s Forgotten History: Russian Literature, Japanese Mediation, and the Formation of Modern Korean Literature (2016), and the editor of The Routledge Companion to Korean Literature (2022). Her current research focuses on print and digital seriality in cultural production, as well as graphic narratives and media platforms.
Yukari Fujimoto is professor at the School of Global Japanese Studies, Meiji University, where she lectures on manga culture and gender representation with a focus on female manga genres. She has been an editor at Chikuma Publishing, a board member of the Japan Society for Studies in Cartoons and Comics, and she is considered one of Japan’s most renowned critics with respect to shōjo, BL and yaoi manga. She has published five monographs in Japanese, including the critically acclaimed Watashi no ibasho wa doko ni aruno? [Where do I belong?] (2008) and many of her articles have appeared in English, like “Early Shôjo-Manga portrayals of Lesbianism” (2014).
Bon Won Koo is an assistant professor in the Manga Faculty at Kyoto Seika University. She teaches the praxis and theory of drawing manga, and her research interests include manga expressions and the reading process and the manga market and production process both in and outside of Japan.
Bon Won Koo
Manga Competition Judge
Noah Kroese is an illustrator, cartoonist, and author. Since graduating with a B.F.A. from the University of Idaho in 2004, Noah has worked for a diverse range of national and international clients including Investing.com, Microsoft, and NASA. His illustrated book, “Saturday”, was published in late 2015.
Manga Competition Judge
Lynn Miyauchi serves as the senior specialist for cultural affairs at the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle. She taught English in Obama, Fukui for three years as an assistant language teacher on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. After the JET Program, she returned to Seattle and began her career at the consulate as the JET program coordinator. Currently, she enjoys connecting people through her work with sister city relations, as well as creating cultural outreach programs featuring Japanese armor, furoshiki tying techniques and Japanese folktales.
Dennis Lo grew up with anime, manga, and manhua, and quickly developed an interest in drawing everything he had ever seen, from Sci-fi movies to TV shows. He is the winner of TOKYOPOP Rising Stars of Manga 8 competition in the Horror category, with his entry “Daylight.” He is currently a professor of graphic design at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and his ongoing series, “Strange Symmetry,” is published through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. dloartwork.com
Guest Speaker & Manga Competition Judge
Mari Morimoto has been a freelance translator of manga and Japanese subculture content for almost 30 years. Her bibliography includes many bestselling titles such as Naruto, Sailor Moon, Dragonball, and Inuyasha. She has also interpreted for the Japan Foundation, the Japan Society, New York Comic Con, among many others. She is also small animal primary care veterinarian. Born in Osaka but raised in NYC, she completed both her degrees at Cornell University. In what spare time she has, Dr. Morimoto enjoys volunteering with Lions Clubs, various animal groups, Asian-American, and LGBTQIA+ related organizations, and cooking and crafting (especially counted cross-stitch).
Akiko Sugawa-Shimada is a professor in the Graduate School of Urban Innovation at Yokohama National University, Japan. Her recent works are Cultural Approaches to Studio Ghibli’s Animation (2022 in Japanese) joined as co-editor, and Mechademia: Second Arc vol. 15.2, “2.5D Culture,” joined as guest editor.
Anne Yatco is a Filipino American voice actor (and former forensic scientist). She is most well-known as the English voice of Raiden Shogun in Genshin Impact, Nobara Kugisaki in Jujutsu Kaisen, and Sabine in Miraculous Ladybug. Other anime credits include Vampire in the Garden, Platinum End, Blue Period, Sakugan, To Your Eternity, Beastars, Violet Evergarden: the Movie, and Godzilla Singular Point. Video game credits include Smite, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Paladins, Naraka Bladepoint, Wasteland 3, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Anne is also a Twitch Partner, and regularly streams Genshin Impact and other games.