An era comes to an end. After years of regularly meeting on Friday
nights, our collective and shared anime viewing will now be returning
to the irregular and unscheduled way it used to be before FNA.
January 14, 2004 Tonbo stops hosting
Friday Night Anime
Changes in the industry have led to a change in the social networking
aspect of our hobby. The widespread availability of anime and manga
in the modern market means we no longer have to "know someone who
knows someone" to be able to obtain and enjoy our materials. This has
made it easier for us all to be able to go our own ways and have more
time for our respective lives, because one of the primary needs which
FNA filled is being
met more easily elsewhere. In testimony to this, FNA
attendence has been dropping for years.
The friendships we have forged remain, and the development this last
decade of all of these wonderful tools for communication mean they
will be easier to maintain than ever in human history. We've been
blessed with this group and will continue to be blessed by technology
and each other's company.
- Tonbo Talks:
- "I wish to express my thanks to all the Sempai (and kohai) who
have shared my homes over the years and I wish you all the best in
all the many years to come! I wouldn't have missed this last
decade for all the tea in ... Japan?
Check out the story and pictures on the Project A-Kon website,
February 15, 2003 Dean & Meri tie the knot!
Though it has served us well for three years, it was finally time to
retire Greenwood. Kevin (aka St. Zero) has finished moving
all of our files to the new server, Ashitaka, and we're up an running
with only the most minor of tweakings. Thanks, Kevin, for all
your tireless devotion. Sempai wouldn't be the same - heck, it
wouldn't be - without you!
July, 2002 The Sempai Gang gets a new online home!
Well, he did it. In front of a live audience, that evil - er, I mean,
our good friend "Catnip" (aka Dean Davis) literally popped
out of the woodwork and proposed to very surprised fellow Sempai Gang
member Meri Hazlewood during the Opening Ceremonies at Project A-Kon
13. Meri is known to many in Otakudom as the President of Phoenix Entertainment.
It was quite the crowd pleaser and a moment no one who was there will
ever forget! There are still a couple of pictures of it up here.
May 31, 2002 Catnip Gets Engaged!
Yesterday, the Sempai gang began receiving mail asking where the
section on making anime characters out of Jack-in-the-Box "antenna
balls." Apparently, The Edmonton Journal mentioned us as a
place where one can learn how to do it. At first, this was a bit
puzzling, since we have no such section on our site. However,
a quick look around located the page in question.
June 20, 2001 Tomo-no-miko's Anime Character
Antenna Ball Page mentioned in The Edmonton Journal
"Tomo no miko", a member of the group, has, as part of her Fushigi
Yuugi site, a page illustrating how she turned a "Jack ball" into
the character she speaks for ... Tomo! Those interested in this fun
and unique way of enjoying their favorite anime characters can use
this page for inspiration and ideas.
As reported in The
Dallas Observer Online, Jesus Castillo, age 26, manager of
Keith's Comics in Dallas TX was arrested in Septemer 2000 for selling
a copy of Demon Beast Invasion to Dallas vice detective
Jan, 2001 Comic Store Clerk Tried For
Selling an "Obscene" Manga ... To An ADULT!
The Comic Book Legal
Defense Fund has been involved in the case from the beginning.
A June 2000 report on this case can be found on their website,
along with a November 2000 update.
The most disturbing news regarding this case,
however, is contained in their December 13 report on this case, which reported on the "guilty"
verdict returned by the jury on the first of two charges:
"Perhaps the most compelling of the several issues that will be
brought to appeal was the jury's failure to apply a national standard
to the question of the material's artistic and literary merit. The
Supreme Court has held that the standard for establishing artistic
value is not a local one but national. Furthermore, the high court has
stated that a national standard of artistic worth is best determined
by experts. Jurors must be guided by expert testimony when it is
given. When experts disagree, the jury must decide between
in the absence of conflicting testimony, the jury may not disregard
the testimony of experts. In other words, they cannot substitute their
own views on artistic merit for the evidence presented in court.
Many members of Sempai shop for our anime & manga at Keith's
Comics (aka Atomic Age), and while none of us are directly involved in
this case, our hearts go out to Jesus, Keith and all the employees
that do so much for us. We know this must be a difficult time for
"The prosecution presented no witnesses to contradict McCloud and
Napier's assertion that the comic has artistic merit. Therefore, as a
matter of law, the jury could not find Demon Beast Invasion: The
Fallen #2 obscene. And yet that is what they did. In essence, they
could not accept the notion that comics are indeed art, and they are
not always intended for children."
McCloud is the author of Understanding Comics.
Dr. Susan Napier is a professor from the University of Texas.)
You do not have to be a Dallas resident to speak at a
Dallas City Council meeting, so we assume letters from outside Dallas
will be read (though, of course, they won't carry as much
you want to write a letter (letters are much more
effective than sending email) to Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk or any Dallas
City Council members, the address is:
Mayor Ron Kirk
Council Member [Name]
City of Dallas
City of Dallas
1500 Marilla Street
1500 Marilla Street
Dallas TX 75201
Dallas TX 75201
For a list of Council members, go to http://www.ci.dallas.tx.us/html/dallas_city_council.html
Keith Colvin, owner of Keith's Comics, is raising money to pay Jesus'
$4,000 fine (and if the conviction is overturned, he will donate the
money to the Comic Books Legal Defense Fund). If you are interested
in helping Jesus or Keith, just write the check to "Keith's Comics"
and put a note in the corner saying "for Jesus Castillo's legal
Please mail contributions to:
5736 E. Mockingbird Ln.
Dallas TX 75206
So now, Kestrel has (pant!) twelve music
videos converted to digital format and posted to her page at http://www.sempai.org/~kestrel/mv/index.html
Sep, 2000 Kestrel posts more music videos!
They can also be found on the Sempai Music Videos
page at http://www.sempai.org/videos/
It's up! Largo & Fred over at MegaTokyo have put
up the first of their new comic about and for gamers.
The URL is http://www.megatokyo.com/
May 29, 2000 MegaTokyo, the Comic goes online!
It's out! Sempai! The Comic Strip! makes its print debut in
the current issue of Animerica magazine! Vol. 8,
Issue 4 has
hit the stands, and on the Editor's Page, to boot! WAI!
May 4, 2000 Sempai! The Comic Strip! gets published in
When Marc Hairston was asked to review the TV show, Fushigi No Umi
No Nadia, for Animerica, he showed them the comic strip
where his character, Jean, did exactly that. They loved it so much,
they asked if they could print the strip. Tonbo was proud to give his
permission, and the result is now available on newstands and in comic
stores. Look for it, ask for it, or surf over to the website and
order it there.
In Vol. 8, Issue 4 of Animerica, Dr. Hairston gives an
overview and critique of one of the most popular shows to come out of
Studio Gainax, including information on where the ideas for the show
came from, how Anno came to be director, inside jokes in the series
and much more. His articles begin on page 23, so go buy a copy and
check it out.
May 4, 2000 Marc Hairston reviews the TV show Fushigi No Umi
No Nadia in Animerica magazine!
(In fact, he reviewed it twice. See the headline immediately
above for the story.)
ADV's new professionally subtitled version of Fushigi No Umi
No Nadia is now out, and Dr. Marc has reached new heights as
networking expert on all things anime by earning a credit on the first
volume. He earned this by helping the translator, Bill "Roadbuster"
McBee, with some questions he had. The first question was the correct
spelling of Jean's name and the second concerned the correct usage
of the Japanese word used to refer to Electra. Marc passed these
questions on to one of his contacts in Japan, a man by the name of
Nobutoshi, and both Marc and Nobutoshi received a "Special Thanks"
credit on volume one.
Apr. 10, 2000 Marc Hairston Gets a Credit On Vol. 1 Of the
We posted the Sempai Music Videos page with only a partial list of the
music videos that had been done by Sempai people. The rest were not
ready for posting, but we felt we had enough to go on and put up what
Mar. 28, 2000 Ryoma gets the rest of his videos online!
It took a while, but now Ryoma has finished posting all of his music
videos! They've been added to his own page at http://dreaming.sempai.org/anime/mvideos.html
You can also see them along with all the others done by Sempai folk
Wow! Marc Hairston continues to impress as he is seen in print for
the second time this month!
Mar. 25, 2000 Marc Hairston quoted in the Dallas Morning News!
In an article by Nancy Churnin for the Dallas Morning News, Dr. Hairston comments on how animated features get no respect from the
Motion Picture Academy. He also gives his vote for the best animated
feature of 1999. (Actually, he gives that distinction to Mononoke
Hime, but had to keep it to G rated releases, since the article
was specifically about the best kid's movies.)
Read the article at http://dallasnews.com/entertainment/53699_JROSCAR25.html
Dr. Hairston has been published ... again.
This time it's an essay that's only in the online
version of Animerica. You can see it by going to
their main site at http://www.animerica-mag.com and scrolling down
the page to the link, "A Cel for Angie" or you can link straight
to it at http://www.animerica-mag.com/features/kikicel.html
Mar. 14, 2000 Marc Hairston gets published ... again!
Wow! It looks so cool! Catnip, Kestrel, Ryoma & Tonbo have
gotten a LOT of videos posted! You can go check them all out,
organized by creator
or song title.
Mar. 9, 2000 The Sempai Music Videos are online!
This is not all of the Sempai videos that exist, though. Pat-o-chan
& Tonbo have one more that needs to be made computer ready, Ryoma
is still working on converting several of his for posting, Shogundum
hasn't gotten to his yet, and we're still trying to convince Jean
about this whole online deal (^_^). And, of course, there are still
more videos to be made! So, stay tuned and be sure to check back
occasionally to see if more have been added.
You can go see the videos at http://www.sempai.org/videos/, and the indivdual
creators also have their own videos showcased on their personal
It took a while, but they're finally up. Kestrel put them in
Quicktime format for posting, and they can be downloaded from
his page at http://www.sempai.org/~tonbo/videos/index.html
Mar. 2, 2000 Tonbo has posted two of his music videos!
Greenwood is the new physical home of A-kon.com.
Jan. 28, 2000 Sempai.org is now hosting A-kon.com!
A short time back, Meri Hazelwood, Chair of Project A-kon and a Sempai
group member for some time now, asked if Greenwood had the resources
and Sempai the time/energy to begin hosting her domain, since she was
having to move it from where it has been for some years now.
Natrually, many of us were delighted.
So, arrangements were made with Mike Battle, the A-kon site Webmaster,
and everything has now been successfully moved over to our
You can see the site at http://www.a-kon.com/
Meri, it's an honor. Thanks for asking, and we're glad to do it!
The new Animerica (issue 12, vol 7, with Princess Mononke on
the cover) just came out today. Marc's article is on p. 64,
and Kestrel's Totoro mugshot artwork is on p. 5!!
Jan. 6, 2000 Dr. Hairston's article and Kestrel's artwork are
published in the new Animerica!
Also, now that the article is out, that means Marc's website about
Nausicaa class is officially on-line. Check it out
She currently has six videos up, but at the rate she makes them,
who knows how many she'll have this time next week... (^_-)
They are quicktime files, so you will need Quicktime 3.0 or
higher to view them.
Dec. 13, 1999 Kestrel gets her music videos online!
You can download them at
He has three, Jackyl's "Dirty Little Mind" to Ranma 1/2,
Aerosmith's "Taste Of India" to 3x3 Eyes and Jefferson
Airplane's "White Rabbit" to Tenshi Ni Narumon.
Nov. 26, 1999 Catnip becomes the first of the Sempai Gang to
actually get his music videos online!
You can download them from his page at
Yea!!! Thanks to Heidi, the University of Texas at
Dallas now has the flier to put up all over UTD campus about
Dr. Gossen's course next semester. If you wnat to see it, go
Nov. 10, 1999 Kestrel makes UTD's "Natual Wonders" flier
For her excellent work (and patience with Marc as he kept asking for
changes so UTD's @#$#%#& Compaq/Epson printer combo would actually
print it) Heidi has now officially had bestowed upon her the rank of
"Art Goddess, First Class."
For information about UTD's class, taught by Dr. Pamela Gossin, go to
It's live! The first strip has been posted, and no one is safe
anymore. Tonbo plans on making this a daily comic strip, running
for as long as he can stand it. Check it out at http://www.sempai.org/comic/.
Nov. 1, 1999 Sempai, the Comic Strip premieres
Tonbo has the first couple of arcs already planned, and is even now
perusing the ML archives for remembrances of "how it all used to be."
But, don't let that stop you from sending in your ideas for a strip
or three! Tonbo can use all the creative and inspirational help he
can get! Mail him at
With the final clock counting down toward the intended Nov. 1 launch
date, the second of two previews is now available for viewing. See
it at http://www.sempai.org/comic/pages/1999/preview2.html
Oct. 29, 1999 Sempai, the Comic Strip preview #2 goes up
While the final preparations for Sempai, the Comic Strip are underway,
the first of two previews is now available for viewing. Check it out
Oct. 26, 1999 Sempai, the Comic Strip preview goes online
After a long grueling period of setup, we finally got the dang thing finished!
Thanks go to all those who lent a hand (or a part) to make this available to
all Sempai members.
Oct. 3, 1999 Greenwood goes online
- Rodney Caston - for donating the mother board, CPU & fast ether card
& helping fix the CMOS problem
- J.T. Entzminger - for helping with cabling & physical installation
- Jonathan Lotman - for donating the CD-ROM Drive, putting components in the
case, finishing the mounting & installing the drive
- Bill Lovell - for putting the components in the case, finishing the
mounting & installing the drive
- Kevin Patterson - for buying the case & hard drive, doing the
configuration, acting as the Project manager for this whole shindig, convincing
Tim to give us the space to begin with & being the central sysadmin
- Tim Schuh - for donating our IP address & gateway
- Chris Terrell - for doing the first round of software installation
- and half the list - for moral support during this extended setup time
Our own Marc Hairston was interviewed this summer about his UTD
Nausicaa class for an anime webzine called "Anime Craze." Their
October issue is now online with the interview if you'd like to
see it at http://www.animecraze.com/oct99/marc.html
Oct. 1, 1999 Dr. Hairston interviewed for AnimeCraze
Also they're running an editorial he wrote for them that mentions
Mononoke. If you can't find the link to it on the main page (and
I missed it at first) Look for "Anime and Academia, dated 10.02.1999,