The stars were out at the chic West Hollywood Library for the Weekly SHONEN JUMP Alpha Launch Party! Numerous manga celebrities were making their digital debut at the extravagant event. Muto Ashirogi Sensei, Ichigo, Luffy, Naruto, Nura, and Toriko wowed screaming crowds of fans hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite manga characters on Weekly SHONEN JUMP Alpha. Even the WSJA editors were there! Here’s what went down.
The party was bumping as people enjoyed a variety of delicious snacks like Pocky, curry-filled buns and special SJ cupcakes. Party-goers also got a sneak preview of Weekly SHONEN JUMP Alpha as roving models showed it off on PC, Macs and iPads. Although the food and preview was great, what we really loved was hanging out and talking with other SJ Alpha fans.
Fans arrived from all over, including one of our SJ Storyboard contest runner ups—the lovely Miss Sarah Pacheco! Her touching storyboard can be found on p.058 of the Bakuman Artist Issue (January 2012). We interviewed her about the experience, and she had some interesting things to say. Look for that interview very soon!
Throughout the day, we raffled off dozens of prizes to the fans. Just about everyone who hung around got something good, and some people walked away with major swag!
Including a very special fan that really wanted the Gaara’s Gourd Bag! After several fans passed it up, he finally won it! And from then on, he was known as “Gourdy” to all who attended the party. Congratulations, Gourdy!
And there were cosplayers!
Lots of cosplayers!
Even Taro Kawaguchi, Moritaka Mashiro’s deceased uncle from Bakuman made an appearance! We’ll put up a gallery with more cosplayers and photos from the event soon!
Of course, the WSJA crew was there to rock the joint! Here we are spelling out the letters “SJA” (SHONEN JUMP Alpha). Being the genius that I am, I made the “J” backwards! Why yes, I do write for a living!
The party was a smashing success! Prizes were won, people got to preview WSJA early, and most importantly, SJ fans got to hang out with other SJ fans. And that’s what it’s all about.
Hey! If this looks fun to you—come to our upcoming SJ Fan Meet-Ups! We’re going to a ton of cons this year: WonderCon (March 16–18), Sakura-Con (April 6–8), FanimeCon (May 25–28), Anime Expo (June 29–July2), Comic-Con (July 12–15) and NYCC (Oct 11–14)! Keep checking our website and twitter feed for more details as the dates for the cons come up. See you there!
by Urian Brown