Weekly book agenda: Largest US anime event opens in Los Angeles

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The Independent Culture

Anime Expo, the largest annual anime and manga event in the Unites States, begins on July 1 in Los Angeles. A few weeks later, anime and manga will again be spotlighted as part of the San Diego Comic-Con, the largest comic book convention in the Western Hemisphere.

Edinburgh Book Festival tickets on sale
June 26

The 2010 Edinburgh International Book Festival is set to run from August 14 through 30 at the historic Charlotte Square Gardens in Scotland's capital city. Nearly 250,000 people attend the annual event, which together with six concurrent events in Edinburgh is said to make up the world's biggest arts festival. More than 700 events for all ages are scheduled for the festival's 2010 edition, which opens with a debate featuring Philip Pullman. Among the other 750 writers from 50 countries set to participate are author Joyce Carol Oates and UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Event prices range from free to around €15, and many events sell out well in advance.

Anime Expo (AX10)
July 1-4
Los Angeles, California

Anime Expo is the United States' largest gathering of anime and manga artists, professionals, and fans in the US, drawing more than 40,000 people annually. AX10 will feature the world premiere of Roberta's Blood Trail - the third installment in the film adaptation of the Black Lagoon manga series - as well as the US debut of the Eden of the East TV series. Black Lagoon creator Rei Hiroe will make an appearance, as will blogger Danny Choo, and a host of other artists, writers, and voice actors. The Expo is also known for its variety of entertainment events that cover many facets of Japanese pop culture, including a karaoke party, anime trivia show, and console gaming sessions. An advance four-day pass is $65; on site, the price rises to $75. One-day, two-day, and child passes are also available.

Tokyo International Book Fair

July 8-11
Tokyo, Japan

TIBF is the leading book event focusing on the colossal Japanese publishing industry, which is estimated to be the second largest woldwide. In 2009, the fair welcomed 776 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions and 64,844 registered visitors from Japan and around the world. Focuses include general fiction, business titles, and manga, while a special Digital Publishing Fair will hone in on Japan's e-book market, which fair organizers say is growing at 200 percent per year. The fair will be open to the public on July 10 and 11.

Hong Kong Book Fair
July 21-27
Hong Kong, China

The Hong Kong Book Fair has in 20 years grown from a small, industry-only event into somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. The 2009 edition saw nearly 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions as well as 900,000 visitors, many of whom lined up overnight to get author autographs, book bargains, and photos from the scantily clad models whose picture books are among the event's biggest sellers each year. The 2010 fair will feature seminars, new book releases, storytelling sessions, and talks by well-known authors from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and elsewhere.

July 22-25
San Diego, California, USA

The sold-out 41st annual San Diego Comic-Con International will host guests including American science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, True Blood author Charlaine Harris, comic book writer and editor Stan Lee, and dozens of other writers, artists, and editors from the wide world of comics. Originally a showcase for classic comic books, science fiction/fantasy writing, and related film/television, Comic-Con has expanded over the years to comprise horror, anime, manga, animation, and webcomics. The convention is the largest in the Western hemisphere and the second largest in the world after the Angoulême International Comics Festival in France, attracting more than 125,000 visitors a year.

The "Booker Dozen" announced
July 27
London, UK

Judges of the Man Booker Prize are scheduled to announce a 2010 longlist, commonly referred to as the "Booker Dozen." Selection for this high-profile UK prize can become a hot topic for debate in the literary world, and speculations for the 2010 edition are already running high. Among frequently speculated contenders are Ian McEwan's Solar, Martin Amis's The Pregnant Widow, David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, and Andrea Levy's The Long Song. To get in the conversation, visit the "Debate" section of the Man Booker Prize website.

Cape Town Book Fair
July 30-August 2
Cape Town, South Africa

Now in its fifth year, the Cape Town Book Fair is the largest book event in sub-Saharan Africa, notable especially for its strong public attendance - more than 43,000 visitors were reported in 2009, and the 2010 is expected to draw 45,000. While its industry component is smaller than leading international fairs, the fair earns clout as one of only two joint ventures (with the Abu Dhabi Book Fair) managed by the organizers of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest book fair worldwide. More than 200 exhibitors from 31 countries are expected at the 2010 fair, which begins with a dedicated trade day to be opened by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.