Helen McCarthy

Helen McCarthy has been researching and writing about Japanese popular culture since 1981. After a decade hearing that there was "no interest in that sort of thing" she founded a magazine, Anime UK, to disprove the claim. Her first book was published just over a year later, and she's been writing about anime, manga and Japan ever since. Her work has been translated into Chinese, French, Italian and Korean.

In 2010 she won a Harvey Award - the Oscars of the comics world - for her tenth book, The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga. The book was also nominated for an Eisner Award. Helen's other awards include a Japan Foundation Award for furthering understanding of Japanese culture in the United Kingdom, and a Society of Authors/Sasakawa Foundation award.

She designs needlework, which led to the creation of Manga Cross-Stitch, a book for those who want to use the energy of Japanese popular culture in their own embroidery. Combining a basic cross stitch course and a potted history of manga with a toolkit for designers and a wealth of fresh, enjoyable, easy-to-stitch charts, it has been welcomed by a host of stitchers.

She also writes poetry and tweets haiku and random nonsense daily. In her spare time, she studies and re-creates historic clothing and costume. She lives in London with an artist and a universe of toys.


Praise

  • "In this important book, Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy present an enormous amount of information about 2,000 series and features, detailing their plots and relationships to other anime properties. In these areas, the book is definitive, and readers can only wish a comparable volume existed for American animation. The authors are less sure about non-Japanese influences (Cowboy Bebop owes more to noir detective films than to Route 66), and they focus more on storylines and the business of anime than on visuals. They don't discuss the influence of American Saturday morning TV on early anime designs (Speed Racer, the component series of Robotech) or the art nouveau styling in Revolutionary Girl Utena. The editorial evaluations are much harsher than McCarthy's The Anime Movie Guide: some of the most popular anime series in America--Tenchi, Evangelion, Ranma 1/2--receive sharp criticism. The result is a book that anime fans will either love or love to argue with."
    Charles Solomon, Amazon
  • "Writers Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy have put together one hell of a volume. The detailed guide to Japanese animation [anime] describes and reviews over 2,000 titles, cross-referencing everything from little-known gems to Sailor Moon and Pokemon. The encyclopedia entries list the key creatives: directors, writers, animators, composers, and studios, as well as information about length, parental advisories, and brief plot descriptions."
    Popmatters

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