Anime World Order Show # 131 – Robert W. Gibson: All About the Man, Part 2

This is not our standard style episode, in that we’ve recorded it using mobile recording equipment across a variety of locations throughout Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014. In this episode, we talk to veteran anime fan Robert W. Gibson, who was there on the “ground floor” of the birth of “anime fandom” in the United States during his years in Texas. Topics include growing up in Japan, the San Antonio chapter of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, Ben Dunn, Randall Stukey, Star Blazers, and why Fist of the North Star is the greatest. You may also hear occasional interjections from Tim Eldred, Ardith Carlton, and possibly Neil Nadelman, all of whom were in the vicinity at points. (We were unable to get an interview with Ardith at the convention, but perhaps we’ll get to do something over Skype. No guarantees on that.)

Why is this “Part 2”? There’s a little overlap in content, but Part 1 of the interview with Robert W. Gibson can be found at Cosmo DNA, in which Robert talks to Tim Eldred more in-depth about his days as an active fan and how he came to end up working in comics on titles such as Queen Emeraldas and Captain Harlock. Scanned PDF copies included!

In the meantime, here are some general timecodes. I’ll fill in more later. We also have pictures, to be added later. Here for example are the Astro Boy sandals from the 1960s that Robert wore as a child:

05:30 – Robert on his childhood in the 1960s and 1970s and the titles which he enjoyed growing up, anime and otherwise
14:00 – Further confirmation that the majority of Hanna-Barbera animation was lame even when it was first-run, and what was required to get copies of uncut episodes of Jonny Quest
18:30 – Moving to Texas, getting into what’s now considered “Silver Age” comics, having to choose between Marvel and DC, and similarly needing to decide between Star Blazers and Battle of the Planets
22:30 – On watching a serialized narrative such as Star Blazers in an era where you couldn’t access the first episodes on demand
25:00 – Exposure to fandom by way of non-anime cons, comicbook shops, and SF magazine publications makes you end up watching a double feature consisting of 2001: A Space Odyssey followed by Barbarella and perhaps learn THE REAL TRUTH behind why “Revenge” of the Jedi became “Return”
31:00 – How hanging out in a comicbook shop leads to creating fanzines for conventions and meeting Ben Dunn pre-Antarctic Press: never before has the intersection of Batman, Moon Knight, and Speed Racer been more vital
34:00 – Getting roped into the Austin Cartoon/Fantasy Organization by Ben Dunn
37:00 – The necessity of needing to know Air Force members/DC Comics enthusiasts/furries to get information about anime
39:00 – The status of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization in the 1980s, and forming the San Antonio chapter. Other topics: the Earth Defense Command and the advantage one can get going to Mexico to buy rebranded Fang of the Sun Dougram toys to sell in the United States
43:30 – Robert’s history and introduction to Fist of the North Star; initially he only saw the first episode then episodes in the 40s
47:00 – At this point we’re recording out on the convention floor
01:21:00 – The interview resumes in Tim Eldred’s hotel room, as Ardith Carlton hangs out in the background relatively silent