Anime and manga superstar Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Steamboy) will be appearing in person at the PLATFORM International Animation Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 27th at 9:30pm – and I’m happy to announce I will be moderating a Q & A session with him at the event. Festival director Irene Kotlarz will be presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Award and we will also be screening his new short, Combustible. Please read the complete press release about this event, here.

Otomo’s appearance is his first public one in the U.S. since 1990. Or at least since the last time I’ve seen him. Here are some vintage snapshots (below) of Otomo and I appearing at screenings of AKIRA at New York’s Film Forum (bottom) – and at an Asifa meeting at the New School (top) in 1990. It’ll be fun to see him again. Akira has gone on to become a classic example of science fiction and a game-changing work of anime – inspiring many modern day Hollywood filmmakers such as Sam Raimi, Chris Nolan and the Wachowski siblings.

The PLATFORM International Animation Festival is a three-day event taking place in Los Angeles on October 26th-28th, 2012. In addition to the Otomo appearance and screening, there will be a retrospective of films by stop motion pioneer Ladsislaw Starewicz, A Best of Annecy shorts program, A special screening from PES, a presentation on the making of Disney’s new short Paperman and a CalArts student film retrospective. If you are in L.A. I urge you not miss this event. Seriously – buy tickets NOW.

Click the thumbnails below to see images from Otomo’s new short, Combustible:

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