Patrick Drazen holds a BA from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MS from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, both in Communications. His Japanese pop culture education, however, started before he was ten years old, when he saw the first anime to ever be released in America: “Alakazam the Great!”, a dubbed version of the legend of Son-Goku the monkey-king. The Eighties saw the publication of Schodt’s “Manga! Manga!” and the appearance of consumer VCRs that could play Japanese tapes, and that settled it. His search to examine the media of manga and anime, and the culture that gave rise to them, led to his 2002 book “Anime Explosion” (2nd edition 2014) and “A Gathering of Spirits: Japan’s Ghost Story Tradition” (2011). Drazen has served on the Editorial Board of the Mechademia journal, and has lectured at venues from Yaoi-con in San Francisco to Anime Central in Chicago to Armageddicon in Columbus; he was also the Emcee at the Smithsonian Institution’s 2006 Anime Marathon.