Helen McCarthy

Helen McCarthy
Born (1951-02-27) 27 February 1951
Subject Anime
Notable works The Anime Encyclopedia

Helen McCarthy (born 27 February 1951) is the British author of such anime reference books as 500 Manga Heroes and Villains, Anime!, The Anime Movie Guide and Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation. She is the co-author of The Erotic Anime Movie Guide and the exhaustive The Anime Encyclopedia with Jonathan Clements. She also designs needlework and textile art.


McCarthy was the first English-speaking author to write a book about anime, in addition to being "the first person in the United Kingdom to run an anime programme at a convention, start a dedicated anime newsletter, and edit a dedicated anime magazine."[1]

In 1991, she founded Anime UK magazine, and in 1992 became one of the principal contributors to Super Play, an SNES title with a heavy anime and manga bias.[2] Anime UK became Anime FX after a change of backer and closed at the end of 1996. Andy Frain of Manga Entertainment, then the most influential anime distributor in Britain, took issue with the magazine's editorial policy and later with its involvement in the campaign against the trademarking of the word "manga", but this did not affect either McCarthy's position or the magazine's publication. She also contributed to Manga Mania magazine, and after Anime UK closed she edited it from 1997 to 1998. More recently she has written for British magazines and newspapers including the Daily Telegraph, NEO, SFX and ImagineFX.

McCarthy was able to apply her convention-running knowledge gained in SF and media fandom when Anime UK ran the successful one-day convention AUKcon, which attracted attendees from all over Europe in 1994. She has written numerous articles and essays and is a frequent convention guest, as well as speaking at film festivals and academic gatherings in Europe, America and Japan. She has curated and delivered four successful seasons of lectures and screenings at the Barbican Cinema in London. In September 2008 she curated and presented a week-long film season and exhibition to mark the 80th anniversary of the birth of Osamu Tezuka, also at the Barbican. The season featured London's first professional Japanese kamishibai performance.[3][4][5]

Manga Cross-Stitch, a guide to using the visual grammar of anime and manga to create original needlework designs, appeared in 2009.[6] Artist Steve Kyte provided many of the designs in the book, the rest being created by McCarthy. She has since expanded her needlework activities with workshops for the Japan Foundation[7] and at conventions.

Provoked by copyright infringement of her work in 2010, she has spoken and blogged about the impact of intellectual property theft on authors, and on creators' rights to decide how, when and where their work will be published. She supports legitimate sharing through Creative Commons, and has licensed text on her blog, including new research on less-known manga artists, for non-commercial sharing under a Creative Commons 3 Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported licence.[8]




  1. "Information on Helen McCarthy". AnimeCons.com. May 2003.
  2. Super Play Magazine, underground-gamer.com, December 2007
  3. "MCAD: Speakers and Guests". MCAD. September 2007.
  4. "Japanimation". Barbican Centre. January 2007.
  5. "Osamu Tezuka:Movies Into Manga". Barbican Centre. September 2008.
  6. "Mr. X. Stitch contemporary embroidery and needlework". Mr. X Stitch. August 2009.
  7. "Stitched Up: From Sashiko to Manga". Crafts Council. July 2009.
  8. "Licensing/sharing". Helen McCarthy. July 2010.
  9. "The Art of Osamu Tezuka Book Wins Harvey Award". Anime News Network. August 2010.

External links

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