Junko Mizuno Signing at Kidrobot San Francisco

Somewhat sluggish after the long haul that was the previous day's Johnny Cupcakes outing, and not helped by the drizzly Thursday weather, Jeremyriad and I managed to get ourselves over to the Haight for some line-standing-in prior to Junko Mizuno's new toy release and signing.

We grabbed some decent grub at Asqew, and shuffled into 14th-or-so place behind some notably hip Asian kids who warded off the dog-on-a-rope folks' inquiries with "coffee enemas" as our reason for being there. The evening got more interesting as our excitement continued to build the closer we got to the front of the line and Junko Mizuno's table.

I was admittedly nervous at the prospect of finally meeting Junko, whose work I have been following for years with admiration, and came out early that day to make sure I could get my hands on one of the 25 limited edition prints.  As it turns out, it wasn't a print at all.  Instead, we were gifted a hand-drawn original of about four by four inches in size.  This was only the first of several generous gestures on her part, which continued into the night as she spent a significant amout of time drawing on blank toys for almost every person in line.  Kidrobot staff encouraged the practice, and as an artist I couldn't help but notice how uncomfortable Junko's accommodations seemed for such a long haul.

Photo by Jeremyriad.

Not wanting to prolong things too much, I chose to forgo getting a blank and was more than thrilled to get my Junkocat Chococat signed.  Still, I could not resist the photo-opp and gave Junko an LOL which she kindly showed off to the camera (for The United States Of LOL project).  Huge thanks to the Toy Maven for having the presence of mind to take some great pics while I was off in Junkoland.

As for the awesome toy of the night, I have to say that I like it the most of the four currently available Sanrio reinterpretations.  It seems to take more creative license in the way the character is appropriated into the artist's signature style than the others.  Although maybe I am just biased on this one.  Either way, that night was one of the most memorable I have had in San Francisco to date and thinking back to it still fills me with excitement.

For a more insightful post covering the Junkocat Chococat signing check out the one by Jeremyriad.  I can't claim to know nearly as much about the toy scene so my thoughts are less informed by knowledge of toys than by contemporary art and pop art.

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