July 6, 2010

Anime Expo 2010 Exclusive: The Many Worlds of Peter S. Beagle

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Written by: Andy
Tags: , guest journalist, Pam Auditore was present at this year’s Anime Expo in Los Angeles, CA. During her time there she ran into the writer of IDW Publishing’s The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle!

What was fantasy novelist Peter S. Beagle doing among the Cosplayers and Anime fans on a July 4th Sunday at AnimeExpo in the Los Angeles Convention Center?  Best known for The Last Unicorn and more associated with Tolkien and Hobbits than Full Metal Alchemist and Naruto, Mr. Beagle explained: “The animated version of The Last Unicorn (1982) is considered a pre-cursor animation for Hayao Miyazaki (writer/director of Oscar winning anime Spirited Away). I’ve learned that many anime fans grew up with Last Unicorn and love it.”

While Miyazaki did not himself work on The Last Unicorn, it was the first threatrical film done for US audiences by the animation company, TopCraft, that went on to animate Miyazaki’s now classic Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. “The high stylization done on Last Unicorn has had deep influence on the rest of Japanese Animation,” Mr. Beagle added.  Mr. Beagle has had his own influence on animation and Peter Jackson; before adapting his own novel to the screen he wrote the script for Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings.

“We’re always discovering who Peter’s fans are”, said Connor Cochran, Mr. Beagle’s business manager.  It was at one fan’s emphatic urging at Comic Con that he attend his first Otakucon, an anime convention held in Spokane, Washington and Anime Expo, discovering an international plethora of fans he never knew existed.  “We’ve also just recently been attending Renaissance Fairs, too,” added Mr. Cochran, “we just didn’t realize how welcomed we’d be.”

Another reason for Mr. Beagle’s presence at Anime Expo, The Last Unicorn was adapted  this year into a comic book–manga (in Japanese)–for IDW by writer Peter B. Gillis with Art by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillion.  The second issue was out this month and can be found at your local comic book store.

Among Mr. Beagle’s other work is a sequel novel to The Last Unicorn called Two Hearts, which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 2005.  Mr. Beagle’s newest novels due out this year are I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons (Young Adult), and Summerlong, a “realist” fantasy set in Seattle.

Aside from his literary works, Mr. Beagle has been participating in the 52/50 Project (for a $25.00 subscription), where every Monday he produces a new poem or song for subscribers in MP3 (spoken word and Mr. Beagle’s own music) and PDF files.  “Some very big names, who we can’t yet disclose, are interested in supplying music to what Peter’s written.  Eventually the songs will be available through iTunes,” Mr. Cochran said.

When asked if his interest in producing songs would one day lead him to attempt a Broadway show, he remarked, “I would love to!  My heroes are  Rogers and Hart, Rogers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, and Stephen Sondheim.  We shall see.”

Fans of Mr. Beagle can follow him on his Facebook Page.  For more on IDW Publishing, click here.

Pam Auditore



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by pam, pam, Comic Attack and others. Comic Attack said: Check out our interview with Peter S. Beagle, the writer of @IDWPublishing's THE LAST UNICORN!! #comics #unicorns […]

  2. Yay Pam! Way to interview! I have never watched or read the last unicorn, but I may now! I don’t even know!

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