Helen loves conventions - all kind of conventions. 2014 was her fortieth year of congoing since the first British Star Trek convention in 1974. Her first American convention was Boskone in Boston in 1977, and her first U.S. anime conventions were Anime America and Anime Expo in California in 1994. Over four decades she's designed, made, and worn whole wardrobes of historical and SFF costume, and has appeared in and judged Trek, SFF, anime, and costume convention shows. She's written, edited, illustrated, and contributed to more fanzines and convention books than she can remember.
Helen first got into Japanese popular culture in 1981. She edited two professional anime magazines - Anime UK and Manga Max - and wrote the first book on anime in English in the 1990s. She's had eleven non-fiction books and many articles published in six languages, including Japanese, with more to come this year.
She and Jonathan Clements have just finished updating their epic work The Anime Encyclopedia, reviled and ripped off in equal measure by Internet pundits around the globe. The third edition has 40% more content than the second, with over 1,100,000 words and over a thousand pages. It qualifies as a lethal weapon requiring open carry.