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Comics, Sci-Fi Convention Features Films, Memorabilia

The Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention has moved from the recently closed Ambassador Hotel to open its first show of 1989 at the Hyatt Wilshire Hotel a few blocks away. Sunday’s show features six hours of almost nonstop Japanese animated features and shorts.

“The cartoons they show in Japan are much more complex than the ones that wind up on Saturday morning television here,” Bruce Schwartz, show producer, says. “The characters are stronger and the stories are much more interesting and diversified.”

The films are shown uncut and on a large screen in stereo. Most will be shown for the first time, including “Appleseed,” “Gunbusters,” “Vampire Princess Miyu” and “Wicked City 2.” “X-Men,” an English-language hit at the November convention, also will be shown.

Because the films are in Japanese, Schwartz will post synopses of all the plots outside the screening room. The showing runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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The other half of the convention takes place in an adjacent room--the buying, selling and browsing of old and new comic books, posters, movie memorabilia, trading cards and toys. The comic books range from 1940s collector items to bargains in new comics at prices even a 10-year-old’s allowance can handle. The recently expanded toy section features “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” toys and other spacey items.

The hotel is at 3515 Wilshire Blvd. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $2. Information: (818) 954-8432.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Puppets are the heroes in today’s free story time at Pages Books for Children and Young Adults, 18399 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, an event running throughout January. The program begins at 11 a.m. with a short workshop in puppet making. Children will then use the puppets (or puppets brought from home that fit the theme of the day) to act in the storytelling that follows. Today’s stories are about farm animals. (Next week’s topic also is farm animals; Jan. 21, zoo animals; Jan. 28, imaginary friends.) Story time is suitable for ages 3-8. Information: (818) 342-6657.

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Kotohajime (which means first things ) is the Japanese New Year celebration that will be held at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., Sunday. The outdoor events, which begin at 11:30 a.m., are free and include the traditional release of the New Year arrow (a Zen archery demonstration) and music by a children’s taiko (Japanese drums) group. The indoor program begins at 1 p.m. in the gallery with music and puppet theater. Admission to those events is $5. Information: (213) 680-3700.

There are two events at the Pasadena Center this weekend. First, kids putting together fledgling coin collections will find as much as old-timers in search of rare treasures at the Pasadena Pavilion Coin and Stamp Expo. For beginners, there will be silver medals, moderately priced cents, nickels, dimes and stamps, as well as supplies (books and catalogues). Hours today are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $1.

In the Exhibition Hall the Thyberg Sports Marketing Baseball Card Show will feature members of the 1984 Olympic Baseball Team. Admission: $3.50; children 10 and younger, $2.50. Hours today and Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The convention center is at 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. Information: (818) 793-2122.

OUTDOORS

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Members of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society will lead a free exploration of the night sky tonight at 8:30 at Rocky Oaks Park in the Santa Monica Mountains where--barring cloud cover--there should be excellent viewing of the winter sky. Members will have some telescopes and binoculars to share but bring your own if you have them. Dress warmly. To reach Rocky Oaks, take the Ventura Freeway to the Kanan Road exit, drive south to Mulholland Highway, then west to the park entrance. Information: (818) 888-3770.

Send items at least two weeks before event to Family Spots, View section, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Phone calls will not be accepted. All items must includes dates, times, exact address, phone and ticket prices.


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