Top 10 Cult Stars of 2011
I had the chance to interview quite a few people this year. Some were famous. Others weren't. However, most of this year's interviewees had a few things in common. They all created something, be it an event or a piece of art, that is memorable. They aren't being chased by paparazzi, but they have followings. They're cult stars.
Shannon Cottrell Where's Andrew W.K. on this list?
Cult Stars, the column, has only been around since October, so most of the people on this list were interviewed before that. All appeared in L.A. Weekly sometime during 2011.
Sebastian Masuda is the fashion designer behind 6%dokidoki, one of several Japanese clothing brands that have made a big impact in L.A. over the past few years. As a designer, he focuses on cute, girlish designs in bold colors like hot pink. He's also an art director and is responsible for the wild look of Japanese singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's viral video "Ponponpon."
After the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami earlier this year, Masuda rallied together businesses in his shop's Tokyo neighborhood for the Mighty Harajuku fundraising effort. He then came to Los Angeles to help spread the word about the project. Most recently, he re-imagined the work of late illustrator Rune Naito as photographs featuring some of Japan's most popular models. Masuda's latest work is currently available at Rune Boutique, a pop-up shop inside Royal/T.
Tank9 dances to industrial and EBM music, records himself and uploads the results on YouTube. That's not so out of the ordinary. What makes Tank9 different from scores of other people on the video-sharing site is that he has a good sense of humor. He's danced in grocery stores, food courts and even inside the Los Angeles Convention Center for Anime Expo.
After admiring Tank9's work for a couple years, I finally bumped into him while he was working on this year's AX video. His film shoots have become increasingly popular with the convention crowd and, in the process, he's teaching cosplayers how to stomp like they're at an industrial club.