Bizarro Back Issues: Apollo Smile And The Dancing Starship
If you were a super nerdy teen in the late '90s, there's a pretty good chance that you encountered Apollo Smile in some form or another, whether it was through her career as a voice actress in stuff like the Sega Dreamcast's Space Channel 5 or in her role as the "Live Action Anime Girl" who welcomed viewers to the Sci-Fi Channel's first-ever showing of Galaxy Express 999. If you somehow missed out, I've always thought of her as a mascot of that very particular time right before the death of the VHS tape, when Japanese animation was on the verge of breaking through into mainstream pop culture. She's the feeling of digging through the shelves at Suncoast Video and paying $35 for a VHS tape of Sailor Moon that had two episodes on it given human form. As you might expect, I feel squarely into Smile's target demographic, but somehow, some way, I managed to miss the fact that she had a short-lived comic book series in which she starred as herself. Well, an idealized version of herself, anyway --- I'm not sure if the real life version could control a starship through the power of interpretive dance.