Anne Ishii


I am a writer based in Philadelphia.


I am the Executive Director of  Asian Arts Initiative in Center City Philadelphia.

I own and run MASSIVE GOODS, which I started with Graham Kolbeins, in 2013. We have made:

The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame: Master of Gay Erotic Manga
2013. AD: Chip Kidd, Publisher: Picturebox Inc.
This book officially launched the North American career of preeminent gay erotica master Gengoroh Tagame. Everything until then was a pirated scanlation or European import. The book immediately sold out and went out-of-print and is now listed for no less than a thousand dollars. There has since been a hardcover edition published by the now sadly defunct Gmünder Books imprint (RIP Frank Zahn), but Tagame continues to make amazing hard-core erotica and we continue to bring him to wider anglophone audiences.

What is Obscenity: The True Story of a Good For Nothing Pussy
by Rokudenashiko (Koyama Press, 2016)

Vagina artist Rokudenashiko was arrested for making artwork based on digital scans of her vulva, and transformed the discourse on censorship and gender expression forever.
The Best Couple Sweatshirt
Artwork by Jiraiya, 2013

Though not directly inspired by Kadir Nelson’s album art for Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same,” there was A Moment in 2013 when hot beefy men with close-shorn hair posed against blue sky backgrounds and our sweatshirt became a viral phenomenon. The epochal photoreal gay pinup artist JIRAIYA, also saw his first official North American debut. We have gone on to make original comic books by him, including “Caveman Guu” and “Two Hoses.” Johnny Knoxville wearing our sweatshirt to ring in the New Year on a tropical island was maybe the strangest (and most gratifying) sighting.

MASSIVE x Opening Ceremony SS14
This was a real coup for the queer Asian community, as Opening Ceremony debuted an explicitly gay capsule collection to celebrate Gay Pride 2014. A first for all! Plus, we made it into The New York Times!

MASSIVE: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It
Fantagraphics 2013. 
Our survey omnibus of radical gay cartoonists.
QUEER JAPAN (Debut at Outfest - Los Angeles)
Not technically a MASSIVE joint but a full-length feature documentary by Graham Kolbeins featuring a lot of our work together. 

I’ve worked on some great projects
as a marketing whiz, editor, agent, translator, and content strategist who speaks fluent Japanese.

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame
Editor, Agent, Translator

Content Strategist
Creative agency specializing in the Asian culinary diaspora, through events, media and web content.

Seeking Asian Female/They’re All So Beautiful
Web Content Director
A PBS documentary about white men seeking Asian women. Web forum exploring intersections of race & dating.


Architecture in Open Source. Luxury prefab housing blueprints for the people, created by Joana Pacheco and featuring work by Tatiana Bilbao, Derek Dellekamp, Rintala Eggertson, Christian Potgiesser+

Architecture for Dogs
N.A. Producer
Design experiment overseen by Kenya Hara, delivering open source blueprints for dog-centered products made by architects such as Shigeru Ban, Toyo Ito, MVRDV and Kazuyo Sejima. Featured in Wallpaper* and the Wall Street Journal.

Bat-Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan

The Coolest sunglasses you’ll never pay too much for.

Imprint Lab
Startup venture consultancy

Vertical Inc.
Dr. Marketing & Publicity
Specializing in popular fiction and exceptional graphic novels from Japan.

Detroit Metal City by Kiminori Wakasugi
(Translator on all 10 volumes) Loups Garous by Natsuhiko Kyogoku
(Translator) Time For School, PBS Docuseries
(Japanese Translator)


I went to UC Santa Cruz and studied enough French to last me a lifetime before moving to France for a couple years and deciding I didn’t want to spend a lifetime there.

I went to Columbia University to get a Masters Degree in Japanese Literature before deciding I wanted to sell Japanese literature, not write about it.

I volunteer my time at SAGE and love the elderly. I sit on the Board of Directors of the Asian American Writers Workshop where I sometimes contribute to their programming and website.

I suck at but persist in playing piano, keyboard and drums, making dumb songs.

I’m very happily married to a dude and have a cat but I won’t be offended if you insist on mentioning your girlfriend every time we chat.

I’m on Twitter, Instagram. I have a substack where I mostly write personal book and media reviews.


Public Intellectual with Jessa Crispin January 2018
The Cut August 2017 (photos by Lucas Michael)
Come On A My House with Tobell Von Cartier, August 2017
Hey, Cool Job! with Mary HK Choi 2017
The Awl July 2017
On Bond Street 2016
The Hairpin December 2014
Tell Me More (NPR) 2013