“Let me say that it’s great that every summer my area is crowded with people for Comiket. But for the love of god, take a bath! I live fairly close to the venue and there is an intense smell. Really, it’s a hell of an odor.
If you were to ask me to describe it, it’s as if you splattered someone with rotten eggs and then let it stand for another week. If someone swallowed poison, I would take them to Comiket to induce vomiting. I’m really not trying bash the people who go to Comiket, but it really stinks when these freaking people are here.
I think it’s fine if your hobby is to line up outside in the scorching sun to get your favorite dojinshi. But take bath. Seriously. Please.”
– an open letter from a resident of Odaiba, Tokyo, where twice yearly 560,000 or so fans flock to the Tokyo Big Sight for Comiket (Comic Market), the world’s largest fair for self-published manga, novels and other works. It’s a sentiment familiar to many who have attended decidedly smaller fan gatherings in North America and beyond.
Conventions | Japan’s Comic Market (aka Comiket), the world’s largest convention dedicated to self-published comics, stands to lose about $117,900 because of a decision to bar artist groups (“circles”) dedicated to the manga Kuroko’s Basketball following a threat letter. Organizers are refunding entrance fees to about 900 Kuroko’s Basketball circles that registered for the Dec. 29-31 event, and must help pay for increased security in cooperation with local police and the Tokyo Big Sight complex. Since October, letters containing powdered and liquid substances have been sent to more than 20 locations linked to Kuroko’s Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki. At least six Kuroko’s Basketball doujinshi events have been canceled. [Anime News Network]
Publishing | Declaring this “the year of The Walking Dead,” the retail news and analysis site ICv2 notes the $60 Compendium volumes One and Two could “easily” be the top-selling graphic novels of 2012. Those two books also topped the Nielsen BookScan chart of graphic novels sold in bookstores in November, joined by six other collections from the acclaimed horror series in the Top 20. Chris Ware’s $50 Building Stories, which has emerged on best-of lists as one of the books — and the graphic novel — of 2012, was No. 3 in November, followed by DC Comics’ Superman: Earth One, Vol. 2, and, in a surprise Top 20 appearance by Marvel, the $75 Avengers Vs. X-Men hardcover at No. 5. [ICv2]
Crowd control at comic conventions can be generally, if not creatively, described as “organized chaos” — emphasis more often that not on the latter — as thousands of fans determined to lay their hands on that special sketch, autograph or issue are poured into narrow entry points like so many grains of sand in an hourglass.
If you’ve attended Comic-Con International or New York Comic Con, or even read the tweets, blog entries and forum posts from those who have, what a delicate, frustrating and, yes, frequently sweaty and smelly dance that crowd flow can be, with one untied shoe, inconsiderate mid-aisle conversation or loud protest over access botching the choreography and sending everything into a horrible, grumbling snarl.
But at Tokyo’s Comiket, the world’s largest self-published comics fair, organizers have transformed crowd control into an artform.
Passings | British cartoonist Ronald Searle, best known as the creator of the fictional St. Trinian’s School, passed away Friday at a hospital near his home in southeastern France. He was 91. His spiky drawings of the wicked pupils of the girls school debuted in 1941 in Lilliput magazine, leading to five books and seven films. Searle, a Cambridge native, also co-authored (with Geoffrey Willans) the Molesworth book series. [Reuters]
Conventions | Four-day passes for New York Comic Con go on sale for $85 today at noon ET/9 a.m. PT. The event will be held Oct. 11-14 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. [press release]
Conventions | Comiket, the world’s largest self-published comic book fair, drew a total of 500,000 people for its winter convention, held Thursday through Saturday at the Tokyo Big Sight in Japan. Held twice a year, in August and December, the event doesn’t use turnstiles or unique passes, so a visitor who attends all three days would be counted each time. [Anime News Network]