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Comics A.M. | Comic Market draws 520,000 over three days

Comic Market 89 catalog

Comic Market 89 catalog

Conventions | The winter edition of Comic Market (aka Comiket), held Dec. 29-31 at the Tokyo Big Sight, drew 520,000 attendees across three days, down from 560,000 last year. (Note that figures are based on the number of visits to the convention site over the three days, rather than individual attendees.) The largest comic convention in the world, Comic Market is held each year in August and December. [Anime News Network]

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Comiket attracts 560,000 over three days


Comiket attracted a reported 560,000 attendees over the course of three days (Sunday to Tuesday), according to Anime News Network. That’s a record for the winter edition of the biannual event — it’s held in August and December — but about 30,000 shy of the all-time high set in summer 2013.

Held at the massive Tokyo Big Sight, the 39-year-old Comiket (aka Comic Market) is the largest comics festival in the world (Lucca Comics & Games is second, with paid attendance of about 240,000).

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Comics A.M. | Comiket stretching limits of Tokyo Big Sight

Comiket 85 catalog

Comiket 85 catalog

Conventions | This Japan Times article about Comiket provides a fascinating look behind the scenes of the dojinshi (self-published manga) fair, which each August and December new draws between 560,000 to 590,000 visitors to Tokyo Big Sight. However, even that massive convention center is becoming too small for the event; of the 51,000 booth applications for August’s Comiket 84, only 35,000 were granted because of space limitations. Incredibly, the organizing Comic Market Committee has just eight full-time employees (but more than 3,000 volunteers). [The Japan Times]

Creators | MariNaomi discusses her experience of being sexually harassed by another creator while participating in a panel at a comics convention. That’s right, she was sexually harassed onstage. [xojane]

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Quote of the Day | ‘But for the love of god, take a bath!’

The line outside of Comiket

The line outside of Comiket

“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.

Comics A.M. | Tokyo’s Comiket to lose $117,900 due to threat letter

Kuroko’s Basketball

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]

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Comics A.M. | The year of The Walking Dead; comics down in November

The Walking Dead Compendium Volume Two

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]

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Watch amazing time-lapse video of crowd control at Comiket

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.

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Comics A.M. | St. Trinian’s cartoonist Ronald Searle passes away

Ronald Searle

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]

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