Comiket

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Comic Market
The Cosplayers of Comiket 69.jpg
Elaborately dressed cosplayers at Comiket 69, circa. December 2005
Status Active
Venue Tokyo Big Sight
Location(s) Ariake, Tokyo
Country Japan
Inaugurated December 21, 1975
Attendance 590,000 in 2013 (summer)
Website
www.comiket.co.jp/index_e.html

Comiket (コミケット Komiketto?), otherwise known as the Comic Market (コミックマーケット Komikku Māketto?), is the world's largest dōjinshi fair, held twice a year in Tokyo, Japan.[1] The first Comiket was held on December 21, 1975, with only about 32 participating circles and an estimated 600 attendees.[2] Attendance has since swelled to over a half million people.[1] It is a grassroots, DIY effort for selling dōjinshi, self-published Japanese works. As items sold in Comiket are considered very rare (because dōjinshi are seldom reprinted), some items sold at Comiket can be found in shops or on the Internet at prices up to 10 times the item's original price, and in certain cases, more than 100 times.

The continuing operation of Comiket is the responsibility of the Comic Market Preparatory Committee (ComiketPC).

Origins[edit]

Comiket was founded in 1975 by Yoshihiro Yonezawa and a circle of friends, including Teruo Harada and Jun Aniwa, while they were studying at Meiji University. They wished to study manga and explore its potential, as commercial offerings were unchallenging and mainstream, following the closure of COM.[3][4][5] Comiket was also founded as a freer form of the SF Taikai convention.[6]

Time, date, and location[edit]

The lineup at Comiket 77 in December 2009.

Comic Market is held twice a year; once in August, and once in December. These are typically referred to as NatsuComi (夏コミ Natsukomi?) and FuyuComi (冬コミ Fuyukomi?) (contractions of Summer and Winter Comiket) respectively. NatsuComi is three days long, and usually is held during the weekend around August 15. FuyuComi is two to three days long, and usually is held between December 28 and 31. The current convention location is the Tokyo Big Sight convention center near Ariake, in Odaiba, Kōtō, Tokyo. The major part of the convention runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., though the company booths run all the way until 5 p.m. On the last day of the convention, the company booths and Cosplay Square close an hour earlier, at 4 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.[7] Due to the popularity of the event, the official Comic Market website advises first-time attendees to arrive in the afternoon to avoid having to wait in line.[8] Those arriving at 10 a.m. can expect to wait in line for about an hour before being able to enter. Attendees who arrive on the first train, can expect to wait about five hours before entering at roughly 10 or 10:30 a.m.[7]

Comiket 83, was held on December 29, 30 and 31, 2012.[9]

The most recent Comiket, Comiket 85, was held on December 29, 30 and 31, 2013.[10]

Size[edit]

By 1982, there were less than 10,000 attendees at Comiket. However, by 1989, there were over 100,000 attendees.[11] Approximately 35,000 sellers, known as circles, participate in each edition of Comiket. Attendee numbers topped half a million for the first time during Comic Market 66, in August 2004.[12] since Comic Market 72 in 2007, attendee numbers have fluctuated in the region of 500,000 for the winter edition and 560,000 for the summer edition.[13] Comiket 82 took place on 10–12 August and attracted an estimated 560,000 attendees.[14] Because there is no registration requirement for non-seller attendees, these attendee numbers are estimates based on how many people enter Tokyo Big Sight during the days of the convention. The estimates count the number of visits to the convention site rather than the number of individuals who attend; many participate on only one day, but others return once or even twice during the convention.

Because of the extreme number of people gathering in a single place, mobile phone companies set up temporary antennas that are usually employed when stationary antennas are out of service. Area hotels, trains, and bus services also make special arrangements to accommodate the large crowds. Since Comiket's inception, attendance has been predominantly female. However, at Comiket 78 in August 2010, males comprised 60% of attendees.[15] These numbers are only preliminary and are based on those people who responded to the study performed by the Contents Research Team of Tokyo University and Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Catalog[edit]

The Comiket Catalog contains information about the buyers and sellers at Comiket, and other general event information. It is available in print and DVD-ROM format, and as of Comiket 83 is available freely online.[16] The print version is roughly the size of an average phone book. It contains lists of all the participating circles, maps of the convention layout, maps and directions to get to and from the convention, rules for the convention, results from surveys held among Comiket participants, articles about topics relevant for dōjinshi creators, and one to two pictures ("circle cuts") for every participating circle.

The catalog is no longer required for admittance, unlike most Japanese conventions, but without it the event is nearly impossible to navigate. Catalogs are often sold at tents in and around the event for the benefit of latecomers.

The DVD-ROM edition of the catalog includes the following features:

  • Advanced search functions by day, location, circle, title, genre, etc.
  • Custom color-coded checklist creation
  • Customized map and list printing with customizeable lists and fields
  • Clickable layout map for navigation
  • Importing and exporting circle and image data (presumably for new versions)
  • Saving lists as .csv files for use in a spreadsheet program

To date, there is no English edition of the catalog available. The catalog does contain a four-page basic guide for attending Comiket in English, Chinese, and Korean. This same guide is freely available on Comiket's official website.[17]

The Comiket website usually has a list of stores (by prefecture) where the catalog can be ordered.[18] Not all stores have the DVD-ROM version, and some may not have the print version. This is also on the list of stores on the Comiket homepage. Catalogs can be ordered from overseas, depending on the store. The catalog typically comes out two weeks before the convention, up until the first day of Comiket.

Problems related to Comiket[edit]

As the number of circles participating and number of participants increase rapidly, the event has become very crowded. In order to buy their favorite items (and especially famous items, such as dōjinshi from famous authors or special limited-edition items), thousands of people line up outside the Tokyo Big Sight convention center days before the event starts, causing serious security problems. Hence, in recent years [timeframe?] lining up before the day Comiket is held on has been prohibited, although this has done little to prevent people from doing so anyway.

Related conventions[edit]

In Taiwan and Hong Kong, there are conventions similar to Comiket (Comic World in Taiwan (CWT) and Comic World in Hong Kong (CWHK)). These conventions are regularly held and attract both male and female fans. The trend of this type of comic related/dōjinshi conventions has spread to western world, e.g., Anime Expo (held annually in the U.S.A.) and Japan Expo (held in Paris, France). They exhibit comics, illustrations, musics, and videos of Japanese pop culture. Comiket inspired the New Zealand Doujin Overload convention (now called Overload) which began in Auckland in 2006 and as since expanded to include non-anime artists.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McCarthy, Helen (2006). "Manga: A Brief History". 500 Manga Heroes & Villains. Hauppauge, New York, USA: Chrysalis Book Group. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7641-3201-8. 
  2. ^ Wilson, Brent; Toku, Masami (2003). "'Boys' Love,' Yaoi, and Art Education: Issues of Power and Pedagogy". Visual Culture Research in Art and Education. Retrieved July 5, 2010.  Citing Inokai, K. (2000). "Manga dojinshi-shi" [History of manga dojinshi]. Comic Fan (in Japanese) (10): 4–59. 
  3. ^ Schodt, Frederik L. (1996). Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga. Stone Bridge Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-880656-23-5. 
  4. ^ "World's Biggest Underground Comic Convention". Anime News Network. August 17, 2000. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  5. ^ Kinsella, Sharon (2005) [2000]. "Amateur Manga Subculture and the Otaku Incident". In Gelder, Ken (ed.). The Subcultures Reader (2nd ed.). London; New York: Routledge. pp. 542–543. ISBN 978-0-415-34415-9. OCLC 57530654. 
  6. ^ Galbraith, Patrick L. (14 June 2009). "New university library puts focus on the fans". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  7. ^ a b "コミックマーケット76のご案内" [Guide to Comic Market 76]. 一般参加者サポートページ ({Comiket} General Participant Support Page) (in Japanese). Comiket Inc. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  8. ^ "To Attendees from Overseas: Comic Market (Comiket) 76". ComicMarket WebSite To Attendees from Overseas. Comiket Inc. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Official Comiket Site". Comiket Inc. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  10. ^ "コミックマーケット84のご案内" (in Japanese). Comiket Inc. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ Mizoguchi Akiko (2003). "Male-Male Romance by and for Women in Japan: A History and the Subgenres of Yaoi Fictions". U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal, 25: 49-75.
  12. ^ "Comic Market 66 After Report". Comiket. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Comic Market Nenpyō (Comic Market chronology)". Comiket. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Comic Market 82 After Report". Comiket. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  15. ^ McHarry, Mark (1 January 2011). "(Un)gendering the homoerotic body: Imagining subjects in boys' love and yaoi". Transformative Works and Cultures (8). 
  16. ^ "Comiket WEB CATALOG". Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "ComicMarket WebSite To Attendees from Overseas". Comiket. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "Komiketto katarogu toriatsukaiten no goannai". Comiket. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "Overload: History". Website. Overload. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°37′51″N 139°47′48″E / 35.63083°N 139.79667°E / 35.63083; 139.79667