Doujinshi convention

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Comic Frontier, a doujinshi convention held in Jakarta, Indonesia

A doujinshi convention is a type of event dedicated to the sale of doujinshi, or self-published works. These events are known in Japanese as doujin sokubaikai (同人即売会, 'doujin sale event') or doujinshi sokubaikai (同人誌即売会, 'doujin sale event'). Thousands of doujinshi conventions take place in Japan every year, but doujinshi conventions are also held in other East Asian countries, and sometimes outside that region as well.

Summary[edit]

Doujinshi conventions are one of the most important distribution channels of doujinshi.[1] Most are small-scale occasions with perhaps a few hundred participating circles, but the larger ones can attract tens or hundreds of thousands of participants, making them important public events in Japan. Comiket, the largest of all doujinshi conventions, attracts 35,000 sellers and over half a million individual visits during each of its biannual editions.[2] Most conventions are organized by the amateur creators themselves, and most focus on the sale of doujinshi that are fanworks.

Different kinds of conventions[edit]

There are doujinshi conventions in many different sizes, on different schedules, and with a different focus. Many are recurring events, held yearly, twice yearly, quarterly, or even monthly. Many large conventions are "all genres" (オールジャンル, ooru janru), meaning that they are multi-fandom events that welcome content from all series, referred to as "genres" in the Japanese vernacular. Comiket and Niigata Comic Market are examples. Some doujinshi conventions welcome cosplay activity as well.

The focus of smaller conventions is often narrower, and smaller conventions are also more likely to be one-off events. Many smaller conventions are "only events" (オンリーイベント, onrii ibento, also called "only doujinshi markets" オンリー同人誌即売会, onrii dōjinshi sokubaikai). This means that they feature only doujinshi about one particular fandom, one particular character, or one particular pairing or fan trope.[3] Many conventions feature not just fanworks but also original (創作, sōsaku, or also orijinaru) doujinshi.[4] Some conventions focus entirely on original works, for instance COMITIA, a long-running convention that attracts several thousand doujinshi circles with every edition.[5] Sometimes a themed "only event" takes place within or alongside a larger convention, with the organizers of the "only event" reserving space and signage for their smaller event in a hall shared with other "only events" and a larger umbrella event, or having the "only events" taking place in smaller halls in the same venue. These conventions-within-conventions are also called "petit only" (プチオンリー, "puchi onrii"). They can focus on the same themes as the "only events" that occur outside of a larger convention.

How it works[edit]

Doujinshi circles during Comic Frontier 11

Months before the convention, organizers begin soliciting participants online and via flyers that are distributed at other conventions and in doujin shops. The pamphlets contain information about how many spaces are available for circles, how many cosplayers can apply, and so on. Interested circles and cosplayers can usually apply by filling in the form attached to the pamphlet, or by using an online application service like Circle.ms. Visitors to doujinshi conventions usually do not need to register either beforehand or upon arrival at the convention.

The main activity at doujinshi conventions is the sale of doujinshi, although some conventions include cosplay or other activities as well, and other doujin goods like keychains, stickers, and badges are also a staple at doujin events. Participating doujinshi circles sit at long rows of tables with their works displayed in front of them. They are usually grouped by fandom, character, and pairings on which their works focus, and visitors get or sometimes buy a convention catalog or flyer in which the location of every participating circle is indicated. Visitors move between the rows of tables, leaf through doujinshi that catch their eye, and buy them by paying the circles in cash.

Doujinshi circles during EOY 2012

Although the "for fans by fans" ethos among doujinshi conventions is strong, not everyone present at doujinshi conventions are fans or amateurs. In Comiket's 2004 summer edition, "5 percent of all circles participating in Comiket were headed by a professional manga artist or illustrator, while another 10 percent had some professional experience".[6] Erotic game producers also allow artists to sell sketches as doujinshi.[7] The larger conventions especially often allow some involvement of media companies. Many kinds of companies support doujinshi conventions through sponsorship, direct participation, or providing various necessary services. Comiket, for instance, has a "corporate area" where mostly media companies sell or give away goods and merchandise.[8] Art supply companies and doujin printers also have booths at many of the larger conventions.[9]

Examples[edit]

Some doujinshi conventions include:

In popular culture[edit]

  • The manga and anime Genshiken has several scenes of characters taking part in a fictional doujinshi convention
  • The manga and anime Dōjin Work has several scenes of characters taking part in a fictional doujinshi convention
  • Doujinshi conventions are referenced in the manga Denkigai no Honya-san.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leavitt, Alex; Horbinski, Andrea (2012). "Even a Monkey Can Understand Fan Activism: Political Speech, Artistic Expression, and a Public of the Japanese Dojin Community". Transformative Works and Cultures. doi:10.3983/twc.2012.0321.
  2. ^ Comiket. 2012. "Comic Market Timeline (コミックマーケット年表)." Accessed May 16. http://www.comiket.co.jp/archives/Chronology.html Archived 2018-03-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Perdijk, Paul. "Database Consumption". Japanese Media and Popular Culture: An Open-Access Digital Initiative of the University of Tokyo. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  4. ^ Schodt, Frederik L. 2011. Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga. Kindle Edition. Stone Bridge Press. Location 495.
  5. ^ McCulloch, Joe (May 26, 2020). ""These Are People Who Are Driving Manga in a Direction for the Future": An Interview with the Editors of Glaeolia". The Comics Journal. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  6. ^ Lam, Fan-Yi (2010). "Comic Market: How the World's Biggest Amateur Comic Fair Shaped Japanese Dōjinshi Culture". Mechademia. 5: 232–48.
  7. ^ Lam, Fan-Yi (2010). "Comic Market: How the World's Biggest Amateur Comic Fair Shaped Japanese Dōjinshi Culture". Mechademia. 5: 232–48.
  8. ^ Lam, Fan-Yi (2010). "Comic Market: How the World's Biggest Amateur Comic Fair Shaped Japanese Dōjinshi Culture". Mechademia. 5: 232–48.
  9. ^ Schodt, Frederik L. 2011. Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga. Kindle Edition. Stone Bridge Press. Location 502.

Further reading[edit]