Comic Market or Comiket (コミックマーケット Komikku Māketto) as referred to by locals and seasoned attendees, is this weekend August 14h-16th. If you never been, it’s a great time to go! This event is huge and has over 500,000 attendees mostly in cosplay every time, which is twice a year. So be warned of long lines and Miku Hatsune and Ranka impersonators – never a bad thing.
The comic market is where a lot of underground or self-published(dōjinshi) comics are sold and where a lot of comic book artists are discovered. It’s been the birthplace of many beloved characters and series over the years since it was started. The first comic market was held in 1975 and was started by Yoshihiro Yonezawa.
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!
There used to be a huge camping out before the Comiket by attendees, but htis is no longer allowed. Still the doors don’t open until 10:30am and you will be waiting a long time for the doors to open if you catch the first train. Either way, its hard to avoid the lines and the wait, but you will be privy to the most underground of comics at this event and that’s guaranteed.
From the Comiket Site:
Comic Market (Comiket) 76
Session Date : Aug. 14th (Fri)~16th (Sun) 2008
Next Session Date : Dec. 29th (Tue)~31th (Thu) 2009
The Comic Market is an event with more than 30 years of history and boasts 35,000 dojinshi publishing circles and 500,000 general attendees. Dojinshi circles come seeking to distribute their creations to others who share their interests. The corporate dealers’ area include corporations which understand and support the ideals of the Comiket. Most dojinshi circles do not aim to make a profit from their activities. Their aim is to interact and communicate with fellow participants through their own creations. Communication encourages creation though inspiration and thereby lays the groundwork for evengreater works to come into being. This is the paramount ideal of the Comic Market.
Rules and Guidelines for Attendees New to the Comic Market
- We recommend that first time attendees come to the Comic Market in the afternoon in order to avoid long lines.
- Please use public transportation, such as trains or buses.
- Taking photographs of people in cosplay is limited to the costume-play public square. Always get permission from the cosplayer before taking their picture.
- You may only change at the designated dressing/changing rooms. If you wish to cosplay, you must register at the dressing room. (The dressing room is located at Conference Tower.) Registration will cost ￥800. Please be aware that cosplay and masquerading have yet to be widely accepted in mainstream Japanese society. Do not come to or leave the Comiket wearing a costume.
Dojinshi Area :10:00am to 4:00pm each day.
Corporate Dealers Area : 10:00am to 5:00pm on Aug. 14~15th.
10:00am to 4:00pm on Aug. 16th.
Dressing Room :
10:00am to 4:30pm each day.
(Registration open from10:00am to 3:30pm, on the last day only to 2:30)
Tokyo International Exhibition Center (The Tokyo Big Sight)
Dojinshi Area : East Halls 1~6 & West Halls 1~2
Women’s Dressing Room : Conference Tower Floor 1 Reception Hall
Man’s Dressing Room : Conference Tower Floor 6 Conference Rooms
Corporate Dealers Area : West Hall 3~4
Costume Play Public Square : 1st Floor Garden near Restaurant Avenue etc. 10:00am to 4:00pm (only to 3:00pm on the last day; location may change depending on weather)
Tokyo Big Site – photo by: jmurawski