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 self-published comic book fair, held twice a year in Tokyo, Japan. The first Comiket was held on December 21, 1975, with only about 32 participating circles and an estimated 600 attendees. Attendance has since swelled to over a half million people. 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.
The continuing operation of Comiket is the responsibility of the Comic Market Preparatory Committee (ComiketPC).
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Script error Comiket was founded in 1975 by Yoshihiro Yonezawa and a circle of friends, including Teruo Harada and Jun Aniwa, while they were studying at university. They wished to study manga and explore its potential, as commercial offerings were unchallenging and mainstream, following the closure of COM. Comiket was also founded as a freer form of the SF Taikai convention.
Time, date, and location
Comic Market is held twice a year; once in August, and once in December. These are referred to typically as Summer Comiket and Winter Comiket respectively. Summer Comiket is three days long, and usually is held during the weekend around August 15. Winter Comiket 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 10AM to 4PM, though the company booths run all the way until 5PM. On the last day of the convention, the company booths and Cosplay Square close an hour earlier, at 4PM and 3PM respectively. 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. Those arriving at 10AM 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 10:30AM. The most recent Comiket, Comiket 77, was held from December 29 to 31, 2009.
Approximately 35,000 sellers, known as circles, participated in Comiket as of 2001. An estimated 510,000 attendees converge in the course of three days, but this number continues to increase. With the addition of police, guards, staff, volunteers, there are over half a million people. 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. Comiket 76 from August 14–16, 2009 attracted an estimated 560,000 attendees.
The Comiket Catalog contains information about the buyers and sellers at Comiket and other general event information. It is available in print and CD-ROM format. 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, and one to two pictures for every participating circle.
The catalog is not required for admittance, 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 CD-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 Comiket website usually has a list of stores (by prefecture) where you can order the catalog. Please be aware that not all stores have the CD-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.
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 lining up before the day Comiket is held on has been prohibited.
- The official Comic Market website (Japanese)
- The official Comic Market website (English)
- "What is Comic Market?", "A presentation by the Comic Market Preparations Committee", February 2008
- The Japan Comic Market FAQ: A Gaijin's Guide to Comike via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
- How to Comiket, Part I: Intelligence, Part II: Strategy, and The Road to Comiket at Heisei Democracy via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
- Ticktank's English Guide to the Comiket—A comprehensive list of articles on how to plan and navigate the Comiket.
- Behind the Scenes of Winter Comiket 29-30 December 1998
- The Fragile Heart of Moé- Trailer—An 8 minute clip from a feature length documentary about dojinshi and Comiket, 2010.
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