Comiket is the world’s largest self-published comic book fair held in Japan. It’s a three day event held twice a year, in the summer (Natsu-Comi) and in the winter (Fuyu-Comi). On average about 550,000 people attend, which is amazing considering how only about 700 people attended the first Comiket in 1975. Publishing groups, called “circles,” come to sell their self-published works regarding manga, anime, games, and other genres. Their work is called doujinshi where they borrow famous characters and use them to recreate their own stories. Corporations also have their own booths where celebrity manga artists and voice actors come in for autograph signings.
This is news footage from 2006:
Some people have waited in line from 5 am (even though it begins at 10 am), others came all the way from Hiroshima (which is about four hours on the bullet train and those tickets will run you about $250 round trip). The lady in the video is a mother who was asked to get a doujinshi by her daughter. Apparently you have to wait in line to get into the Tokyo Big Sight as well as wait to buy a doujinshi. The video also shows cosplayers battling with the 40° C (104° F) weather, showing off their handmade costumes. One issue they mention towards the end is the problem that arises if one doujinshi were to become as or more popular than the original work since they are using copyrighted material without a license.
A little more information for you uber One Piece fans: At this summer’s Comiket, the composer for the music of One Piece, Kohei Tanaka, announced on his blog that he will be participating as a circle like everyone else, rather than at a corporate booth. He’ll be selling some limited CDs that includes three songs. Here is one of the One Piece songs he wrote:
The next Comiket will be held from August 12th to the 14th. According to the site, it looks like there will be a lot of Naruto, One Piece, and Prince of Tennis material this summer.