This year, one of Around Akiba’s team members volunteered at Comiket 92. In this article, we will give you a look behind the scenes at the biggest doujinshi event in the world.
What is Comic Market, aka Comiket?
Imagine the artist alley at anime conventions. Now multiply it by 100, and you might be close to what Comic Market is. Comic Market, often called Comiket, is the world’s biggest convention for fan made and indie comics held bi-annually in Tokyo, Japan. What started off as a marketplace for grassroots, self-published comics, books, and craft items has become an internationally renowned event with attendance numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Major anime and manga companies also appear in corporate booths and have had a growing presence in recent years.
Despite increasing corporate influence, the creator exhibiting their latest works remain the main attraction. Due to the sheer number of attendees, organizers divide the fandom by days over the course of the event’s three days. This year, Day 1 featured works based on video games for men and women as well as indie music and games. Day 2 heavily consisted of anime and series oriented for women and Day 3 finished off with a day of content geared for men. (In Japan, fan works tend to be divided by gender and are created for intended audiences. However, this does not stop people from enjoying content regardless of gender and orientation.)
How Comiket Tables are Set Up (Thank You, Volunteers!)
With so many creators, circles, and attendees, the organization sets aside a day to prepare the necessary tables and booths. To pull off this feat, Comiket relies on volunteers embodying the true spirit of the event. This year, organizers held preparation day on August 10, 2017.
At 11:30 AM, organizers briefed volunteers in the entrance hall of Tokyo Big Sight on booth and table set up. Set up is quite simple. Volunteers merely have to bring tables and chairs to designated areas.
After the briefing, volunteers went to the East Hall. Tokyo Big Sight has 3 East Halls, East Hall 123, 456, and 78. Volunteers were free to go to any hall.
This time, we were at East Hall 456. There was nothing there yet, and it was very spacious!
At the hall, we did some warm-up exercises before preparing the tables.
First, we carried the tables and arranged them into rows.
Once we finished, the tables looked like the photo below!
Next, we carried chairs and put them on the tables. With this, the preparation was completed!
Many of the people who helped out on preparation day do so every year. With all these veterans, set up only took an hour and a half!
Anyone can participate on preparation day even if they aren’t exhibitors. If you are interested, be sure to check out the official website to find out more about this valuable experience. (Be warned, Japanese will probably be necessary!)