Comiket (Comic Market)

Comiket (Comic Market)
Comiket, also known as Comic Market, is the world’s largest dōjinshi fair, held biannually in the Japanese capital of Tokyo. The inaugural event took place in December 1975 and drew an estimated 600 attendees. Attendance has been growing steadily ever since. In 2007, Comiket attracted more than 500,000 attendees for the first time.

Dōjinshi is the Japanese term for self-published manga (Japanese comics), magazines or novels. They are often created by amateurs or by professional artists who want to play with avant-garde and experimental ideas. Between 1967 and 1972, many artists published their works in the experimental manga magazine titled COM.

Following the closure of COM, engineering student and a group of friends from Meiji University began to explore the potential of experimental manga. They founded Comiket to help amateur and experimental artists get exposure, find new audiences and sell their woks. Yonezava was the president of Comiket until his death in 2006. By the way, he never worked as an engineer and instead became a manga author and critic.

Comiket takes place twice a year, in August (NatsuComi, or Summer Comiket) and in December (FuyuComi, Winter Comiket). As of 2017, the event is held at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center, also known as Tokyo Big Sight. It is Japan’s largest convention and exhibition center with more than 100,000 square meters of enclosed space. Since 2007, each edition of Comiket has featured about 35,000 exhibitors and more than half a million attendees from all over Japan and abroad.

Attendance to Comiket is free, but attendees are highly recommended to purchase the Comiket Catalog that contains information about vendors and other event information such as layout, directions, rules, etc. It is available in print, DVD-ROM and online format. Due to an enormous number of exhibitors, Comiket is nearly impossible to navigate without the catalog.

As most dōjinshi are self-published works that are seldom reprinted, a lot of items sold at Comiket are considered rare. After the convention, many of them can be found on the Internet or in retail shops at prices up to tenfold higher than their original prices. That’s why hundreds of thousands of otaku come to Comiket every year in order to buy rare and unique items cheaper as well as to meet their favorite authors and fellow dōjinshi fans.


Photo: stormstill (




Related Articles