Taiwan Comic Exhibition 2011 : over 550 000 attendees (Animation Insider)

26 August 2011 12 h 49 min 12 comments

Anime and manga fans over in Taiwan, who just spent the past week and a half surging down aisle after aisle in search of limited edition soundtracks and light novels, can finally take a breather.

Closing up shop last week was the 12th Comic Exhibition (Taipei, Taiwan), the largest and by far most frenzied fan gathering of Taiwan-based otaku in the nation. This year witnessed record attendance, a record number of booth exhibitors, and perhaps most importantly, a greater mix of local and international comics artists attending meet-and-greets.

August 26th, 2011 12:41 PM by Aaron H. Bynum

Comic Exhibition 2011 was a six-day event (August 11-16, 2011), drawing an estimated 550,000 attendees, amounting to roughly a +05% increase over the previous year’s numbers. For a sense of scale, the largest anime convention in the U.S. self-reported 125,000 passers-by for the July 4th holiday weekend. The Comic Exhibition, held at the Taiwan World Trade Center, arranged a number of fan contests, autograph signings, live drawing sessions, and other sideline activities to occupy the endless thrall of otaku.

The convention’s other numbers of note include:

. 38 scheduled autograph sessions,

. 70 publishers setting up booths,

. 357 registered booths,

. NT $180 million (USD $6.19 million) (six days’ worth of business at the booths),

. and NT $30 million (USD $1.03 million) (booth revenue more than expected by event organizers).

Guests headlining this year’s convention included Kenjirou Hata, creator of the Hayate the Combat Butler manga series; Kousuke Fujishima, noted manga-ka (Ah! My Goddess) and character designer (Sakura Wars, Piano); manga artist Ryuhei Tamura (Beelzebub); widely published yaoi comics creator Reno Amagi (Oni ni Hatsujou, Maid in Prince); as well as prominent voice actress Aya Hirano (Kimi ni Todake, Himawari!, Bakemonogatari). According to local news coverage soon after Comic Exhibition came to a close, some of the longest lines were reserved for Mr. Hata, for which fans waited several hours to meet 
Additional events for Taiwanese fans of the manga/anime subculture included art contests, storyboard contests, and other awards. Kadokawa Taiwan, for example, announced the winners of its third Light Novel Award.

According to the Chinese Animation & Comic Publishers Association, co-organizer of the 2011 Comic Exhibition, 54 local and foreign comics artists and authors were scheduled to appear at the event this year (26 of the authors were foreign; 28 were local).

There was a more than fair representation of regional talent, even if the headliners were of international reputation. Local talent ranged from a light novel about area teens getting a handle on local culture, to a comic book about Taiwanese cuisine, such as Shark Cook, by the artist Miew.

Sources: Taiwan Comic Exhibition 2011, Taiwan Today, Focus Taiwan News Channel, Animation Insider

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