Sunday, August 29, 2010

Super Comic City - Osaka

The 30th of October of 1998 (Friday) was an important day in my life. La noche temática, a program from the Spanish public TV, emitted a documentary called "La noche de los manga".

Thema Manga, Mangaka - 01/21 - Intro et Sommaire - 1998
アップロード者 Alexkiddmw. - クリエィティブ動画をもっと見る。

The documentary, a co-production between TSR2 and Arte France, had a total duration of 187 minutes and covered in detail the world of Japanese animation and Manga. I was moved by the images, the music and the idea of discovering a new hidden world (am I, after all, another Spanish conqueror? :P). The documentary explained the process of creating manga and animation in Japan. In particular, I recall one scene where thousands of manga amateurs were gathering around in a huge event to sell their self-published material. Back then, attending such an event was a mere dream for me.

Back to reality, a few weeks ago, I was hanging around in Toranoana manga shop when I spotted an interesting book at one of the floors dedicated to dōjinshi 同人誌 (self-publishing) mangas. It was a book about one of those events that I dreamed about a decade ago!! I thought it was time to make those old-good dreams come true!!

And there I was, a few weeks later, in Osaka ready to participate for the first time in a dōjinshi event: the Super Comic City - Kansai 16. The event took place in Intex Osaka, a huge building complex that had plenty of room for the 14.000 stands where Japanese manga amateurs were passionately selling their work. It was organized by Akaboo, a company that prepares similar events during the whole year. It was completely full of people, much more than what I had imagined. Amateur (and not so amateur) artists were selling their own mangas, illustrations, hand-made postcards, badges and even dolls!! Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take pictures inside the building to illustrate it.

Although this time I attended just as a visitor, I would love to attend someday with my own comics. In order to participate as an author you need to fill a form. I found a free magazine called Piggy in Toranoana which includes the forms to apply to many of these events but you can apply directly from Akaboo website. An interesting detail on the application form is that small rectangle on the down-right corner reserved for you to show a catchy cut of your art.

That cut will appear eventually in the event's guide book, which can be bought in advance at the manga shop or directly on the day when the event takes place (the book qualifies as entrance ticket). This is very useful for the attendants to think in advance which stands they want to visit first.

Many of those amateur artists dream of becoming professional manga artists (mangaka) someday. One way to accomplish their goal is to take part in one of the numerous manga contests that are held in Japan. Some of them feature prizes that simply make my jaws drop. For instance, the picture above (extracted from the event's guide book) advertises the Shinjin comic contest, sponsored by Shogakukan, whose biggest prize is 5000000 yen (46572 Eur at 29/Aug/2010).

There are many people that love drawing manga. And many more who love reading them. And of course, "a lot of people" stands for an opportunity for business in a free market society. There exist a plethora of companies to help the artists achieve their goals. From printing companies specialized in amateur mangas to transportation services that can bring your boxes full of manga directly to the building. Inside the building, you can buy all kinds of tools for drawing such as tracing tables, color pens, manga patterns, etc. There is even a service to send home the mangas that you bought.

12 years after watching that documentary, I still feel as if I was discovering a new hidden world...


Pancho said...

¡Hola Daniel! Acabo de ver la entrevista que te hizo en su día Antena 3. Lo han repuesto esta noche, aunque no sabía que había existido un programa así en esta cadena.

Me sorprende lo bien que hablas japonés, con lo difícil que debe de ser. Algún día me gustaría viajar a Japón, aunque no creo que fuese capaz de quedarme mucho tiempo allí. Me encanta la tecnología que hay por ahí.

Pues nada, a cuidarse y a disfrutar del manga y de Japón.

Sayonara (es la única palaba que sé). Bueno, y también sé cómo se dice garrapata pero mejor no lo digo, ajajaj. Un abrazo.

Sangorrin said...

Gracias por tu comentario, espero que se cumpla tu suenho de viajar a Japon. El Japones es un idioma muy bonito y lleno de cosas interesantes! Un saludo!

Steven Van Vaerenbergh said...

Great story! It left me looking for the "like" button.

Sangorrin said...

Thanks Steven!!