25-year running premiere original manga and doujinshi convention, Comitia, has organized an event, in partnership with various Japan-based European embassies, called Kaigai Manga Festa centered around “foreign” comics produced by amateur and professional artists. This festival will be held simultaneously with Comitia 102 on November 18th at the iconic Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition center. The site encourages visitors to present their work to the already passionate audience of 50,000+ attendees who “have a high respect for the originality of comic work.”
As this is the first time a non-Japanese Comic Festa-like event has been created, it’s exciting as doujinshi creators to see Japan banding together in this way to create an even playing ground. If nothing else, it is an ideal opportunity for both sides to learn from one another and communicate through the common ground of original comic creation. We can only hope that this first foray is a success for those able to attend to set the tone to “become a true pillar of the presence of foreign comics in Japan.”
In the mean time, the rest of us will be adding Kaigai Manga Festa to our Wish List Table Attendance and saving our pennies to visit Tokyo for a weekend.
Image: Kaigai Manga Festa website