But according to the Taipei Times, the Taipei Comic Exhibition may be making a run for the top, drawing 582,000 people this year, up from 2012’s 556,000. Revenue was also up, NT$250 million (US$8.33 million) from NT$180 million last year, buoyed by a 10% increase in exhibitors, to 450.
While Taiwan isn’t always mentioned as a comics mecca, they do love their anime and even manga there.
Kao said that sales also increased for products related to comic books by Taiwanese artists, as more of the artists appeared in person to promote their books at the fair this year.
“It is the first time that the number of Taiwanese artists attending the fair surpassed the number of Japanese artists,” Kao said.
The fair featured 49 graphic artists, voice actors, animation directors and light novelists from Taiwan and Japan, 25 of them from Taiwan.
That’s more than 11,000 people per guest!
Anyway, a little google-fu turned up another report on the show:
Motion comics, digital illustrated stories with limited animation, are just some of the eye-catching innovations being showcased at the 2013 Taipei Comic Exhibition, which opened Thursday.
Okay, half a million people came to see MOTION COMICS? Now I know you are pulling my leg.
Comics weren’t the only thing for sale. Exhibits included “related products are on display and up for sale at the event, ranging from earphones, purses and pillows to cups, posters and towels.”
but three is no denying this is a huge event. The show does draw some Comic-Con like lines, according to another report:
Even before the exhibition opened at 10 a.m., thousands of fans were queuing outside the venue at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1. Security guards had to corral people into waiting zones before the fair opened. “I came here from Taichung and have been in line since 7 p.m. last night. But I was late. I heard someone came here a month ago,” said Tim Liao, who spent NT$5,000 (US$166) purchasing the latest book in the popular Japanese light novel series “Date A Live” and its peripheral products, including earphones and pillows.
So now you know: half a million people went to a pop culture festival. But note that despite all the other things being promoted, it’s still called a “Comic” exposition.
How long before people complain they have taken the comics out of the Taipei Comic Exhibition?
Bonus: CNN has a slideshow of the event.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.