If you asked us what the world’ biggest comics show was, we’d say Comiket, which just wrapped up in Tokyo the other day, and drew a record 590,000 fans of doujinsji over three days.

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.


  1. Taiwan has had a vibrant cartooning market.

    Tsai Chih Chung, known here for the various “Speaks” volumes on Eastern Philosophy, is so popular in Taiwan that other authors petitioned to have him placed on a separate bestseller list.

    There’s also:
    Ani-Com & Games Hong Kong, held 26-30 July 2013.
    “Organisers estimate that 700,000 visitors will pass through the trade fair in the next five days, ” (South China Morning Post)

    950,000 attendees enjoyed the Hong Kong Book Fair the week before.

  2. So, what could be the biggest in the U.S.?

    Well, it seems like no one wants to hold a major show in Las Vegas (home to the fourth, eighth, and thirteenth largest convention centers, each individually bigger than San Diego). So how about Chicago and McCormick (#1)?

    Here’re some daily numbers from the 1999 Chicago Auto Show (which no longer releases attendance figures):

    Feb. 11 First Look for Charity: 10,064
    Feb. 12 Friday 69,588
    Feb. 13 Saturday 126,494
    Feb. 14 Sunday 166,556
    Feb. 15 Monday 119,131
    Feb. 16 Tuesday 70,818
    Feb. 17 Wednesday 81,493
    Feb. 18 Thursday 81,721
    Feb. 19 Friday 103,077
    Feb. 20 Saturday 199,374 (set a new record)
    Feb. 21 Sunday 187,418
    Show total 1,215,734

    So, let’s consider those last four days: 571,590 total.
    Or if you estimate 200K each day: 800K maximum.
    Of course, if you’re doing 200K on a weekend day, then chances are you’re going to expand to a ten-day show, and easily hit One Million.

    Something similar is possible at Orlando (#2 in the country). Possibly greater, given DisneyWorld and other tourist destinations.

    ReedPop will probably hit 125K this year, and probably max out the space, like what is seen in San Diego. (Don’t be surprised if they add Columbus Day Monday next year, since NYC public schools are off that day.)
    The New York International Auto Show in 1997 hit 1.1 Million attendance at Javits over 10 days.

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