Fri, Aug 10, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Thousands of comic book fans visit Taipei fair

FUN WITH CARTOONS With more than 72,000 visitors on opening day, the organizer expects the exhibition to attract more than 400,000 over six days

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Children draw graffiti on the walls during the opening day of the eighth annual Comic Book Exhibition, which will run through Tuesday at the Taipei World Trade Center.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The eighth annual Comic Book Exhibition opened yesterday in Taipei, attracting thousands of comic lovers.

"There were already people lining up outside the exhibition hall last [Wednesday] night," said Candy Chou (周岑) of Kuei Jung Exhibition, the company that organized the event.

"More than 72,000 people visited the exhibition [yesterday.] We're expecting more than 400,000 visitors during the six-day exhibition," she said.

As the doors opened at 10am, comic book lovers rushed into the exhibition hall, forming lines in front of their favorite publishers.

Pang Kuang-yi (龐廣義), a junior high school graduate, spent 20 minutes in line just to enter a publisher's exhibition area.

"I love comics," he said after buying eight comic books to add to his collection.

As well as comic books sales, book signings by popular cartoonists from Japan and the first-day launch of several new titles were also big draws on the first day of the exhibition.

"We've sold 200 copies [of a first-day-sale title] in just 10 minutes this morning," said Yang Chung-wei (楊仲偉), a publicist with Sharp Point Press. "Buyers of the 200 copies could also have their books signed by the cartoonist."

A hundred souvenir packages of another first-day-sale title, "were sold out in seven minutes," another salesperson said as she was busy guiding customers into another company's exhibition area.

The nation's eight major comic book publishers were all present at the exhibition yesterday.

Officials vowed to help to develop the local comic book industry during a news conference to launch the exhibition.

"Most of the comic books marketed in Taiwan are from South Korea and Japan; works by local cartoonists only have about a 9 percent market share," said Chen Chun-hua (陳俊華), a Government Information Office (GIO) official.

"Developing the local comic book industry is a task that has been identified by the GIO," he said.

Taipei City Cultural Affairs commissioner Lee Yong-ping (李永萍) said the Taipei administration would help create a venue for local cartoonists to display their works and interact with readers.

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