Fri, Aug 11, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Comic book fair draws tens of thousands

Staff writer, with CNA

People vie to secure posters featuring characters from the “Frame Arms Girl: Lab Days” manga at the Comic Exhibition at the Taipei World Trade Center’s Exhibition Hall 1 yesterday. The exhibition began yesterday and is to run through Monday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Tens of thousands of comic book and anime fans yesterday poured into the Comic Exhibition in Taipei to snap up limited-edition products at the annual event.

Large crowds of mostly students sprinted into Exhibition Hall 1 of the the Taipei World Trade Center as soon as the doors opened at 10am.

Minutes later, many could be seen carrying bags of merchandise related to popular comic books, anime series or online games.

“I have been waiting in line since Monday,” said 18-year-old anime fan Lo Yun-jung (羅雲融), who was among the first to enter the fair.

Lo said he came to the exhibition to purchase limited-edition scrolls of the Japanese anime Frame Arms Girl, which come with a chance to gain access to an exclusive autograph session with the anime’s voice actors.

There are only 150 of the scrolls and he purchased three of them, each priced at NT$580, Lo said, adding that he planned to spend NT$30,000 at the exhibition yesterday.

Comic fan Jimmy Tsai (蔡峻榮), came to the fair to buy products related to the Japanese science fiction manga series Assassination Classroom, which follows the daily lives of a yellow octopus-like monster teacher and his students.

“I like the manga. Koro-sensei, the main character of Assassination Classroom, is a teacher who is considerate to his students,” the 17-year-old said.

The exhibition’s main organizer — the Taipei-based Chinese Animation and Comic Publishers Association — estimated that the five-day event could attract more than 500,000 visitors this year.

More than 70 publishers have set up 620 booths at the fair, which is to run through Monday.

More than 60 graphic artists, authors, voice actors and animation producers from Taiwan and Japan are to hold book-signings and other meet-and-greets at the fair, now in its 18th year.

The fair features an augmented reality (AR) booth for the first time, allowing visitors to play AR games on their mobile devices, Association head Huang Hsin-chien (黃信謙) said.

The South-Korean government-funded Korea Manhwa Contents Agency set up a booth for the first time this year, featuring South Korean Web comics, Huang said at the event’s opening ceremony.

To boost the development of Taiwan’s comic industry, Deputy Minister of Culture Ting Hsiao-ching (丁曉菁) said that the ministry would inaugurate a “comic base” in renovated buildings on Taipei’s Huayin Street at the end of the year or the beginning of next year, to serve as a place for comic artists and fans to meet and organize events.

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