Halfway to NoWhere

Ranting and Complaints of Life in Taiwan

Comic Galore at TWTC Hall 2

Entrance of TWTC Hall 2

Entrance of TWTC Hall 2

Once again, here’s another exhibition that proves my theory about exhibitions in Taiwan – they’re simply night markets with the hawkers shouting inside the building rather than in the open air.

For those who’s not familiar with the Japanese ACG playing field in Taiwan (ACG standing for Animation, Comic, and Game), here’s a quick overview: For the local Otaku, the two major company-sponsored ACG events take place in February (the Taipei International Book Exhibition) and July/August (the Comic Exhibition).

The big deal about company-sponsored event is that there are “official” (licensed) products on sale at the venue grounds. For the fans, it’s usually a great opportunity to pick up those overpriced gadgets and – if they’re lucky – win the raffle and receive an autograph from their favorite artists. Therefore, folks, if your favorite comic artist is in town, just prepare that hundred-dollar bill (figuratively speaking) for your chance at that 1-out-of-100 positions for a signature and cheap handshake.

Autographs of past visiting artists (Kadokawa)

Autographs of past visiting artists (Kadokawa)

Even better, you get to line up with about a hundred sweating and gasping fellow fans for a little while – until you can pay at the cashier and dying for your chance to put your hand into the raffle box and draw that winning ball.

Overwhelming number of people inside the hall

Overwhelming number of people inside the hall

So what’s new with this year’s exhibition? Well, the typical pre-releases ranging from comic books to DVDs are on the shelf for you to choose. There’s also the random artist and the giveaway event down at the intersection.

Beyond that, I’ve noticed two things:

First, someone decided to introduce an entire wall of Cospa merchandise (Cospa is a shop in Japan specialized in costume-play, or dressing up like a comic/animation character to show off before other fans at gatherings or activities. They also make T-shirt, towels, and other goodies). So now they see a potential market in a bunch of inspired youngsters who want to look like their heroes/fantasy dreams, all you need now is to find something that’ll bleed their wallets dry.

Cospa merchandise displayed on the wall

Cospa merchandise displayed on the wall

Next, there’s the unnatural proliferation of bedroom accessories – namely large-size and oversized pillow covers. I guess the exhibitors realize that most people are spending less and less on buying DVDs (big surprise…?), so their new ploy involves printing a lot of 1-to-1 scale images of major lead roles on pillow covers and even bed sheets. Imagine, sleeping in the comfort of hugging your beloved leading female cast while you sleep. How enticing! We should be glad they haven’t taken the concept a step further (well, at least not yet).

Pillows and all other kinds of anime accessories

Pillows and all other kinds of anime accessories

Everything just looks so encouraging.

OK, that’s it for today. I need to let my mind cool down a bit. No use complaining when the majority of the companies think the best way to make money is to stick to the old ways.

Magic the Gathering... what are they doing here?

Magic the Gathering... what are they doing here?

PS: I wonder if there’s a chance of seeing a local company release a anime-BD title anytimes soon?

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August 17, 2009 - Posted by | Animation, Comic and Game

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