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Comic Market 98 Event Canceled Due to COVID-19 Concerns

Since its creation in 1975, it is the first time that an edition of the event has been canceled. In a note, Comiket organizers cite that it was a difficult decision.

One of the saddest news for the creators and circles of Japanese doujinshis and cosplayers, which was already expected to happen, was confirmed this Friday. The summer edition of the bi-annual Comic Market event, which would be Comiket 98, was canceled by its organizers due to COVID-19 Concerns in Japan and in much of the world. The summer edition of the event, which most often takes place in August, was scheduled to be held during the Golden Week holiday in early May due to the location, Tokyo Big Sight, to be used as a press center for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (which in turn was postponed to 2021).

The organizers of the Comic Market released a news report talking about the cancellation of the event:

(translated from the original in Japanese):

Comic Market 98 (held May 2-5 in Tokyo Big Sight) will be canceled to prevent the spread of new Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. Since the announcement on the official website of Comic Market on March 15 (https://www.comiket.co.jp/info-a/C98/C98Covid19Notice1.html), we have closely watched the announcements from the Tokyo government and other related areas. We tried to continue as planned, however, as the government of Japan and the Tokyo metropolitan government interrupted us a month before the Comic Market was held without the prospect of restarting the event on a large scale due to the strengthening and expansion of self-restraining requests for large-scale events etc.,

As mentioned in the previous announcement, Comic Market is based on the idea that “it is a” place “to expand the possibilities of expression in order to accept and continue with all creators, especially doujinshi”. (https://www.comiket.co.jp/info-c/C86/C86comiketmanual.pdf) It is a difficult decision to cancel the event.

Since the beginning of the event, in 1975, the comic book market has suffered a series of crises due to several problems, such as problems with locations, but this time it was the first time that Comic Markets itself had to be discontinued.

COMIKET 98 CATALOG COVER

We would like to thank the participants and everyone involved in the preparation and cooperation of Comic Market 98 during this period. I would like to express our sincere respect and appreciation for the efforts of healthcare professionals and others who are experiencing the new coronavirus infection.

There is little we can do now, besides trying to keep the Comic Market “place”, our hearts are always with you. We will continue to make every effort to continue the event as long as possible, and we hope that participants and stakeholders understand and cooperate.

Not only the doujinshi sale event, including the Comic Market, but also various events, exhibitions and sales events differ in size, region and characteristics.

The Comic Market 98 Catalog will still go on sale on April 11th and the committee asks people to purchase the catalog to support the event in the future. However, the bracelets used as an entry to the event will no longer be sold on the same day, nor will the DVD-ROM edition of the catalog originally scheduled for April 18.

Among other information disclosed, it includes the reimbursement of the participation fee, of the lotteries held by the circles of doujinshis during the days of the event and also parking values ​​for vehicles. In addition, organizers cited the possibility of postponing the event to July/August, due to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to next year, which would be the usual dates, but they believe that the event may not happen due the delivery of Tokyo Big Sight to the game organizers, which likewise highlights the winter edition of the event, Comic Market 99, which is scheduled for 28 to 31 December 2020.

The bi-annual event Comic Market, or Comiket, has been held since 1975 and always at Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba, district of the Japanese capital. It is the largest gathering of doujins (self-publishing games, manga, novels, anime and other merchandise) in the world and also one of the largest cosplay gatherings. The tradition has for its tradition to be held once in the summer (usually in August) and in the winter, this being the last days of the year.

In 2019, due to the start of works for the Olympic games and a reduction in the area of exhibitors at the venue, Comiket started to be held from 3 to 4 days of event, which receives an average of about 170,000 people every day, in a total average of more than 550,000 people on the days it is held. This year’s summer edition had been brought forward to the week of Golden Week (an important Japanese holiday) on the 2nd to the 5th of May, due to the holding of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Olympic Games.

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