I got up at four in the morning on August 14th, day three of Comiket 68, and headed down to the 7-11 on the corner near my house to wait for Shiarobo and Eima and begin the now-familiar trek with them down to the Big Sight. Eima’s car had been broadsided by a truck whose […]

I got up at four in the morning on August 14th, day three of Comiket 68, and headed down to the 7-11 on the corner near my house to wait for Shiarobo and Eima and begin the now-familiar trek with them down to the Big Sight.

Eima’s car had been broadsided by a truck whose driver was asleep at the wheel a few months ago, and had a new vehicle as a result – a boxy four-door make with the rear doors opening like sliding van doors, only automatically – you give a light tug on the handle and the door opens without pulling. A concept rather hard to grasp on three hours of sleep, even worse for Shiarobo who only had thirty minutes. It’s tough to be on the creator’s end of things the night before Comiket, no doubt.


A crowd camped out in front of the main Big Sight entrance before the third day of C68.

We made it to the Big Sight without incident, arriving a little after eight to be greeted by the sight of the typically huge queue which I bypassed with considerable glee, circle ticket in hand.


C68 circle ticket.

Our tickets were collected at the door, and we were in. Compared to Wonder Festival, the contrast between early entry and regular admittance to the venue wasn’t nearly as pronounced (aside from the lack of wait time) – so many circles were in evidence that the place was already humming with activity by the time we got inside.

While Shiarobo set up shop I double-checked my hastily-assembled circle list and formed a plan of attack. There was time left over before the official beginning of the day at ten o’clock, so I stopped by the table of a friend of mine from college (Garyuu) to say hi. I was also able to meet up with Animaestro, a capital fellow with many doujin contacts and similar tastes to mine who had managed to gain early entry to the Big Sight as well. We talked briefly with Rebis of Rebis Dungeon and ICE of Serious Graphics, who gave us copies of his newest work; I’m racking up artist debts left and right, which doesn’t sit particularly well with me, making me think seriously again about trying to put out my own doujin to pay them back in kind. I don’t have the budget this month to apply for C69, which I regret, but it’s better than buying the application packet and not using it as I’ve done at each of the past four Comikets. It may take another couple of years, but my time in Japan won’t be fulfilled until I’ve participated under my own circle name at a convention. It’ll happen.

Of note leading up to the beginning of the day’s official activity was the fact that some people were already getting in line (upwards of a thousand in the Tony queue alone, I’d say), and others were even buying from some circles. Exchanging works between circles beforehand is something I can understand, but I think the practice of selling early is deplorable and basically unfair. The event is so large, though, that the staff are apparently powerless to control this sort of activity.

Once ten o’clock hit, I was off. The next four hours were spent in almost unbroken pursuit of doujinshi, which went quite well; I was able to pick up all of my high priority items and despite the opressive heat didn’t drip (much) sweat on any of them or collapse a la Madarame. I met Animaestro again by chance and we grabbed some lunch together, after which I headed over to the west halls and industry area to make the rounds there. My biggest regret is that I didn’t have time to check out the cosplay, but there were others at the event who I’m sure will be covering that end of things far more thoroughly.

I made it back to Shiarobo’s table at around two thirty where he was dozing after having sold out his stock in the first hour of the event. The heat was getting to me pretty badly so I spent the next hour trying to stay cool and keep from getting anything wet that shouldn’t be, after which we packed up and were out of the Big Sight a few minutes after the official end of the con at four o’clock.


The hordes exiting the Big Sight at the end of C68, day three.

We stopped in Akihabara on the way home to pick up the guidebook for the next big event: Kaiyodo‘s biannual Wonder Festival. Given other budget concerns this month (Comiket) I wasn’t planning to do Wanfesu this time around, but I could hardly decline the invitation, so next Sunday will see another early morning pilgrimage to the Big Sight in the company of Shiarobo and Eima, this time in pursuit of three-dimensional game. But that’s a topic for another entry.

For now I’ll wrap this one up with the money shot, or more properly termed, the “what became of the money” shot. Please note that the larger version is NOT WORK SAFE IN THE SLIGHTEST.


The C68 spoils of war.

…and that’s that. I’m still feeling the industrious afterglow of the event and hope to make good on earlier statements regarding the resumption of regular updates, so stay tuned. If “resumption” isn’t a word, it really should be…