In which a day in the life of a Comiket attendee is chronicled, including rain, shine, trains, lines (lots of those), loot, and a little bit of cosplay to boot. Also contains commentary on a few of the salient aspects of this event that set it apart from those prior, as well as an appreciation of the folks who gathered to party afterwards. If Comiket is war, I’d say this day’s battle was won!

The pilgrimage to the Big Sight for day 1 of Comic Market 73 began with a 4:00 AM wakeup call on December 29th, 2007. This followed an evening of last-minute list checking, email and phone number exchange, gear preparation and general planning that left me with a scant four hours of sleep. Luckily it proved to be just about enough to get me through the day.


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Catching the first train of the morning I arrived at the Big Sight a little after eight, where I met up with CMWilly of Clockwork Machina and chiisai_nezumi and Blitzwing of #nnl and we joined the queue leading to the industry halls, positioned facing the main entrance of the Big Sight. The two hours leading to our segment of the line finally advancing passed quickly thanks to the presence of staunch comrades, and before we knew it we were heading up the stairs and toward the industry booths on the upper west side of the venue.

The rain that had been coming down intermittently through the morning decided to lift for good around this time, and left a pleasantly warm (though gray) day behind – I found I had overdressed, in fact, and ended up stuffing one of superfluous layers into my backpack. Quite decent weather to be waiting outside, and one of the better winter Comiket days I’ve experienced for the purpose.


Heisei Democracy event report: Comic Market 73, day 1 Heisei Democracy event report: Comic Market 73, day 1 Heisei Democracy event report: Comic Market 73, day 1

As we approached the industry hall it was evident that quite a lot of waiting was indeed in store. For the first time in my Comiket experience there was a line not only for the most popular individual booths (the lines for Type Moon and Nanoha stretched all the way to the parking lot behind the west halls), but also for entry to the main hall itself. At all previous events I was able to simply walk in, but this time we spent another 10-15 minutes in a secondary line up in the co-opted cosplay space before gaining access.

Once inside the bulk of my shopping was pretty straightforward, with only the Nitro+ booth having a significant wait (perhaps 45 minutes). After clearing the booths I headed over to the international corner near the cosplay changing area to see if there was anything of interest (there wasn’t, other than a Russian Superman advertising a printing company), and then headed east for lunch. I met up with CMWilly and doujin veteran Animaestro for lunch, and then headed over to the cosplay area for a pass through before the appointed meet-up time of 3:00 PM.


Heisei Democracy event report: Comic Market 73, day 1 Heisei Democracy event report: Comic Market 73, day 1 Heisei Democracy event report: Comic Market 73, day 1

I wasn’t planning to take any cosplay pictures at the event, but the opportunity presented itself a couple of times and I couldn’t resist – the Yamashita Shunya Rei was perfect, and great Gurren Lagann cosplay too. :3 The cosplay space was atrociously packed thanks to the bloating of industry booth lines crowding into the space in recent years, but I couldn’t help thinking it would be fun to devote more time to cosplay photography as I walked through the space. Maybe next summer, or at Wonder Festival in February.

We made it to the meet up spot at 3:00, where ultimately around 20 people gathered. We agreed to split up and meet in front of Gamers in Akihabara at 5:00 PM, with myself, EvoSpace, and a few others going ahead to scout out the territory and find a place to eat. We were worried that it might be tough to find a place in Akihabara without reservations, but those worries were swiftly put to rest as within ten minutes both me and EvoSpace had found places willing to take our large group.

We settled on the place he found, met up at Gamers at 5:00, and headed over en masse to the restaurant. With a few latecomers we ended up with 21 people all told, not too shabby for such an ad-hoc gathering. The planning could definitely have been better, but I think everyone ended up satisfied in the end, and I hope everyone had a good time – I know I did. It was great meeting a bunch of fellow Comiket warriors and finally putting faces to names I’d been seeing for months online, as well as new and old acquaintances. Based on how things turned out I’m thinking of doing something similar again next summer, assuming others are interested.


Heisei Democracy event report: Comic Market 73, day 1

We broke up the party at around 7:40 PM or so and went our separate ways. I had company for much of the long trek home, and made it in the door by about 11:00. In preparation for the long 48 hours of doujineering that lay ahead I broke out the Momoi AX concert DVD and watched about half; great inspiration to get to work the next morning. I hit the sack at about 1:00 AM with an eight o’clock alarm call.

To Be Continued…