The official website of Comiket 98 yesterday posted a notice of the cancellation of its 2020 event. Yes folks, COMIKET 98 is CANCELLED! This is just one of the numerous efforts in Japan to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The event was previously scheduled to run from May 2 to May 5 of this year.
For those who are unfamiliar, what is Comiket, you might ask and why are we going crazy for COMIKET 98 to get CANCELLED?!
From Wikipedia: “Comic Market, (コミックマーケット, Komikku Māketto), more commonly known as Comiket (コミケット, Komiketto) , is a biannual dōjinshi fair in Tokyo, Japan. A grassroots, DIY event focused on the sale of dōjin (self-published works), Comiket is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run event administered by the Comic Market Preparatory Committee (ComiketPC). Inaugurated on December 21, 1975, with an estimated 700 attendees, it has grown to become the largest fan convention in the world, with an estimated attendance of over half a million.”
This is like the king of fan conventions, with attendees lining up for hours outside Tokyo Big Sight, as seen here during the 2016 event.
ComiketPC made the announcement a full month ahead of the event’s scheduled date, and apologized to all attendees and exhibitors. ComiketPC also mentioned that they have been monitoring the situation for some time already, and made this decision based on the current situation in Japan, as well as various countries around the world.
The announcement also covered various concerns from attendees / exhibits, such as ticket refund process, cancellation of roadshows/campaign rallies, etc. The Comic Market 98 Catalog will still go on sale on April 11, and ComiketPC asks people to still buy the catalog as a way of supporting the event in the future.
As of this time, the committee is still trying to see whether it will be feasible to hold Comiket 98 in either July or August of this year, with the next event Comiket 99 previously scheduled for December 29-31, 2020. This all depends on how the COVID-19 situation develops in Japan and the rest of the world, these events may still move. Many factors are in play, including availability of exhibit venues, quarantine / lockdown announcements from the government, etc. Also, as Comiket draws attendees not only from Japan but from around the world, and with many countries also under lockdown or ban of any unessential travel, this will of course affect the number of attendees.
This is definitely sad news for anime and convention attendees who have been looking forward to Comiket 98. Given the situation though, it is something that was inevitable, and will be for everyone’s benefit in the long run. Here’s hoping the situation improves, and that succeeding events will push though. We’ll keep you posted on any news from Comiket and other events as well.