Friday, May 14, 2004

Manga's fan-fiction phenomenon: Taiwan's Taipei Journal reports on the Comic World Fancy doujinshi fair (essentially, a manga fan-fiction gathering), held May 1-2 at the Taipei World Trade Center:

"In Taiwan, the doujinshi phenomenon has a decade-long history. It started out with high school and college student clubs. Later, local comic book publishers got into the act by organizing doujinshi fairs and other events. As of five years ago, such fairs were held twice yearly in Taipei. Now, the city has four per year, and doujinshi enthusiasts can be found islandwide, holding their own local conventions.

"Even professional writers and illustrators with an established reputation sometimes create and publish doujinshi works independent of their publishers and sell them at fairs just for the fun of it. For aspiring illustrators trying to break into the commercial manga and anime scenes, doujinshi offers a way to make a name for themselves, allowing them to circumvent publishers too conservative to take a chance on newcomers with new ideas. Popularity in doujinshi circles might win them the chance to create completely original works with a major manga publisher."