The comic fairs.
The most important events in the life of a comic book enthusiast.
It's more than just a festival - it's a celebration of everything you love about the industry.
They actually include video games and animation too, but even if it's not mentioned in their title, we still know how vast their content is.
When I was little I was amazed by the excitement that the news showed in the services: all those people going back and forth between the stands, showing off costumes and spending money on cool gadgets ... it seemed like the funniest thing in the world.
I have always hoped one day to be able to participate, at least once.
Now, 30 years old and with a bit of experience on my shoulders, I can say that these events are much more than a parade of costumes and counters on which to sell collectibles.
What exactly is a comic fair?
“A comic fair is an event that focuses primarily on comics where fans gather to meet cartoonists, experts and salespeople. Generally it is an event that lasts a few days, hosted in a congress center or other. They are also used as a means for publishers, distributors and retailers to promote and sell their products, from print to merchandising. They were initially organized by non-profit comic book enthusiasts, although later they began to be organized for commercial purposes to exploit the success of the medium. "- Wikipedia.
Any kind of fair has the main objective of promoting a product in favor of the traders who participate in it.
When I was a child my family and I, in the summer;we used to go to a sample fair held in the city of Messina (Sicily). Everything was sold, from clothes to kitchen tools, and there was no shortage of refreshment areas for eating or for children to play. The only thing that interested me about that place was the play area and I couldn't wait to get there.
Comic fairs (or Comicon, as they are defined today) are more or less the same thing.
Over the years, interest in this market, once considered just child's stuff, has grown dramatically and a lot of people have seen it as an opportunity to do multi-million dollar business. And they had seen it right.
What happens inside a fair?
In short, entertainment is the cornerstone of the fair.
From a sales point of view I cannot give an answer, as I have never sold anything.
Mine is purely as a spectator.
It happened that people who have never been to these fairs asked me what exactly it was, both out of curiosity and to make fun of me. At first glance, the first impression a stranger may have is that of a carnival where grown-up people dress up for play as characters from entertainment works. There is much more to it than just the costume.
As mentioned before, the main element of the event is to promote a new product. Every year, before the fair starts, the organizers release in advance the program of events and guests that will be there every day for its duration. Thanks to this information, participants will be able to choose what to do and what to intervene.
There is a bit of everything: music, games, sometimes even previews of important films and of course the refreshment areas. We could say that there is neither of all tastes, even for those who are not a fan of these things.
What kind of people can you find?
Well, they are very popular with collectors who, wandering from stand to stand, dig through the collections for sale in search of that last figurine that is missing from their collection; fans of board games or cards can all get together and compete in short tournaments with friends or complete strangers, while others will queue for hours to receive the autograph of their favorite idol. The dominant element that never fails are cosplayers. What differentiates a cosplayer from a person who wears any costume (such as that of the carnival) is that "cosplay" is a Japanese Macedonian word formed by the fusion of the English words costume ("costume") and play ("game" or "interpretation"
If you stop to talk to them about their costume, they will tell you in detail about all the work behind it with a pride that you cannot even imagine.
You sew the costume for your own pleasure, but it becomes even more fun when you interact with other cosplayers for fun, or with children who let themselves be enchanted by the illusion that those people are really the characters of their favorite cartoon or game.
But there's more: art galleries, small exhibitions and important awards are also promoted, and a space is made available for freelancers who want to sell their products on their own.
Obviously, these possibilities change from fair to fair, but in general the content is this.
The experiences that are lived at the comic fairs differ from person to person.
For some it will be a fun experience, for someone else it will not be repeated.
In any case, this is a world that must be explored by those who are really interested in it and those who want to know in detail the aspects of entertainment, for those who want to support the publishing of comics and have the opportunity to meet new people and new ideas.