29 August 2015

Convention report from DoKomi in Düsseldorf

Time to finally make a report from DoKomi that I visited with my sister Catarina this May!
I've been locked in a cave (metaphorically speaking) working on the third and final volume of my manga Sword Princess Amaltea (yes, the website has also suffered from the heavy deadline, as you can see, but will be updated soon!) and as I'm slowly gaining my freedom again I can now make a much needed blog entry about the trip!
The book will be released in Sweden in September, and online in English bit by bit during the coming year.

I've wanted to visit a German manga con since I first started checking out the manga scene in Germany back in 2007 or so. It's so close but yet so far, and the fact that I don't know how to speak German (but do understand some, since Swedish is not that far off) made it a little "scary".
In 2009, I sent my BL manga A song for Elise to the German publishers, and got a positive response from Tokyopop. The same year, I signed a contact with them and Ein Lied für Elise was released during Fall 2010 at the Franfurt Book Fair. That was my first experience of the manga market in Germany, and it was huge!

Since then, a lot of things have happened. Even though Germany managed well through the financial crisis, the book market there (just like in many other countries) have become even more competitive and publishers are having a hard time to sustain. At the same time, the German manga artist scene is growing and becoming more talented than ever! Still, I could not imagine what I was about to see at DoKomi...

We decided to go there because a German friend of mine Christian Allmann (artist himself and co-owner of the brand new publishing house PYRAMOND) was in charge of the Artist Alley at DoKomi and recommended that we'ld come, since the table price is only 30€ (!!). We booked a table for Nosebleed Studio immediately!

So, let's begin the report. I prefere show it with pictures:

Outside the convention.
DoKomi is short for Doitsu Komikku Maketto (Japanese for German Manga Market) and was inspired by the Japanese manga convention Comiket. Thus, a big focus at the con was on the creators and cosplayers and fan projects etc.

Inside the main Artist Alley area, before the opening.
This is the main hall for the Artist Alley. The Artist Alley had over 250 tables, so even though this hall was huge, many more tables was placed in other parts of the Congress Center Düsseldorf.
As you can see, many of the artists had elaborate booths, and I'll show some of them here below.

Another hall filled with artists, fashion designers and other creators.
 There was almost too many great creators there! It sometimes felt like we were drowning in all this amazing talent... But still, the visitors still seemed very interested in checking out your stuff and pay for it, unlike at some other manga cons where the focus is on other things than the artists and creators.

Another pathway filled with artists!
 Now, let me introduce some of the amazing artists at the event. Please check out their homepages that I have linked their names to!

AlleyCreek is an amazing illustrator and designer. Her tables were filled 
with both prints and artbooks as well as goodie bags and pencil cases and
note pads with her beautiful manga and fantasy artwork.
KishiShiotani is another talented artist, with such cute and beautiful
manga art! I really like how she does cute facial designs for her
manga characters.
Sabrina Ehnert's table/booth was soooo adorable I almost died!
Her bunnies are just too cute, had to buy almost evey
postcard she had!
Natalie Wormsbecher and Inga Steinmetz was so nice
and friendly! I med Natalie for first time back at the Frankfurt
Book Fair in 2010, so it was really fun meeting again.
We all went out during the evening to a local Japanese
restaurant (with authentic Japanese foods!) and talk

about projects, the manga market and other fun stuff!
Both are super awesome manga artists and illustrators,
with long curriculums!
The brothers Laovaan and Jasdavi was two of few guys
having booths/tables at DoKomi, but their talent was
remarkable! And Jasdavi (who also does BL stuff) bought
Swedish Comic Sin 2 with Kwok Hei Mak's bara manga in it!

Check out these amazing artists pages if you like schmexy
manga guys! ;)
Kyaaaaah!!! Kyaaaah!!! OMG!!!
Yes, the most amazing thing about the trip is to meet all the
super awesome Greman artists that I have been following for
several years. One of them is Nana "Yaa" Kyere, and she's not
just a super productive manga artist making it on her own,
but also super nice in person!

WARNING: pretty hard core BL stuff!
Another idol of mine: Niloo!!
Amazed. Impressed. So happy to meet her! *cries*
Her art style is so inspiring~
And one more artist I have read about and followed: Nashi!
I actually knew about her manga since she put it up at DeviantArt
several years ago, but her art style has changed a lot and especially
her color art pictures are truly awesomely brilliantly stunnig!
Check it out!
At the con, there was aslo a lot of fan projects and fashion designers that had
their own booths, and Mad Modesty had such cute bag designs I just had to buy
the black one with cat eyes! Perfect for all my new bought mangas, hehe~

We weren't the only International people there. This booth was for
the team behind Mangatellers, a Greek manga artist team that
make mangas with a flare of Greek history. They had a story that
take place in Thessaloniki, and the collector in me had to buy
their mangas (I collect non-Japanese made manga).

This was truly a trip of a lifetime! I highly recommend for all Swedish and non Swedish manga fans and artists to go to DoKomi and see this thriving manga making culture for yourselves. And I really hope Sweden's manga cons can at some point hold a manga market of this or simmilar magnitude. I'll strive to make it happen!

Thanks for reading!

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