The recently concluded Ani-Com and Games Hong Kong fair saw a wave of fervent supporters from across the country—with many also coming in from the mainland. Its 18th installment, held last July 29 until August 2 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, featured local cartoons, regional mangas, and other limited edition fictional works from top artists. In addition, it put virtual reality in the spotlight, a fresh craze in the industry as seen in the number of hands-on demos of Playstation VR. However, one of the event’s highlights—and most widely talked about—is its comics.

From bright primary heroes to dark antagonists, whizzing sound effects to thought-provoking dialogues, comic books bring to life narratives unlike any other. In a way, it can be considered art in its purest form. Pocketfruity even suggests that it’s now a “dynamic mainstream phenomenon,” according to a recent infographic the site published on ‘Comics and Gaming’. Back in the 1930s, comics basically presented superheroes with out-of-this-world powers that were used to neutralize the abilities, plans, and effects of villains. Nowadays, these tales reach the far corners of basic narratives, especially with the plethora of Western graphic novels and manga (its Eastern counterpart). It’s no wonder why during the aforementioned animation, comics, and games event in Hong Kong, it had fans lining up almost a day before its official opening.

Jordan Ko, for one, spent 22 hours in line just to be the first guy to enter the annual Ani-Com and Games Hong Kong. In his third year attending the festival, he fancied coming in early this time to avoid the long queue and get his hands on some special edition local comics. As a lifelong enthusiast of Hong Kong cartoons, the 35-year-old Ko had $5,000HKD in his pocket set aside for those hard-to-find items. The guy behind him, on the other hand, Dick Cheung, went to the event with the sole purpose of getting his hands on Japanese light fiction. It helps that it was summer vacation during the event, so the 14-year-old student had more time to stay up late, which ultimately led to various autographs from his favourite authors.

Ani-Com and Games Hong Kong is a comic book paradise come to life. With a bevy of rare merchandise and high tech hands-on samples, talented artists and even impressive cosplayers, fans have more reasons to line up early. Considering it was another successful festival, expect the 19th edition of the Ani-Com and Games Hong Kong next year to be bigger, brighter, and better.

Contributed Article by Heather Collins

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