So if there was was an example of the mainstreaming of not just Japanese manga but dojinshi (amateur manga) and participatory media in the United States it’s this:
Travel company Pop Japan Travel has scheduled a tour to Comitia, one of Japan’s many dojinshi conventions. Not only that, participatnts who agree can have their dojinshi translated into Japanese and sold at the event. It looks like a great opportunity for burgeoning U.S. dojinshi artists to broaden their distribution.
Back in November, I wrote a post commenting on Wired magazine’s doijinshi feature article. I have certain that the company will get enough takers for this tour, as their Yaoi and Gothic Lolita tours just recently sold out as well. Might we see more hyper-specialized fan tours of this sort? It’s a bit different from say, Harry Potter tours of the UK or Lord of the Rings tours of New Zealand because it caters so narrowly to niche, borderline underground subcultures of an already narrow fandom. If some travel company offered a “Black Metal” tour of Scandinavia would there be any takers? I don’t know.
I’m tempted to say it’s the kind of tour that could only be successful with the highly passionate and participatory fans of Japanese pop culture, but I could be wrong.