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Int'l comics, animation festival kicks off for first time in Taipei

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- People in the tens of thousands waited in a long line in front of the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall for the first ever Taipei International Comics and Animation Festival, yesterday.

The festival, which will last until Feb. 18, features 33 graphic artists, animation directors and voice actors from both Japan and Taiwan, according to event organizer Chinese Animation and Comic Publishers Association.

The festival also features 300 booths by 35 exhibitors from Taiwan and abroad, as well as close to 30 book-signing and other publicity events, it added.

Japanese film director and animator Mamoru Hosoda, who directed the film “Wolf Children Ame and Yuki,” and Sou Sagara, the author of best seller “The 'Hentai' Prince and the Stony Cat,” will hold signing sessions for fans during the event.

Comic fans can also enjoy discounts and get free gifts, including iPhones and iPod minis, at the show.

Many Taiwanese comics and animation lovers have been eagerly anticipating the event. According to local reports, around two to three hundred fans had even set up camps around the ticket booths 20 days before the event officially began just to be the first ones to enter the venue.

Organizers had estimated that the first day would attract more than 20,000 visitors.

During its five-day span, the festival is expected to attract around 65,000 visitors amid the ongoing Chinese New Year holiday, organizers said.

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People line up at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall for the opening of the Taipei International Comics and Animation Festival, yesterday.(CNA)

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