I went to MoCCA Art Festival for the first time. It was a lot of fun and so exciting to see so many great illustrations and original comics! It was very inspiring too! Interesting to see artists drawing on small sketchbooks everywhere just like Comiket in Japan.
One big difference is that artists here in US draw on the spot for commission: not for free.
They are more business oriented I suppose while in Japan drawing your requests on the spot is more like fan service. Yes, in Japan artists at events like this are treated like celebrities. Fans bring foods, snacks or gifts for their favorite artists. I guess it’s Japanese culture to idolize the object of your affection.
I wonder how long this festival will survive while lots of publishers are shifting to digital publishing… In Japan comics and doujinshi are still considered better in paper form but here in US physical books are definitely disappearing.
I also wonder if high costs of paper and printing in US (compared to those of Japan) is contributing to a quick shift to digital publishing.