Lucca 2013: Bringing Magic and Dreams to the Hearts of People

A column article by: Linda Lercari

With over two hundred thousand tickets sold, this week closes the most important event in Italy – in fact, one of the most important in Europe -- dedicated to comics, cartoons and games. The event each year is concentrated in late October and early November.

Lucca Comics & Games

All photos from Furio Detti [Creative Commons, (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)]

Lucca Comics and Games is a yearly event in Tuscany bringing magic and dreams in the hearts of people, thanks to the dedication and great skills of the staff and attending guests.

From 31 October to 3 November, the town of Lucca saw thousands of fans parading the streets and inquiring people came from all over Italy and from abroad, to meet authors or to look for new editions or rare collectibles.

Lucca Italy

That doesn’t mention the many cosplayers, whose stoicism has allowed the city to dye itself of the many colors of costumes and blushin' wigs; though several days of heavy rain unfortunately canceled the parade of Dr Who cosplayers. The bad weather, however didn’t prevent the realization of the traditional costume contest between cosplayers. Cosplayers went on stage to not only to parade with costumes of their most beloved characters, but also to perform with a soundtrack. The costume ended with the selection of favorite cosplayers - or group - more interesting and consistent to the character. On the same stage were also organized concerts of K- ble Jungle, Mika Kobayashi, Chronos, Master K., Tokyo Dolores, Andrea Agresti and Clara Serina, with Db Day's band as guest and finally, Daniele Silvestri.

Take a look at the events this year: showcases with famous guests (David Lloyd, Kengo Hanazawa, Horacio Altuna, Hermann, Terry Moore, Guy Delisle, Miguel Angel Martin), meetings with authors and illustrators of games media (Jason Felix, Adam Murguia, Yoot Saito, Stephan Martiniere, Eric M. Lang) as well as authors of fantasy or historical novels (Jonthan Carroll, Barbara Baraldi, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Cecilia Randall, Emma Romero). There were also important guests from the world of dubbing, composers of soundtracks and illustrators for children, and more -- all personalities of international fame.


At the showcase I was pleased to hear the words of Hermann, who won the 2012 Premio Gran Guinigi as a Master of the Comic. He chatted about his works in a pleasant conversation with the audience, drawing a runaway horse as he did. Hermann proved from the beginning of his meeting to be a sincere and direct artist, but he revealed sharp enough answers to be a not-so-optimistic guy. His own work Jeremiah perfectly reflects the character of the author who admits that on that serial he will continue to work alone - despite the fact that his son works with him for other productions - as he admits to actually be a "too personal task."

Hermann talked about the war and its horrors, declaring that he drew Sarajevo Tango just as a form of protest and indignation, using the only means by which it would have been heard and understood: the sketch. He felt the need and duty to draw this comic.

As in Jeremiah there are similar issues around hurting, but with the development of the characters and the story we can see a certain desire for rebirth, that overcomes, of course, the survivors. Hermann has no interest to continue to describe the horrors of war, but wants to let his own characters rediscover new humanity and new social organizations, all through the rubble of an old ruined world where, rummaging in the garbage, you even may find cell-phone carcasses useless because, after the great ultimate racial wars, there are no more satellite communications. That’s a future that Hermann, inter alia, states as possible within the next two decades.

Hermann that his relationship with his son “is truly good”, and that it's paying off. Hermann appreciates his own son's dry, no-nonsense and absolutely non-commercial writing, different from that of Greg, whom he has worked with for years, but in which he criticized the lack in psychology of characters.

For the world of Italian comics online I interviewed Eriadan, a.k.a. Paolo Aldighieri, emerging author of the publisher Shockdom. Eriadan started his comic blog focusing on the vicissitudes of daily life and the growing response from the audience, while collecting his ever-growing material year by year into printed books.

The pages of Eriadan are of excellent quality and perfectly express the moods of the author who has told us, in the space of about ten years, the ups and downs of his life -- first as a student, then as a husband and father of two little girls. 

I asked Eriadan if while starting the blog comic he would have ever imagined such a response from the audience. He felt so excited and he said: No! Eriadan started the site just to play and just to get some feedback about the readability of the strip itself. In addition, I asked him if his success was counterweighted by any burden or the pressure of self-publishing (sometimes he also feels this like a burden, which in any case is not coming out of the serenity of his strips); or if otherwise is it a commitment that continues to entertain him? He answered: It depends. The blog has grown a lot. It’s now 10 years old, and in 10 years, things change. As in any relationship, there are ups and downs and it is not always easy to see the need to find a new balance. He has had periods when the blog had become a burden, He has also pushed to take a nice break. Now, with three weekly cartoons, he came back to draw with pleasure and fun without feeling the weight of the deadline.

Since the theme of the blog is completely personal, would he be willing to work on other types of stories by collaborating with writers of comics? Or work in other genres? He stated: Not so soon. His own creative mind would anguish him if he indulge in cooperating – he aims still to write his own long stories. There are such wanna-be projects in his imaginary drawer that discourage him to embark on a shared work. His favorite technical means? Eriadan is a new generation artist: he makes everything in Photoshop, both drawings and colours. He has a Cintiq21 CGI graphic tablet and he feels divine using it.

He hopes now that his incoming new works and that cooperation with the publishing house Shockdom will both grow in both number and schedule, even more than it has thus far.

Finally the Nicola Pesce Editore has led to a wider audience a taste of Italian release of Aces Weekly, the well-known online magazine created by David Lloyd, best known as visual creator of the character V from V for Vendetta, born from the mind of Alan Moore.

David Lloyd

David Lloyd himself presented his feature during his showcase, explaining the reasons why Aces Weekly was born and why the issues are accessible only online and in English: Lloyd wants to be completely independent from publishers, seeking to grow direct remuneration for the authors, and pursuing full accessibility by this new technology to a wider audience -- almost all English-speaking. We argued about the fact that Aces Weekly could not reach the heart of everyone, especially in countries like Italy where the Internet is still not well managed and fluency in the English language is not a common skill. For this reason the publisher Nicola Pesce, as explained by Mr. Valentino Sergi his communication account manager, has taken charge of bringing the work of Lloyd, among other things, into a carefully printed edition entitled Materia Oscura (in Italian in the text)  that contains other excellent works by the author, translating the online content to the paper with good translation from English. The choice of paper and high quality printing seems a plus. 

Lucca is a convention that focuses not just on comics, but by how much else - cinema, music, costume, dubbing, script, media - makes this a magical world, and keeps the world an ever-open challenge for professionals and enthusiasts from around the world.

See you next at Lucca Comics and Games 2014!

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