Barcelona Manga Fair off to a running start
At the Fira Montjuïc venue, the event hosts over 200 exhibitors – more than ever before – and expects hundreds of thousands of attendees
Even those who aren’t familiar with the term ‘manga’ will probably have seen it – think large eyes, slight features, comically pronounced muscles or curves: in short, Japanese comics. But there’s much more to this art form than meets the eye. Every year, Barcelona holds its own fair dedicated to the genre – and it’s time for the 24th Salò del Manga.
At the Fira Montjüic venue, the event is gunning for 150 thousand visitors, keeping with last year’s record attendance. It’s organized by FiComic, and it runs until October 4, with more exhibitors than ever – as many as 222, a 9% increase compared to last year.
Throughout various areas, there are stands to buy merchandise of all kinds, workshops and activities of every kind, and, of course, photo ops all around. Special guests like illustrators of manga like Dragonball Z Legend of Zelda are invited, and parents can take advantage of a new space called Manga Kids. Another novelty is called Japan Experience, combining tradition, like pottery, origami, Japanese cuisine and more, with modern elements.
There are also plenty of exhibits. One is leaving Japan for the very first time: called ‘Language, objects, and beasts,’ it explores the blurred lines between animals and humans in graphic novels, and in manga. It’s made up of over 100 pieces, with everything from between prints, original artwork, and multimedia.
For some, manga and its cousin anime defined a childhood; for others, it’s a way of life. But one thing’s for sure – manga is here to stay.