Revamped Comic Barcelona convention designed to draw new audiences
A Stan Lee exhibition is among the highlights at the 'Catalan Comic-Con'
On the slope of Barcelona's famous Montjuïc, more than 100,000 enthusiasts are set to meet to marvel at their favorite colorful characters this weekend at the city's international comic book fair.
The 37th edition of the annual convention kicks off on Friday – a kind of Catalan Comic-Con, condensed into three action-packed days this year and rebranded as 'Comic Barcelona'.
Boasting a record million-euro budget and occupying 52,000m2 at the 130-year-old Fira de Barcelona exhibition center, organizers say the event is designed to be "interactive, immersive, innovative, current and exciting" in order to "transport the comic world to new audiences."
In addition to an expanded networking space for pitching and purchasing comic books, fresh exhibitions are the focus of the fair. A retrospective dedicated to Marvel's lead creative Stan Lee, who died in 2018, is a likely highlight, along with a tribute to 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by Belgian comic Spirou, marking its own 80th anniversary.
Awards by both professionals and the public are also central. While the 2019 winners are being deliberated upon, other prominent displays will include a detailed look at the process behind the successful illustrations of Barcelona-born Laura Pérez Vernetti, as well as Spanish artist Ángel de la Calle, whose work 'War Paintings' was named the best individual comic in 2018.
Prestigious guests will include Daniel Clowes, author of the 'Ghost World' comic, along with the subsequent Oscar-nominated film version which featured a young Scarlett Johansson, and Devin Grayson, the woman behind DC's 'Batman: Gotham Knights' and 'The Teen Titans'.
For the more proactive visitors, interactive activities for the public will include Star Trek and Star Wars fan zones, a Nintendo area, interactive comic experience, and giant laser tag.
General admission is available for 10€, with concession tickets starting from 7€.
The event receives funding from the Catalan government, Barcelona City Hall and Spanish government, along with international sponsors and private cultural institutions.