Barcelona International Comic Fair kicks off: organisers hope to attract 100,000 visitors
The 33rd edition of the Barcelona International Comic Fair opened its doors on Thursday. The event is an initiative organised by FICOMIC, a non-profit entity aimed at spreading comic and Japanese manga culture. This year it is taking place from the 16th to the 19th of April at the Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuïc venue. The fair has increased its exhibition surface from 32,000 square metres in 2014 to 36,000 this year, and the number of exhibitors has grown from 161 to 165. The Joker and Captain America will be among the main characters at the event and different genres of comics will be on display: from science fiction to heroic fantasy comics, through to humorous comics. In total, the event will host 19 exhibitions by national and international authors. Patrici Tixis, FICOMIC President, has declared that he hopes that the fair will attract 100.000 visitors in its 2015 edition.
Barcelona (ACN) - The 33rd edition of The Barcelona International Comic Fair opened its doors on Thursday. The event is an initiative organised by FICOMIC (Federation of Professional Comic Institutions), a non-profit entity aimed at spreading comic and Japanese manga culture. This year it is taking place from the 16th to the 19th of April at the Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuïc venue. The fair has increased its exhibition surface from 32,000 square metres in 2014 to 36,000 this year, and the number of exhibitors from 161 to 165. The Joker and Captain America will be among the protagonists at the event and different genres of comics will have their space: from science fiction to heroic fantasy comics, through to humorous comics. In total, the event will host 19 exhibitions by recognised national and international authors, as well as many other cultural and entertainment activities. Patrici Tixis, president of the Guild of Editors of Catalonia and FICOMIC, hopes that more than 100,000 people will take part in the event. Publishers have also expressed their optimism about its success.
The fair is hosting a total of 19 secondary exhibitions, some of them monographic. For example, that on the Joker, popularly known as the enduring archenemy of the superhero Batman and a character from the American comic books published by DC Comics. Another top figure of this year's edition is Captain America who - designed as a patriotic super-soldier - is a fictional superhero created by Marvel Comics. Both the exhibitions will feature 60 original copies of the comics and both characters celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2015.
The other main features of this year's event will be: Anacleto (a secret agent by Spanish comic artist Manuel Vázquez), women's comics under the Spanish dictator Franco, the humour of the late Catalan cartoonist and writer Jaume Perich, and finally The Spirit, a masked crimefighter created by Will Eisner. Exhibitions will also be dedicated to winners from past editions.
In this 33rd edition, Sci-fi comics appear for the first time at the fair which also attempts to take its first steps in the field of scientific publishing.
Publishers show optimism about the success of the event
"The improvement of the economic situation will make more people visit the fair", said Óscar Valiente, General Director of Norma Editorial (a prominent publishing company in Catalonia). "Moreover", he continued, "the fact that the event will coincide with Saint Jordi’s Day [Catalonia's traditional book and rose day and one of the most important Catalan festivity of the year, taking place on the 23rd of April] is good news". Valiente noted that the best-selling comics are usually the ones by the most famous guests at the fair. In his case, Milo Manara, with his work on 'Caravaggio' and Luis Royo, with 'El Dragón de Hielo' (The Ice Dragon).
According to Gustavo Martínez, Editor of DC Comics for the Barcelona-based publishing house ECC Ediciones, "the fair is a great party where everyone must be present: not just publishers but also fans, editors and cartoonists. It is a big event which allows the whole world of comics to keep going forward". For this year, ECC Ediciones' key products will be: 'Multiverso' by screenwriter Grant Morrison and everything related to the character of the Joker.
Finally, Panini Comics Publishing Director Alejandro Martinez said to CNA that - as they publish Marvel's comics – they have all the latest from 'The Avengers', 'The Fantastic Four' and 'Ant-Man'. He also stressed that his company publishes books for a broad spectrum of readers, beyond just Marvel fans.
The event will host a vast number of international guests
The 33rd edition of the Barcelona International Comic Fair will host numerous artists from all over the world. Among the most important international guests will be: French comic book artist Patrick Jusseaume, Italian Milo Manara, Spaniard José Luis García-López, and Canadian-born David Finch together with Branden Lamb, Shelli Paroline and Ryan North.
As previously announced, the event will also include the participation of comic book artist Frederik Peeters, British writer and illustrator Brian Talbot, writer and screenwriter Mary M. Talbot and French cartoonist Jérémie Moreau.
As in previous years, the show will include pedagogical activities aimed at teachers and students as well as workshops, conferences, roundtables and presentations. An area will be dedicated to kids.
Catalan political institutions stressed the cultural and strategic value of the event
The Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell declared that the show "is important because it interprets the world through the perspective of a large group of artists". "It is a platform for interpreting reality as is everything that has to do with cultural life", he concluded.
Moreover, the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias said that "the fair reinforces the role of the city as the capital of books and reading, illustration and the audiovisual sector".