The 19th Barcelona Manga Fair opens its doors on Thursday in Montjuic focusing on sports comic books

The 19th Edition of the Manga Fair opened its doors on Thursday on the grounds of Fira de Barcelona in Montjuic. The exhibition space has increased by 10% since the previous edition, with the number of exhibitors reaching 160. This year the ‘Saló del Manga’ will focus on sports Mangas, highlighting works like Captain Tsubasaand Slam Dunk. Another exhibition will be dedicated to Spanish Mangakas. Catalan Minister for Culture Ferran Mascarell said the Fair was an “expression of popular culture” and a place of “creativity”. Director of the Manga Fair Carles Capdevila added the event was a showcase for Japanese culture as a whole, beyond the realm of Manga.

Visitors of the 19th edition of Barcelona's Manga Fair (by J.R. Torné)
Visitors of the 19th edition of Barcelona's Manga Fair (by J.R. Torné) / ACN


October 31, 2013 09:39 PM

Barcelona (ACN ).– As every year, the Manga Fair returns to Barcelona for its 19th edition, starting this Thursday until the 3rd of November in the Montjuic halls of Fira de Barcelona. In this edition, exhibition space has increased by 10% on last year’s, with the number of exhibitors reaching 160. The main theme of this year’s Fair is sports, showcasing the side exhibition 'Manga en joc' (Manga into Play). Some of the genre’s most important works in this category, such as Captain Tsubasa and Slam Dunk are the highlights of this year’s Saló del Manga. At the official opening on Thursday afternoon, the Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell, said the Fair was a space dedicated to “creativity” and the “expression of popular culture”. He added that each year, the event opened onto other artistic fields beyond typical comic-book drawing, such as sports and Japanese culture.

The Director of the Fair, Carles Capdevila, agreed with Mascarell by explaining the event was a great showcase for Japanese culture as a whole, and that it went beyond the realm of Manga. Capdevila also explained that the Fair had increased its exhibition space due to very high attendance figures in the last editions, but also at the request of exhibitors, who promote their products during the event. The objects on display are very varied and can include comic books, video games, clothes or even food.

The 19th Manga Fair will focus on sports with the main exhibition centred on 'Manga en joc' (Manga into Play). Curator Marc Bernabé was in charged of introducing the ‘spokon’, a sub-genre of Japanese Manga dedicated to sports. The Creator of Captain Tubasa and many fictitious characters such as Oliver Atom, Benji Price and Mark Lenders, Yoichi Takahashi , will attend the 19th edition of the Manga Fair in Barcelona.

Gastronomy will also play a part in the Fair, particularly Japanese cuisine, with many dedicated booths and cooking workshops. Five chefs who all have Michelin stars to their name will also give lectures, notably the three-Michelin-star chef Carme Ruscalleda, who runs a restaurant in Sant Pol de Mar (Greater Barcelona) and another one in Tokyo.

A drawing contest was created to find a new mascot for the Basketball FIATC Joventut Team. The basketball club has its own stand at the Fair along with a dedicated drawing area for participants. The contest is open to people aged between 16 and 35, who will have to invent a new mascot inspired by a devil figure. In order to be submitted, the drawings must never have been published before and must be executed in the Fair Hall.

A jury formed of renowned professionals alongside the President of the FIATC Joventut Team Jordi Villacampa will chose the most convincing mascot. The winner will be awarded €400, a season ticket, a percentage on the profits from the merchandising sales associated with the mascot and a ball signed by Joventut’s first team. Also, all participants will be given a ticket to watch the game on Sunday 3 November between FIATC Joventut and Unicaja.

In this new edition, the organisers decided to pay tribute to the authors who truly integrated Manga in the Spanish comic sphere. The exhibition 'Els nostres mangakas' (Our Mangakas) will trace the  paths of local artists who have made anime versions of Heidi and Mazinger Z by TVE (Spanish Public Television Broadcaster), and also made parodies of works such as Dragon Ball or Naruto.

These two exhibitions, on Japanese Cuisine and Spanish Mangakas, will take place in the second Hall, where visitors can also play videogames. The first Hall will host the drawing contest, along with karaokes, Japanese music and traditional dancing.

New releases

The Catalan ‘Norma Editorial’ which co-organises the Manga Fair, introduced several new releases: Dae-Hyun and the gold coin's cauldron whose author was invited at the Fair; Bride Stories 1 by Kaoru Mori , who was the winner of the Inter- Generations Prize of Angouleme in 2012; and, Through the Khamsin by Skizokrillian Studio, who was also invited to the Fair. The Catalan editorial will also present the latest instalment of Bakuman, by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, along with two new volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist Kanzenban by Hiromu Arakawa kanzenban, who also wrote Silver Spoon.

The ‘Norma Editorial’ will also publish the book La series de la teva vida (The series of your lifetime), where Marc Zanni and Joan Sanz, the voices of Son Goku and Vegeta explain the secrets of Dragon Ball Z and the world of dubbing. In fact they have their own stand at the Fair.

Catalan Publishers Tebeos (EDT) highlighted the presence of provocative Shintaro Kago, the most “underground” of Japanese authors. ‘Tebeos’ have published several of his works for instance Notebook of Murder and Killing or Anamorphosis no Meij?. Among the new releases of Tebeos Editions are Dr . Inugami, a horror story by Suehiro Maruo, and Berserk Series’s 30th instalment by Kentaro Miura.

ECC Publishers, who publish all DC Comic Books, presented the new faces of the comic Batman / Superman, drawn by Jae Lee with her distinctive style. They also released the collection Superman: Man of Steel with drawings by Jim Lee and dialogues by Scott Snyder, the young writer who was most successful in several DC series.

Also, the Green Arrow series will start anew with Jeff Lemire as storyteller. Another one of the new ECC releases is Superman. The War of The Worlds by Roy Thomas and Michael Lark, inspired by H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds. This book, despite being written in the late 1990s, is set in the year 1938 and is a tribute to the origins of Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster of Action Comics.

Publishers Planeta de Agostini arrive at this Manga Fair’s edition with masterpieces Nausicaa  and Adolf . Urasawa will present three works Happy, Master Keaton and Monster. Planeta de Agostini Publishers will also present the new magical and fantasy ‘shônen’ entitled Magic and a miniseries centred on the world of Inazuma Eleven.

From the United States, the fourth volume of The Walking Dead, the second instalment of My Little Pony and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire will also be presented at Barcelona’s Saló del Manga.