Zombies, Tarzan and Spain’s 1981 military coup on show at the Barcelona International Comic Fair

The convention is celebrating its 29th edition. It hopes to gather a total of 100,000 comic fans during the four-day fair. This year the largest exhibition is devoted to creatures of the living-dead.

CNA / Elisenda Rosanas / Ignacio Portela Giráldez

April 16, 2011 06:51 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Comic readers, comic fans and comic professionals have an appointment this weekend in Barcelona. The 'Saló Internacional del Còmic de Barcelona' (Barcelona's International Comic Fair) marks its 29th year. The convention opened last Thursday April 14th  and will run until Sunday April 17th. This year the Comic Convention hosts the largest exhibition in its history, which is focused on zombies and terror, which experts believe is making a resurgence because of the world’s economic recession. Tarzan and Spain's February 23rd of 1981 coup d’état are also the main attractions at the convention, which is estimated will gather 100,000 visitors over four days. Publishing houses also taking advantage of the occasion and have a chance to display all their latest work.

The 'Saló Internacional del Còmic de Barcelona' opened last Thursday. The general public have the chance to get to know the art of graphic novels. In addition, comic fans can discover new comic-books, visit the exhibitions, and fully enjoy their passion. The director of the fair, Carles Santamaría, said that it is designed to “attract both comic fans and the general public”, and it should be seen as a “celebration of comic culture”.

This year the comic convention occupies a total of 19,000 m2. , The organisation hopes to bring together at least the same amount of people as last year. Up to 100,000 visitors are expected to come to the Monjuïc venue in Barcelona, where the fair takes place.

Among this year’s changes, visitors will be able to see 220 works exhibited in relation to zombies, which is the biggest exhibition organisers (FICOMIC) have ever put together. With the support of the Sitges International Film Festival's Director, Àngel Sala, this exhibition displays monsters, zombies and numerous living-dead beasts. According to experts, this type of creature increases in popularity in times of economic crisis, such as those we are currently going through.

The 'Salò' is also hosting another exhibition. This one, about Tarzan, is organised by Vicent Sanchís. The third and last special exhibition focuses on magazine covers and the graphic elements made in relation to Spain's 23rd of February coup d’état (a failed military coup that took place in February 1981). The Barcelona International Comic Convention is also hosting several parallel activities, such as videogame competitions and comic drawing classes taught by recognised professionals.   

Publishing houses are also taking part in the Comic-Con, showing their new publications, recompilations, and even 'comic jewels' for the most interested fans. In spite of the crisis, the number of stands has been kept stable, which FICOMIC's president Xavier Mallafré considers "good news".

The Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell, pointed out on the first day of the ‘Saló’ two important comic-book incentives: making reading a habit and the editorial houses power. Besides, Barcelona City Hall Delegate for Culture, Jordi Martí, congratulated the 'Saló' organisers for "reinventing" the fair, which is now a reference point in the international comic world.