The Italian Almanac

Lucca Comics

Italian News - November 3

Lucca is celebrating its status as Italy's comics capital with the 40th-anniversary edition of its renowned graphic-art festival. Lucca Comics & Games 2006 features a packed program of events and exhibitions that is expected to attract over 65,000 enthusiasts. International and Italian publishing houses, including DC Comics and Disney, are presenting their new titles.

Top stylists will give talks in which they uncover the secrets about how they create and develop their characters. Among the international artists coming are America's Jeff Smith, the award-winning creator of the Bone series, and Ralf König, one of Germany's top comic artists, who bases his work on the experiences of gays in his homeland.

There will be drawing and story-development workshops and budding graphic artists will have the opportunity to discuss their ideas with publisher representatives. These will include Diana Schutz, the senior editor of Dark Horse Comics, the publisher of Frank Miller's classic Sin City series.

The public will be able to enjoy screenings of animated films and join professionals in round-table debates about the development of the art form and issues regarding specific series and characters. Furthermore, some 300 exhibitors will be showing their wares over an area of 15,000 square metres. The festival has special sections for children's comics and fantasy role-play games too.

Tuscany is the fulcrum of Italy's comics culture and Lucca is the home to the national cartoon museum. The museum immortalizes the work of Italy's top comic-art stylists, some of the finest in the world. They include Angela and Luciana Giussani, the creators of the iconic black-clad supercriminal Diabolik, Hugo Pratt, the maker of the Conradesque adventurer Corto Maltese and Guido Crepax, the master purveyor of comic erotica.

Other greats are more mainstream entertainers like the Gian Lugi Bonelli, creator of western hero Tex Willer, and his much younger successor Tiziano Sclavi, the man behind cult 'investigator of nightmares' Dylan Dog.