Lucca Comics & Games
|Lucca Comics and Games|
A Lucca Comics pavilion, near the San Michele in Foro basilica, in 2007.
|Attendance||272,000 by 2016|
|Organized by||Comune of Lucca, through the limited company "Lucca Comics & Games Srl"|
Lucca Comics & Games is an annual comic book and gaming convention in Lucca, Tuscany, traditionally held at the end of October. It is the largest comics festival in Europe, and the second biggest in the world after the Comiket.
The Salone Internazionale del Comics ("International Congress of Comics") was launched by a Franco-Italian partnership, consisting of Italians Rinaldo Traini and Romano Calisi and Frenchman Claude Moliterni (forming the International Congress of Cartoonists and Animators) in 1965 in Bordighera. In 1966 it moved to a small piazza in the center of Lucca, and grew in size and importance over the years.
Funding issues reduced the frequency of the festival to every two years, beginning in 1977. In the 1980s, the festival was moved to a sports center outside the city walls, where it remained until 1992, when it was moved to another city. (Funding issues also forced the cancellation of the 1988 festival.)
After the Salone internazionale del Comics ended in Lucca, city leaders launched a new convention called simply Lucca Comics that was a reprise of the old one. In 1996 it changed its name to Lucca Comics & Games. The festival attracted 50,000 attendees in 2002.
Meanwhile, the Salone internazionale del Comics was held in Rome from 1995 to 2005. In 2006, for the festival's 40th anniversary, the Salone merged with Lucca Comics & Games and moved back to Lucca's city center, with numerous tents and pavilions arranged in different squares within and outside the walls of the medieval city.
In 2016, the festival attracted 270,000 attendees.
From 1970–2005, the festival presented the Yellow Kid Award — named in honor of Richard F. Outcault's seminal comic strip character The Yellow Kid — in such categories as Best Cartoonist, Best Illustrator, Best Newcomer, Best Foreign Artist, and Lifetime Achievement. Yellow Kid Awards were also presented to publishers, both domestic and foreign.
Yellow Kid Award recipients
- 1970: Johnny Hart, for Best Cartoonist of the Year — first time this award was given to an American cartoonist
- 1973: Guido Buzzelli, for Best Illustrator and Author
- 1974: Vaughn Bodé
- 1977: Fred
- 1982: Art Spiegelman, for Best Foreign Author
- 1984: Strip Art Features, for Best Foreign Comics Publisher
- 1986: Bill Sienkiewicz, for "bridging the gap between American and European artistic sensibilities"
- 1998: Paul Gillon
- 1999: Jeff Smith, Best Author
Gran Guinigi recipients
- 1969: Hugo Pratt, for Una ballata del mare salato
- 1975: Dan O'Neill for The Penny-Ante Republican
- 1978: Carlos Trillo
- 1986: Bill Sienkiewicz
- 1990: Massimo Rotundo
- 2011: Boichi, for Hotel
- 2002: Emiliano Sciarra's Wild West-themed card game Bang!, for Best of Show
- 2003: Sine Requie, for Best Italian Game
- 2004: Helena Bulaja's Priče iz davnine ("Croatian Tales of Long Ago"), for Best Multimedia Award
- 2011: Vincent Baker's Apocalypse World, for RPG of the Year
- "Comics: 271.208 biglietti venduti. E' il record di sempre". La Nazione. 1 November 2016.
- Lucca Comics & Games Srl - Chi siamo
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- Gilbert Hernandez entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928-1999. Accessed June 15, 2015.
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- "Awards and Honors," NeilGaiman.com. Accessed June 16, 2015.
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- Duncan, Randy, and Matthew J. Smith. Icons of the American Comic Book: From Captain America to Wonder Woman, vol. 1, (ABC-CLIO, 2013), p. 98
- Centro Studi Iconografici. "5 Salone Internazionale dei Comics" (in Italian).
- O'Neill entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928-1999. Accessed Oct. 8, 2016.