Artist: Davide Gianfelice
Date: November 01, 2010
Location: Lucca Comics & Games, Lucca, Italy
Artist: Davide Gianfelice
Artist: Jamal Igle
Subject: John Blacksad
Date: November 22, 2010
Location: Toronto ComiCon, MTCC North Building, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Note(s): For me, at least, the most impressive part was watching Jamal draw this sketch of John Blacksad without any type of physical reference material.
On November 1, 2010, I attended the Italian Job Studios (Riccardo Burchielli, Guiseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Caselli, Diego Malara and Francesco Mattina) demonstration of THQ’s UDraw for the Nintendo WII gaming system in advance of the launch date (Nov 14/10 in North America and Jan/11 in Europe). Basically its like a starter version of a WACOM/Cintiq tablet but for the whole family. On this day, it was the duo of Caselli and Mattina showing everyone how easy (for them?) it was to draw a simple Flash head sketch.
It is amazing what a simple red blob can be turned into.
The final version of The Flash.
Recovering today. As are the 135,000 other festival-goers. And sadly, as it turns out, a nation.
Attendance figures for the 4 day Festival were announced as 23,000 (Friday), 45,000 (Saturday), 43,000 (Sunday) and 24,000 (Monday). Monday’s total was about 50% less than what I was told to expect as it was a national holiday, All Saints Day. The 2009 Lucca Comics and Games Festival had almost 140,000 attendees.
The Sunday figures are amazing. The Festival is held outdoors and many venues (tents) are not within short walking distances of each other. It rained that entire day yet the streets were always jam-packed. Not to mention the tents bursting to capacity, especially whenever a large downpour occurred and people rushed inside to stay dry(ish). The fire marshalls must have shut down access to the tents 6-7 times throughout the day due to overcrowding. Looking back on it, what could have been a bad situation wasn’t primarily because it was handled properly and efficiently.
Unfortunately, as I found out near the Festival’s end, the rains of Sunday triggered mudslides and floods in Northern and Central Italy which killed at least 3 people. Trains and roadways were blocked off and/or closed. The trains that bring many of the people in had been delayed or cancelled.
I believe that this news did not reach many of the exhibitors and guests on Monday until the late morning/early afternoon. Many of whom had been wondering openly at the sparseness of the crowd in the morning were now somber. Soon some were making plans to pack up early and drive back through the mountains before the situation became worse.
I will be writing a recap of the Festival and providing numerous photo dumps of my experiences here (as well as my trip to Amsterdam and Belgium) over the next couple of weeks so please check back regularly.
What a tiring Day 1 of the Lucca Comics and Games Festival. The weather was great; cool early in the morning but sunny and warmer by noon. I spent most of my first 2 hours at the con getting sketches in my Lucca-only sketch book. The first sketch of day was one I stumbled onto accidentally. While checking out the tents where Panini Italia (mainly Marvel comics) and Planeta DeAgostini (mainly DC comics) were located, I found Max Frezzato’s booth.
I had only just discovered Max’s work on Wednesday during my visit to the exhibit that the show was throwing for the guests of honour. I have totally fallen head over heels in love with art. So of course I had to line up. And wait about 75 minutes for my turn. And what a wild and crazy 75 minutes it was.
To call what Max does as ‘sketching’ is a great injustice. He is an artiste who used any and every means possible to create unique pieces of art in the sketchbooks or comic albums of his fans.
He rarely used a pencil or marker to draw in any books. He took out a jar of black paint and a container of red from his work bag. Dipping his finger in away he went, just finger painting and palm painting and fingernail painting…whatever he felt he needed to do to give each person a truly unique piece.
He must have received 5-6 calls while I was there and would always work while chatting on his phone. Did a TV interview too.
This sketch was my absolute favourite. Not for the sketch itself but for how it was done. Max opened the softcover book, pulled one side of the cover taut and gently yanked the book from the binding glue. Turning to the other side, he repeated the procedure and the grabbed the guts of the book. I was in shock when he first separated the book. I was horrified when I saw the book torn apart. But my Italian friend, Gregory (I met him last year in Lucca while waiting in line for Eduardo Risso), just smiled and laughed. And shortly afterwards, so did I. Though I was still al little worried about what would happen to my book 🙂
I tweeted the completed sketch earlier in the day: Max’s Interior Cover Sketch
He also used some weird sort gold crayon/charcoal type instrument which you can barely see in these pics that I took of him working on my sketchbook. (I think I had the first sketch of the day that wasn’t fully done in paint.)
When the crayon/charcoal concoction was covered by the paint on his hands, he rubbed it in and the resultant use created new colours and textures.
Arrived in Lucca, Italy (by way of Rome and Pisa) earlier this morning after spending almost 7,100 KMs in the air. Its my second consecutive year attending this massive festival of comic book love. I really did mean to write a recap of my exeriences from 2009 but never got around to it.
So I will have to rectify that massive oversight this year.
Day 1 was fairly uneventful. Everyone arrived from different parts of North America at the Pisa airport. A short taxi ride later and we were inside the walls of Lucca. A quick wash of the face and brush of the teeth and we were off to grab some lunch. Before long we were back in the apartment.
Walked over with Tiziano a little later in the afternoon to visit with Gary Frank, DC artist extraordinnaire. Gary has an exhibit of his artwork in a local museum. Among the other exhibits were a tribute to the early underground comix (R.Crumb etc.), Max Frezzato and Gianni De Como. Being exposed to some of the European artists, most of whom I had never seen before, was like a visual orgasm. EDIT: Pictures were taken with my iPhone camera. I’ll revisit the exhibits and get better pics.
Day one ends with me falling asleep at the table in a nice little Italian restaurant for about 20 seconds. So nearly 40 hours since Imy last bit of good sleep, I’m signing off. Day 2 will probably be non-comic book-y stuff so there may not be an update. I’ll to keep daily blog updates during the festival’s dates.