2013 Recap (II): Musings on the Napoli Comicon

Klaus 01 copyOriginal photograph from The Cartoonist Project,

copyright Simone Florena

One of the highlights of 2013 -which has certainly been the busiest year in terms of Klaus-related events so far- was the unexpected invitation to participate in the 2013 Comicon in Naples, in late April. created in 1998, the Naples Comicon has evolved from a rather domestic celebration of comics culture into an event of Biblical proportions with concerts, hundreds of vendors, exhibitions, international artists, and hundreds of thousands of accumulated visitors (60,000 only in the 2013 event).

Since its third edition, in 2001, the Comicon also displayed a central theme that ran through the exhibitions, conferences  and guest artists. First, it dealt with comic book culture as developed in/by certain countries (the 2001 edition focused on Spain and Latin America). In 2007, the central theme changed to the more abstract field of color (starting with cyan, and ending with black in 2010), and in 2011 it moved towards the interactions between comics and the higher arts: Music (2011), Literature (2012), and, after being delayed for a couple of years, Architecture in 2013 (the 2014 Comicon will be focused on comics and cinema). Within this context, it’s difficult to start to explain how excited I was when Andrea Alberghini (author of the book Sequenze Urbane: la Metropoli nell Fumetto), who worked as a consultant in architectural-related issues for the organization, contacted me asking if I wanted to participate.

Other than giving me the chance to finally visit Pompei, the Comicon also presented the rather surreal opportunity to be sitting in a panel, “Building Comics”, along with two living legends I often write about, such as Joost Swarte and François Schuiten. The fact that both of them had a great role in shaping my interests in architecture just adds to the ‘over-the-top-ness’ of the experience.  Adding to this, a second panel, “Fumett(archi)tettando”, gave me the opportunity to rejoin Swarte, and meet architect-comic book artist Manuele Fior. The effects of all this can be seen in the special issue MAS Context: Narrative I was coediting at the time, which was already in the works, but certainly took a new turn after this (check the interview Swarte’s Mystery Theater’, ‘Images Come First’, a conversation between Andrea Alberghini and Manuele Fior, or Melanie Van der Hoorn’sSensing the Comics’ DNA: A Conversation with François Schuiten’).

01The Klaus Korner. Photograph by Cristina Cusani via Comics metropolis.

02_Building_Comics_IntroThe Klaus Korner. Photograph by Cristina Cusani via Comics metropolis.

02_Building_Comics_IntroSome of the works exhibited in the ‘Building Comics’ area. Photograph by Cristina Cusani via Comics metropolis.

Also, I have to thank Alino, Claudio Curcio and the rest of the organization for building an area dedicated to my work within the big exhibition “Building Comics”, where I was in the company of original artwork by Winsor McCay, François Schuiten, Joost Swarte, George McManus, Chris Ware, or George Herrimann. An experience both flattering and embarrassing. Thanks!

More info on the Naples Comicon, both past and present, on their website (in Italian).

comiconOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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