Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bolzano Comics Festival Report

I had never heard about Bolzano before I entered the No Words Comics competition, so everything about Bolzano was very new to me. Bolzano was very different from other cities I've been to in Italy, because a lot of people spoke German and the architecture seemed like a mixture of German and Italian. I met many people who are involved in this festival, thanks to Elisabeth and Hannes for showing me a great time. There were several interesting events going on, one of them was Cartoni, live drawing session at the local clothing store called A store. There were card boards and shirts to be painted by the comic artists in the festival. I had so much fun with it that I thought I should do this every day. Galleria Museo, where my comic was exhibited, was a perfect place for a small pages of the comics to be displayed. I liked how inviting this place looked from the outside and the simple white walls made the comics pop out clearly. I just wished there was a way to display my original comic book instead of the color copies, but it was quite difficult to display it without possibly damaging it. The Bolzano Comics festival was associated with the Bolzano Short Film Festival so I was able to watch all films in this festival for free. I was surprised to find a modern and alternative film scene in a small and traditional city like Bolzano. I watched couple of No Words short film programs and an Italian short film program which are about 25 short films in total. It was overwhelming to watch so many films at once but at the end, I was thoroughly inspired by them.  The films that particularly caught my attention are "Good Wasp" from the U.K., "Next Floor" from Canada, "Les anges dechets" from Canada, and "L'Arbitro" from Italy. It was very interesting to see a strong connection between the films and the comics shown here. I wondered why there aren't more of dual festivals like this around the world, because the similarity between comics and films is undeniable. It would be awesome if New York or Chicago film festival would have a comic festival that showcases artistic and experimental comics alongside of their films. There was a small exhibition of Thomas Ott's original scratch board art works at Galleria Geothe. His scratch boards were so expressive and beautiful, It made me wanna go home and take out my scratch boards again.  There were couple of lectures by the editors in Italian comics, one by Lorenzo Sartori of Burumballa, and the other was by Alberto Corradi who worked with Thomas Ott's publications in Italy. They were all in Italian, so I barely understood anything. But I felt that these people wanted to refine and publish quality works to be viewed by a greater audiences. It made me realize there are people outside of the U.S. who are willing to look at new work. Bolzano Comics festival was a refreshing experience what I needed for a long time. It was exciting talking to people who had very different background from me, yet shared very similar ideas and interests. I would have never have met them if I hadn't gone to this festival so I am so glad that I had decided to go. I'm already looking forward to traveling to a different country for a different comic festivals in the near future.  


  1. Glad that you had alot of fun! Love the photos you took!