Monday, May 7, 2012

30th Barcelona International Comic Fair

From the 3th of this month to the 6th, it was held the 30th International Comic Fair in Barcelona, that with about 100,000 visitors each year is the largest comic convention in Spain and one of the biggest worlwide.

I used to go every year until 2004, and since then I never went again until now because of two main reasons. The first one is because several years ago this convention splitted to form the Barcelona Manga Fair, that is also pretty big (65,000 visitors per year) and is only focused in manga, anime and videogames, and I rather prefer to go to a manga only convention that a general one. The second reason is that it turned in a huge marketplace with overpriced stuff that you can order via internet all the year round, and usually the guest artists are not really worth the trip for me.

So at the end I only go to Spanish conventions only if they have a guest artist that I'm fan of: last time I went to a Barcelona Manga Fair was in 2006 when the guest artists included Nakajima Atsuko (character designer for the anime versions of Ranma 1/2 and Taiho Shichauzo), Monkey Punch (veteran manga artist mostly know for Lupin III) and Katsura Masakazu (Video Girl Ai, I''s, Zetman...), and this time I went because of Nagai Go, a very prolific author with over 100 main franchises and countless minor works, but is probably best known for creating Cutie Honey, Devilman, and Mazinger Z. 

Mazinger Z was specially covered in this convention because is it's 40th anniversary. It was the series that made me interested in "Japanese cartoons", and after all those years is still one of my favorite old school series despite not being a fan of the mecha genre. So yeah, I went only to see Nagai and a few original drawings of him that were displayed.

This is the closest I was able to aproach to Nagai in the first day.

Nagai's originals

Yumi Sayaka was my first 2D love...

Since by extension the convention main theme this year was "Robots and Comics", a few Tezuka's originals of Astroboy were on display as well.

Nagai only signed to 160 persons (80 in one day and another 80 the following day) that were selected by lucky draw among the people who purchased Mazinger Z related merchandise, so in order to participate for the last session I purchased:

The complete Blu-ray collection of the Spanish edition of Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen and the volume one of the original manga.

Shin Mazinger was a reboot of the series that was aired in 2009, and mixed elements from different Mazinger continuities (Great Mazinger, Z Mazinger, Mazinkaiser...) and references to other works by Nagai (mostly Violence Jack). I didn't like Shin Mazinger that much when was airing (I dropped it after episode 5) because it was mixing from way too many sources, but now that I have it I'll give it a chance, I guess.

Anyways, I was one of the winners!

The illustration was printed specially for the event and he was only signing that. He also wrote the name of each person in romaji, but I asked him to write my name in katakana (the rest of the people said their names to the translator, the translator wrote down the name in a paper and Nagai Go copied the name from the paper). He also shaked hands with me, but I have no photo of the moment...

This is the moment he shaked hands with the guy before me.

Since I was there, I took a few photos of the exhibitions as well:

An exhibition of originals of Spider-man to commemorate it's 50th anniversary. In the picture, a John Romita Sr. cover.

DC originals covering the latest revamp "New-52" were displayed as well, like this Batman from the new series drawn by Greg Capullo.

A litography in the corner dedicated to the recently late Moebius

A display of originals of Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay

A really nice canvas by the Spanish illustrator Luis Royo

And as usual in this kind of events, a bunch of people was cosplaying. I never take pictures to cosplays, but this time I did an exception:

A couple cosplayed as Battler and Beatrice from Umineko no Naku Koro ni

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