HomeTelevisionAfter Italy Elected a Far-Right Government, Cosmopolitan Comic-Con Lucca Took on Political...

After Italy Elected a Far-Right Government, Cosmopolitan Comic-Con Lucca Took on Political Significance

The lasting picture of this yr’s Lucca Comics and Games conference is a shot of director Tim Burton, waving to a seemingly never-ending crowd from a balcony within the historic heart of this medieval Tuscany city.

That one shot represents how Lucca has advanced from a tiny, hyper-localised conference for comedian and recreation followers into some of the vital pop-culture occasions on the worldwide calendar.

Europe’s largest comics competition (and the world’s quantity two, bigger than San Diego’s Comic-Con and simply behind Japan’s Comiket), Lucca Comics and Games has develop into a hub for the movie, TV and video games industries, who arrived in drive at Lucca 2022, the primary correct in-person occasion since 2019 (final yr’s Lucca was in-person however with strict limits on capability, attributable to COVID). All of them pitching to the some 320,000 followers crammed into this historic location hungrily awaiting the most recent in nerd-friendly content material.

Alongside Burton, who offered the European premiere of Wednesday, his new Netflix collection, V.I.P. company included the forged from Disney’s Willow, Andor actress Denise Gough, members of the forged of the Amazon Prime collection Rings of Power, legendary comedian e book artist John Romita Jr., and Goro Taniguchi, director of Japanese anime hit One Piece Red.

Similar to Comic-Con, Lucca has expanded past its authentic supply materials as a comic book e book conference to embrace all points of fan popular culture, from video video games to cosplay, from tv to films to tabletop video games.

“We have to be the trailblazers. For comics, tabletop games, for the Italian cultural industry as a whole,” says Emanuele Vietina, common director of Lucca Comics and Games. “We speak to the single smallest publisher as well as the well-established, more famous companies…We are the stage managers of this huge show.”

In addition to Burton presenting Wednesday, this yr’s present included the Italian premiere of One Piece Red, panels with the Willow and Rings of Power casts, and a Q&A session with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves administrators Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the place they screened clips of their hotly-anticipated Paramount Pictures characteristic, starring Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez.

“We are happy to be at the center of Italian culture [for the five days of the Lucca festival],” says Vietina, “and we’re proud that we got there without receiving much support from [government] institutions. There are young members in our team with well-defined passions, who have earned their place. To us, the most important thing is community.”

This yr’s Lucca additionally took on a particular, political significance. As a cosmopolitan occasion celebrating cultural change throughout boarders— a whole lot of 1000’s of followers from all corners of the globe crammed into this small walled metropolis, turning the city of 90,000 in a single day right into a cosplay wonderland —Lucca was a very protected area in a rustic nonetheless rocked by final month’s election of the far-right authorities led by Giorgia Meloni. As if to emphasize the purpose, this yr’s theme was Hope.

Not that Lucca is overtly political. The occasion’s organisers, Lucca Crea, are partly state-owned, that means Lucca Comics and Games common director Emanuele Vietina and his crew have to stay strictly impartial and non-ideological.

“We’ve had a public-political management for 25 years now,” says Vietina, “and we’ve gone through every color in Italian politics. Our approach doesn’t change [we have] a very precise editorial line and we’ve always followed that.”

But simply the very fact of the occasion speaks volumes.

“Every year, Lucca Comics and Games proves that this community of consumers and fans is the model for a better society,” says Vietina. “We’re here to stay, because we can be together.”



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