Exhibitions, lectures, roundtable discussions, drawing opportunities, children’s programmes, publishers presenting their classic and latest offerings: all this awaits those who visit the Somogyi Library in Szeged this Saturday, where the fifteenth comics festival is being organized, informed Éva Andóczi Balogh, the PR representative of the public collection.
The festival’s highlighted theme is the world of historical comics.
Enthusiasts will have the chance to hear from renowned experts and practitioners in a roundtable discussion about the depiction of past events in comic panels. Attendees will be given a glimpse into the world of French historical comics, engage in exciting discussions about the symbolism of swords in mythology and comics. Outside the library building, thee will be live demonstrations of how European swords were used in duels, on the battlefield, or in tournaments. The event will also explore the question of whether a historical comic book can be authentic.
The organizers will commemorate the last 150 years of Hungarian comics with book presentations and exhibitions. János Bán, an author and journalist, will engage in a conversation with the author of the recently released book Buborékban beszélők (Speaking in Bubbles), Sándor Kertész. Participants will also learn about the rich musical world of Polish comics and get an introduction to the illustration course of the Szeged University’s Department of Drawing and Art History. As part of the ongoing ‘Comics and Mythology’ series, this edition will focus on artificial beings, their mythological origins, literary and cinematic transformations, and their roles in comics.
The festival’s featured guest artist this year is Tibor Szendrei, a graphic artist known primarily for his fantasy and sci-fi paintings and cover illustrations. In addition to illustrations and fine arts, he has been creating comics since the late 1980s, and he will be signing his latest work, Intuitions – Fantasy and Phantasm on the spot.
During the festival,
attendees will have the opportunity to try the Somogyi Library’s giant comic-themed board game
with friends or alone, as well as to collectively colour oversized comic panels. Visitors will also be able to observe recognized and aspiring comic artists at work, and those with an entrepreneurial spirit can join in the creative process.
Several exhibitions will be held in connection with the festival: an exhibition showcasing 150 years of Hungarian comics will present the works of local creators through visually stunning installations, delving into the relationship between comics and animated films. An exclusive memorial exhibition will honour György Rőczei, a deceased artist and one of the pioneers of Hungarian underground comics. A selection of comics and comic-related content related to this year’s festival theme, as well as works from Zoltán Ádám Szabó and the library’s collection, will also be on display.