Finally, after two missed or undertone editions due to the infamous COVID disease, the most significant comics fair in Europe (and, definitely, one of the biggest in the World) is back with a full-fledged edition. After almost three years, there was no better way of celebrating the event than starting with hope so, before any other thing, let me just introduce you all to the main theme of the fair, as stated on the official website:
Hope is the main theme of the 2022 edition. Lucca Comics & Games sees hope in all the great fantasy stories, starting from Star Wars. No wonder the fourth chapter – the first movie belonging to this saga – is called “A new hope”. As Obi-Wan Kenobi says, “Hope – now that’s a word I’ve not heard in a long time”. To him, hope is not the simple desire for a positive outcome, it is rather the unshakable faith in its coming true. HOPE is not doubted, but a certainty. Always hope, there is – as Yoda would say.
Nothing represents this theme better than the fantastic imagery: it is with the hope that we want to conquer the present. Fantasy is the reality of a better future on the side of those who really dream and live. Those who live to build alternatives, brighter scenarios, new paths…
This is why we are proud to have Ted Nasmith, the absolute master of imaginative realism and one of the greatest minds who created the visual universe of Middle-Earth over the past four decades, as the author of our poster.
Hope, Lady of the Dawn, is portrayed as a divinity in the stunning artwork created on the occasion of Lucca Comics & Games 2022.
Hope is inspired by Yavanna, a divinity from Tolkien’s universe, and represents the healer of nature. The tree on which she stands is an ancient olive tree, as her colors recall the Italian flag; the ribbons fluttering in the wind symbolize freedom, creativity, and diversity.
The poster could not be complete without any references to the city of Lucca, its majestic walls, and the Cathedral of San Martino. This is how Lucca entrusts Nasmith with its sacred tree and instantly becomes Valinor, an enchanted realm, an earthly paradise… to redefine the present.
Now, without any further ado, let’s delve into my report.
If you consistently follow this blog you’ll know that I’ve been attending this fair for many years already, with my first post here dating back to the 2013 edition. If you go back to that article you’ll find out that over 200.000 people visited the fair those days: an impressive number, if you consider how small the town actually is. Well, during the 2022 editions about 320.000 tickets were sold and, since the tickets are needed “only” if you want to visit the pavilions but the city is actually open to anyone, we possibly had at least 100.000 visitors per day inside Lucca’s walls. If you consider these as small numbers compared to where you live, think back: according to the official statistics, the residents inside the walls are normally less than 10.000!
Over the years the outstanding direction made by the Official Committee has improved fair layout, logistics, security, and the maximum number of available tickets to allow for a better experience for anyone. This year the level cap was set to 75.000 tickets per day, and 3 out 5 of the days ended with a sold-out. As usual, many national and international guests were present: the 2022 edition, among others, hosted Tim Burton, Nolan Bushnell, and Goro Taniguchi.
Put in other words, Lucca Comics&Games is the biggest event in Europe and one of the most important in the World, only second to Tokyos’ Comiket and walking together with San Diego’s Comicon. As a sum of both, Lucca not only hosts comics and games (board games, video games, live RPG events etc …) but also cosplayers contests, art sessions, action figures displays, movie premieres (like One Piece: Red), and live concerts. I was there for 4 of the 5 days, so here is a selection of what I have seen and done.
Walking down the streets of Lucca is a magnificent experience on its own: ancient squares, churches, and monuments are hidden everywhere inside the high walls; narrow alleys and secret gardens allow for an extraordinary journey which is even enhanced while the fair is on, as you can see in the next pictures.
During those four days I continuously shifted from enjoying the city to visiting the pavilions and, also due to the good and warm weather, Lucca Comics&Games 2022 ended up in a truly renewing experience.
If you have never been to Lucca, I surely encourage you to visit it at least once in a lifetime (late Spring and late Autumn are the best periods, but the town is beautiful and pleasant to visit all year round); if you are a fan of these kinds of fairs YOU MUST come at least once in your life. On my side, I still have in my eyes what I’ve seen and done during that long weekend. Lucca Comics&Games 2023 is already scheduled in the period 1-5 November 2023. Next November can’t come soon enough!
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