Oct. 29 – Nov. 1. Open daily 9 am – 7 pm. Admission: daily entrance ranges from €15 – €20, children free.
Groups of people dressed up as their favorite cult characters lead the way to the Lucca International Festival of Comics, Animation, Illustration and Games. It gives an overview of the latest releases, provides an opportunity to meet the artists and to participate in workshops.
An integral part of the event, the Costume Players aka Cosplayers, through parades, bring to life comic strips, movies and video games such as Bleach, Avengers and Assassin’s Creed, adding to the colorful environment. Lucca Comics and Games has grown to be the biggest European festival in its field and has vastly expanded into occupying the entire city inside the historic walls.
For the first time in its history, there is a cap limit on the number of attendees to 80,000 because of the festival’s growing popularity. Trenitalia will have 82 train lines specifically for Lucca Comics to transport guests from Florence, Pisa, Viareggio, Aulla, and Bologna. This service will be enhanced on Saturday October 31 and November 1 weekend.
The theme for this year’s edition is “…si, Viaggiare!” promising a plethora of imaginative, imaginary journeys.
The comic festival also marks a time-honored Celtic tradition with a Halloween Party on October 31. In order to be considered “worthy” of entrance to the factory, guests must sign in with “blood,” adding an extra kick to the already frightful experience that is yet to come.
A Monster Walk is scheduled at 9 pm from the factory to Piazza San Michele with celebratory music and people dressed up as supernatural figures – there will also be horror-themed drinks to complement the spooky theme. At 10:30 pm in the Cinema Central there will be a national preview of “Tales of Halloween” open to all except children under 18.
Anticipation is in in the air for the premier of the first episode of Doctor Who’s nineth series on Friday, October 30 (6:30 pm). Before the October 31 Halloween Party, Cinema Centrale will show the film “La Tomba delle Lucciole” (Grave of the Fireflies).
As the festival started out as Lucca Comics in 1993, cartoons remain key.
There will be key comic book authors at the event including Kamui Fujiwara, author of Dragon Quest, Yasuhiro Nightow author of ‘Trigun’ and ‘Blood Blockade Battlefront,’ Tsutomu Nihei, creator of ‘Blame!’ and ‘Knight of Sidonia.’ The famous author of “Hikari Club,” Usamaru Furuya, will have an entire showcase dedicated to his work on October 30 at 4 pm.
On the same day, a grand Comic Contest will be held, where comic artists compete for the “Premio Gran Guinigi 2015” in the categories of Best Graphic Novel, Best Short Comic Story, and Best Series.
American comic book artist Richard McGuire will be honored with an exhibition called “Qui” celebrating the new version of his publication. He works regularly for the New Yorker and has collaborated with New York Times.
This area as usual hosts sessions of board games, Role Playing Games ( RPGs) and Live Action Role-Playing games (LARPs).
Cult costumes are a symbol of the many participants at Lucca Comics and Games, who also come to meet people with the same passions while experiencing a world of fantasy come to life.
For the entire four days of the event, inside the city walls a space will be reserved for “La Cittadella: Medieval Times,” designed for audiences to compete in tournaments of arms, archery and popular games. There will be areas dedicated to the famous Final Fantasy, Lord of the Rings, and a Harry Potter shop in Diagon Alley style for visitors to fully submerge themselves into the realm of magic.
Surrounded by comic and games fanatics, and the blending of both comics and Halloween will act as a stimulus for vivid and visionary dreams to become reality over the entire weekend.
For more information visit www.luccacomicsandgames.com. (kim frias/additional reporting by jessica pucci)