Just a brief report from our first European convention. Just as we’ve always heard, the crowd is respectful and youthful. Buses of school children are coming in to tour the exhibits of Juan Guarnido, Víctor de la Fuente, Asterix, and other spectacular artists. Yesterday the huge hall filled with exhibits of Planeta, Glenat, Astiberri and so on was very peaceful and the crowd was quite modest. Today the crowds are considerable, and navigating through the floor is as busy as a big con — and considering the aisles are twice as wide, that’s saying something. We hear some 80-90,000 people are expected, and the hall is big enough to handle that crowd. And the thing they seem to be here for is COMICS. There are some booths that sell cute t-shirts and a few toy booths, but mostly its comics comics comics. There are a couple of Wii demonstration booths and amazingly the girls were just standing around yesterday. (Today everything was a lot busier.)
We’ve also witnessed the European manga revolution first hand as tables are covered with Spanish editions of Naruto, One Piece, and so on and they are just as popular here as in the US. The manga revolution began about 10 years ago, and while it´s a mature market in Spain as in the rest of Europe, it hasn’t slowed any.
Despite the interest in American comics, manga and bande desinee, and the number of great Spanish artists, there isn’t much of a market for original Spanish comics. We’re still making enquiries as to why that is, as it seems very odd when comics, the form itself, seems to be quite popular.
There are many other comments we could make on how the audience here differs from an American con-going rowd but suffice to say — it’s all true,
More reports and photos eventually!