BilBOlbul International comic festival Information

Bologna, January 2008

BilBOlbul. International comic festival

Second edition

Bologna 5th-9th march 2008

Presented by Hamelin Associazione Culturale

From the 5th to the 9th of march 2008 Bologna becomes the Italian capital town of comics, thanks to the Second edition of BilBOlbul. International comic festival, organized by Hamelin Associazione Culturale.

The Festival is promoted by: Comune di Bologna, Assessorato alla Cultura della Regione Emilia-Romagna, Assessorato alla Cultura e Pari Opportunità della Provincia di Bologna, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna. Main sponsor: Gruppo Hera. Sponsor: Coop Adriatica, Librerie Coop, IGD, Ascom, Emil Banca, Di Giansante Hotel, Aeroporto di Bologna e Arci Bologna. In collaborazione con Cineteca di Bologna, Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, Museo Archeologico di Bologna, Biblioteca Sala Borsa.

After the first edition big success, this year BilBOlbul presents a richer and more extensive program focusing on the author’s figure, the contamination among languages and the dialogue among comics and other art forms, underlining the relation between comics and Jazz.

The Festival confirms its international vocation with a special section dedicated to Chinese and American comic, and its strong link with production and creativeness with the promotion of a national contest for young artists.

The official image of the Festival second edition was drawn by Gabriella Giandelli: a tribute to BilBolbul, the first Italian comic character ever, created by Attilio Mussino, one hundred years after his creation.


The main event of 2008 edition is the exhibition dedicated to GIANNI DE LUCA (1927-1991), from the 6th of march to the 11th of may at Museo Civico Archeologico.

It’s the first anthological exhibition dedicated to one of the most important Italian comic authors, showing about 250 works, thanks to the collaboration of Laura De Luca and other collectors: pages and illustrations from his first stories published on “Il Vittorioso” to masterworks as Il commissario Spada, the trilogy based on Shakespeare’s works, Paulus and the comic adaptations of Il giornalino di Gian Burrasca and The black arrow: a tale of the two roses.

The exhibition develops chronologically through De Luca’s style, and shows the elegance of his stroke, the plasticity of his shapes, the assortment of technical solutions, the accuracy of historical documentation, the particular attention to architectural drawing, the ability to create unforgettable human portraits.

There is going to be also a section all about the most important formal innovactions in De Luca’s graphic research, especially from the publication of Il commissario Spada in 1970 , a daring work not only from an aesthetic point of view but also for its contents: stories dealing with drugs, terrorism, organized delinquency, depression after economical boom in the seventies Italian society, generational crash, hippies communities, reminiscences of civil war during Second World War.

During the run of Il Commissario Spada series, De Luca brings more and more revolutionary formal innovactions to his style: the rendering of motion, the layouts new solutions, the abatement of single frames towards a concept of page as an endless sequence, the combination of graphic and painting techniques. One of the greatest international experimenters, at the same level as Crepax, Moebius, Eisner and Toppi, who influenced international authors as Dave McKean, Bill Sienkiewicz and Frank Miller.

Last but not least, the exhibition wants to show, through writings, essays and other different memorials, the absolute awareness De Luca had about making comics: the civic and educational role images can have, the drawing as a method to explore different aspects of reality.

The exhibition is going to be bound to a symposium (6th of march – Fine Arts Academy of Bologna), in which academics, authorities, critics but also artists and writers have been asked to tribute De Luca’s artistic and creative figure.


Downtown Bologna is going to be the background of BilBOlbul festival, hosting exhibitions and meetings with Italian and international authors in unusual places as museums, coffee-houses, art galleries, libraries, book shops…


There are many relations between comic language and jazz music. Many famous comic authors, Robert Crumb, Guido Crepax or Munoz and Sampayo amongst them, dedicated stories to the world of afro-american music. Louis Joos is one of the artists that deepened the relation between comics and jazz the most, through a sequence of works dedicated to performers as Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus.

Thanks to his black and white pictorial line, Joos is able to translate to paper the mood and the beat of afro-american music, the smokey ambient of jazz clubs, the speed of improvisation, creating portraits that are moreover tales about music.

He’s now working on two books about jazz performers John Coltrane and Louis Armstrong, and on another book about Charles Mingus.

His works, never seen in Italy before, are being shown thanks to an exhibition in Museo della Musica, realized in collaboration with Communauté Française de Belgique-Wallonie-Bruxelles.

Joos’ drawings and pictures are going to be put in relation with the permanent collection of the museum, the ancient musical instruments and the scores: a way to think about comparison between visual arts and music.

Joos is going to be also one of the main guests of the opening meeting of BilBOlbul, dedicated to jazz music seen through out different art forms.


Bologna as a bridge from Asia to America, thanks to the exhibitions of some of the most innovative authors from China and United States: Anders Nilsen, Kevin Huizenga, Paul Hornschemeier, Hok Tak Yeung and Chihoi Lee.

Anders Nilsen, Kevin Huizenga and Paul Hornschemeier create stories and atmospheres far different the ones from the others: from minimal and daily events to literary versions, from philosophical allegories to excursuses in fantastical dimensions, always paying much attention to comic language experimentations.

The exhibition means to present and compare the work of the three authors, underlining some common thematics, as attention on inner and outdoor landscapes, experimentations with comic language, relations with philosophy and religion.

Hok Tak Yeung and Chihoi Lee, both from Hong Kong, were born one in 1970 and the other in 1977. They are some of the most important authors of contemporary Chinese comics and constitutors of “Springroll”, by now become a cult magazine.

The exhibition, assembled thanks to Bd à Bastia comic festival and Comica London festival is going to present an overview on the two authors’ work.


The festival also devotes an important focus on adventure thematics, through the first Italian exhibition of Christophe Blain’s work, that inheritates the important tradition of adventure comic and literature, and actualizes it thanks to characters that are nothing more than common people managing to survive to particular and strange situations.

Blain’s style is somehow minimal, due to his synthetic stroke and to his lifeful colors.

A spontaneous and instinctive way of drawing that makes the cinematic motion effect of his sequences grow more important from panel to panel.

As a matter of fact, all the exhibition assembled thanks to Maison Française and Fumetto Luzern festival is going to focus on the adventure thematic, developed by the author in many different ways, throught out his works.

Bound to adventure thematics also the presentation of the new episode (written by Matteo Casali and drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli) from Gli Scorpioni del Deserto series, created by Hugo Pratt in the Sixties: main character is Liutenant Koinsky, a polack soldier enrolled in the English Army, acting in Oriental Africa during Second World War.


Two important exhibitions are dedicated by BilBOlbul to Gabriella Giandelli and Stefano Ricci.

Born in 1963 in Milano, Gabriella Giandelli’s one of the most cultured and tasteful European comic authors. She started publishing her works in 1984 on “Alter Alter”, and since then on a lot of different Italian and international magazines as “Frigidaire”, “Dolce Vita”, “Strapazin”, “L’echo des Savanes”, “Nova Express”, “Frigobox”, and “Black”.

She created the graphic novels Silent Blanket, Hanno aspettato un po’ poi se ne sono andate and Sous les feuilles.

She also collaborates as an illustrator with the principal Italian newspapers, magazines and publishers: Einaudi, Feltrinelli, Internazionale, Il Manifesto, La Repubblica, Il Sole 24 Ore, Mondadori, Il Melangolo, Condè Nast, Seuil, “Linea d’ombra”, Lo Straniero, “Teléma”, Baldini & Castoldi, “Art’è”, “Urban”, MinimumFax, EditoriRiuniti.

For the last years, she has been drawing illustrations for childhood. She created Milo, a little bunny who is the principal character of a lot of illustrated books, and also of a cartoon played by Rai 3 and France 5.

As a designer, she drew carpets and cloths for Alchimia and Memphis, and objects for Alessi and Swatch.

She’s now working on Interiorae, a graphic novel published by Coconino Press, a story that recalls the novel Life: A usuer’s manual by George Perec. In Interiorae the lifes of the inhabitants of a big apartment block entwine the ones to the others. The exhibition is inspired by this concept, and is going to underline the particular way Gabriella Giandelli represents interior spaces in which objects become the main characters, and seem to rise to life.

Stefano Ricci was born in 1966 in Bologna and lives now in Hamburg. He is surely one of the authors that works more on experimentation of limits and possible evolutions of comic and illustration language.

His work spaces from comics to illustration, from graphics to scenography.

Since 1985 he has been collaborating with many Italian and international magazines and publishers as “La Repubblica”, “Internazionale”, “Alias”, “Frigidaire”, “Dolce vita”, “Il manifesto”, “Esquire”, “Panorama”, “Teléma”, “Glamour”, “HP”, “Follow me”, “Liberation”, “Les Inrockuptibles”, “Lo Straniero”, “Telerama”, “L’Humanité”, Mondadori, Rizzoli, Einaudi, Salani, Carocci.

He realized two long stories: in 1993 Tufo, written by di Philippe de Pierpont, and in 1996 Anita, written by Gabriella Giandelli, but also four monographies titled Deposito Nero, collecting hundreds of drawings.

Since 1994 he has been creating different publishing design projects, thanks to whom he received nominations for ADI, Design Index 2000 and Compasso d’Oro 2001 award.

Since 2003 he has been the art director of “Bianco e nero” magazine, published by Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma.

He teaches comics and contemporary graphics at D.A.M.S. Gorizia, University of Udine, and drawing at University of Applied Arts in Hamburg.

During his career, the artist collaborated to many projects in different art fields, with Teatro Testoni, la Compagnia di Leo De Berardinis, il Teatro della Polvere, la Compagnia Modica Manchisi, il Centro di Promozione Teatrale “La Soffitta”, la Compagnia Abbondanza Bertoni and with important artists as Raffaella Giordano, Mario Martone e Giovanni Maderna.

The exhibition is going to be an overview assembled by the artist himself on the different art fields crossed throught out his career .


Born in 1977 in Bruges, Olivier Schrauwen studied animation at the Art School of Gent, and comic language at St. Luc Institute of Bruxelles. His first works were published by anthologies and magazines as “Hic sunt leones”, “Beeldstorm”, “Demo”, “INK”, “Zone5300” and “Spirou”.

In 2006 the Belgian editor Bries publishes My Boy, a graphic novel nominated as Best book of the year at Angouléme Festival 2007. My Boy soon achieved great popular and critical success.

The author’s extraordinary talent allows him to filter the style of comic fuglemen as Winsor McCay and Lyonel Feininger and create stories in which a surreal mood is used to meditate about contemporaneity.

The exhibition, arranged with the collaboration of Collegio dei Fiamminghi of Bologna Jean Jacobs and Flemish Fund of Anversa is going to show not only My Boy original art but also an overview on Schrauwen’s work.

Marijpol was born in 1982 in Berlin. She lives and works in Hamburg. Her work, influenced by the style of authors like Anke Feuchtenberger and Francesca Ghermandi, is starting to be noticed in the world of alternative and indipendent comics. Her stories are published by magazines as “Panik Elektro” and “Orange”, and by the webzine

The exhibition, arranged with the collaboration of Goethe Institute of Bologna, is a chance to take a look at the work of an artist never seen in Italy before.

Born in 1977 in Montebelluna, Luca Genovese lives and works in Bologna. In 2001 he debuts with “Della nebbia e altre storie”, an anthology of short stories published by Centro Fumetto “Andrea Pazienza” of Cremona.

In 2003 he sets up with the writer and friend Luca Vanzella the indipendent comic label Self Comics, one of the most operant Italian labels. Besides being the editor and art director of Self Comics, he published under this name many short stories.

In 2005 he won the “Nuove Strade” award at Napoli Comicon, and recently the award as Best Artist for his work on the book Ferragosto at Treviso Comics 2007.

The exhibition is going to show a selection of sketches and original artwork from the author’s last work, a graphic novel, written by Luca Vanzella, about the Italian songwriter Luigi Tenco.


The festival is presenting some important premieres and an animation shorts review in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna.

The most important projection is “Peurs du noir”, the animated movie directed by Etienne Robial, Famous artists as Blutch, Burns, Caillou, di Sciullo, Kramsky, Mattotti, McGuire, Pirus, Slocombe worked on the project. The exhibition bound to the movie is going to show some serigraphies based on the movie frames.

“Free Jimmy” is a Norwegian film released in 2006. It is Norway’s first computer animated feature film, the second most expensive Norwegian film to date, costing in excess of 16 million dollars. The film is written and directed by Norwegian underground comic author Christopher Nielsen, with English screenplay by Simon Pegg. Voice actors include Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton.

Will Eisner: Portrait of a sequential artist, directed by Andrew D. Cooke, is a tribute to one of the most important authors in all comic history: filmed in collaboration with Eisner himself until his death, it puts together memorials from artists as Art Spiegelman, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller.

The life and work of Magnus, the comic author protagonist of the first edition of BilBOlbul Festival, are the subject of Magnus: Il segno del viandante, directed by Giovanni Eccher: a documentary about the stories, the ideas, the style of one of the masters of Italian comic.

The “Animate!” review is a tribute to the work of the homonym English network of artists. Active since 1991, it has been developing hybrid animation projects, through a mash up of techniques and languages.


Every week the magazine “Internazionale” translates in Italian language a selection of the best articles and reviews published by international press. An overview on culture, politics, economy, technology and science.

Since his beginning “Internazionale” has been dedicating an important space to comics (Spiegelman, Sacco, Satrapi, Gipi, Mattotti and many more) and illustration (Ghermandi, Scarabottolo, Giandelli, Ricci, Igort, etc): works that enrich the editorial project and integrate themselfes with articles published by the magazine.

In the past year “Internazionale” has been publishing weekly “Cartoline da…”: a regular two-pages “column” in which Italian and international comic authors are invited to write and most of all draw a reportage about everyday events, with their personal style and approach to storytelling, with a journalistic tone.

The exhibition is going to show a selection of stories from the column “Cartoline da…”. A way to compare different styles of drawing and storytelling, and to glance at different kinds of events and situations happening all around the world.


A special section is going to be dedicated to young readers, thanks to meetings with the authors, and two exhibitions: one about Cocco Bill, the character created by Jacovitti and now drawn by Luca Salvagno, and the other about the contest that involved nine to eleven years old kids during the months preceding the Festival in realizing a two-page story about themselves acting in the town of Bologna in the future.


Academy of fine arts of Bologna is going to host the exhibition dedicated to the project that connected the illustration/storytelling classes of Hamburg Dmi Faculty, Bande Dessinée section of Saint Luc Institute of Bruxelles and comic language/illustration corse constituted four years ago just at Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna.

The project, created in 2006 in Hamburg, expected an interchange among the schools, thanks to the common denominator of drawing and of an intimate approach to artistic creation. Workshops and exhibitions were set up in the three towns where the schools are based in (Hamburg, Bruxelles, Bologna).

Flashfumetto ( is the website of the municipality of Bologna entirely dedicated to comic language and comic authors based in the town and in the district.

Day by day the website publishes news, events, books presentations, reviews. An important section is dedicated to authors (pros, but even beginners) and their works.

For BilBolbul international comic Festival, Flashfumetto banned the “30 minuti in 2000 pixel” nationwide contest.

This exhibition is the chance to celebrate the website third year of activity, and to give visibility to young authors. Besides from the works selected by the jury among the ones sent for the contest, a special section is going to be dedicated to the works of some famous Italian comic authors, invited by the organization to participate to this storytelling experimentation.

For further informations: Hamelin Associazione culturale – tel. 0039.(0)51.233401

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