April 11-14: International Comic Fair Barcelona

The English language website is somewhat scarce.

The Catalan news website 324.cat had an article (+video) on the event. Under the heading “The international comic fair opens its gates with a large exhibition on Wild West comics and another one on the crisis,” it reported the following (excerpts):

On 19,000 square metres the fans of comics find all genres, from those of the superheroes that have seen a revival, to the Japanese Manga, somewhat on downturn. The exhibition on Wild West comics is the biggest that has ever taken place and shows 233 originals, and also some of the typical characters cut out in cardboard: cowboys, soldiers, Indians, villains, and vigilantes.

The exhibition “You cannot cut humour” (with reference to the generalized cuts in government spending as part of the reigning doctrine of austerity) is dedicated to those authors of graphic novels that portray the effects of the current crisis, the cuts, the vanishing purchasing power of the lower and middle classes, and the home evictions.

Other spaces are dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Superman, to the X-Patrol, and the Avengers. Warner Bros. presents new movies and videogames that are based on successful comics, such as The Iron Man and Pacific Rim.

The mentioned article points out that the “superhero” comics are those that have been most successful in keeping their sales during the crisis. They have a faithful readership that runs from age 8 to age 60.  On the other side, Manga comics have fared worst during the crisis; those that arrive in Spain are addressed mainly at adolescent readers with little purchasing power, depending on their parents’ wallet. The important publishers are now in a process of re-directing their business to concentrate on adult readers.

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