CULTURE

Capital gearing up for yet another comics extravaganza

The annual Vavel International Comics Festival is about to take place once more. The event, one of the more important European cartoon festivals, will be held at the Technopolis arts complex from Thursday to Sunday. This year’s program will include eight tributes to acclaimed and up-and-coming comic artists, three themed exhibitions (the major one being that of the Czech surrealists), the standard group exhibition of Greek artists who have been inspired by the festival theme, many parallel events and live music. The exhibition by Francois Schuiten, who received the big prize at the Angouleme International Comics Festival, will be the event’s main attraction. Schuiten combines storytelling with science fiction. In his most well-known work, the series «Les cites obscures» (in collaboration with scriptwriter Benoit Peeters), the heroes meet their destinies under imposing yet artful architectural creations in unknown and imaginary lands. Italy will again have a strong presence at the festival. Comic creator Filippo Scozzari played a leading role on the Italian comics scene in the 1980s, while Massimo Giacon is a pioneer comic designer, painter and designer. His work has been published in the most important comic magazines in Europe and he has also exhibited paintings all over the world. As a designer, he has worked with top companies including Alessi, Swatch, Memphis, Artemide and others. Both an illustrator and graphic artist, Guido Scarabottolo is one of the leading men on Italy’s contemporary art scene. His trademark simple style has earned him important international awards and he is considered to be the main representative of the so-called «Italian style.» Massimo Caccia belongs to the younger generation of Italian artists. Using strong contradictions, he sets his cartoons in strange lands. Argentinean artist Oscar Chichoni has earned his reputation as one of the most dazzling modern illustrators. His work captivates audiences, not only because of its artistic quality but also due to its challenging themes. His powerful ability to express himself, combined with the strange colors he uses, take the reader to places where man and machine become one, where rust and metal triumph and humans gain extraordinary dimensions. The exhibition of posters by Chuck Sperry will definitely draw the public’s attention. The posters he has done for some of the most popular rock bands are recognized all over the world. Artists such as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, U2, Madonna, Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins, John Lee Hooker and Garbage have had concert posters created by Sperry. The main exhibition area will host works by artists Spyros Verykios and Lazaros Zikos, while Andreas Kassapis and Aris Baraboutis, two young and promising artists, will create a parallel world together. One should not miss the exhibition of works by the oldest group of surrealists. The Czech group was formed in 1934, survived all the political changes between then and now, and remains active, while also staying up to date. The exhibition features the participation of 13 group members, both young and old.