Posted by: lizlitzow | October 31, 2010

Comics & Games Festival in Lucca

setting up for the festival

Lucca is not the most likely spot to host an international comics and games festival. After all it is the birthpace of one of Italy’s most famous composers – Giacomo Puccini. Lucca is like an elegant lady – a place that is steeped in history and tradition.

But… for four days at the end of October and the beginning of November over a long weekend the city is transformed as thousands flock to an international festival dedicated to the art and history of comics. Stretching over 16,000 sq m the Lucca Comics & Games Festival attracts some 85,000 visitors a year and over 360 exhibitors from all over Italy.

The festival is a part of Italian life most tourists will never see. Not only for the sheer enormity of Italian comics in one spot, but also for the parade of comic fanatics, the true believers who attend in fancy dress. Never mind Gucci and Prada – this is more like Rocky Horror at its creative best.

Now in its 44th edition, Lucca Comics has grown over the decades and includes contemporary forms of comics such as video games and swop cards. The market for swop cards is especially good in Italy for as one observer said “Italians just love design” And we know they love wearing it too.

The Blue Family in Lucca

Fumetto the Italian word for comics actually means speech balloon. It was first used in 1942 and stems from the shape of the bubble resembling a cloud of smoke (fumo in Italian)


  1. Hmmmm – I probably wouldn’t seek this festival out but if I stumbled on it—ok.
    I’d rather just see Lucca without the ghouls etc..You can tell I’m not into Halloween either!!

    • Actually, the Comics and Games festival is nothing to do with Halloween. It is just during the long weekend. Monday is a holiday to celebrate All Saints Day, following All Souls day and is a public holiday in Italy. It’s not a tourist event but very fun all the same. We have been to many events and festivals in Italy, and this was really fun.

  2. I like the way you describe Lucca as an “elegant lady”, Deb – very true! Interesting to see how you show us the elements of modern Italy mixed with the elegance of old Lucca. I like festivals, a fun excuse for people to dress up in their comic fantasies.

  3. Hehe great people pics! What a photogenic lot they are 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures! what a wonderful event!

  5. Thanks for sharing us informative entries.

  6. Wow, seems strange for Lucca but good to see such a crowd enjoying themselves.

  7. That does sound like a weird and wonderful spot of fun, if it happened on my doorstep, I’d check it out too. I’ve always been surprised by the huge following some niches have, its crazy in a way but sounds fun all the same. A friend of mine lives in the Lakes district in UK…, and once a year everyone goes nuts dressing up as kings, queens & court jesters – loads of fun huh.

  8. Oh to be the lady with the chain saw hands! What couldn’t I do!! Well, the ironing for starters….oh, to be the lady with the chain saw hands!! Costumes are interesting aren’t they – they let you step outside of yourself, what fun. And what an apt name for comics, fumetto.

    • Those chainsaws could come in handy for all sorts of things.

    • It was great fun – and the people who were in costume, I think, had the best time of all. Glad you liked our blog. Liz

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