Treviso Comic Book Festival: Day One by Rich Johnston

Rich Johnston is in Italy, writing from the Treviso Comics Festival. Apologies for the reduced posting but this is bloody Italy, okay?

Day One: Okay, there have been a few events before today. But I flew in this morning. Or, rather, we did.

“F-ck me, even I’d shag her…”

That’s my wife there, as we sit on the piazza watching the beautiful Italians pass. This hitherto unsuspected tendency towards bisexuality on behalf of my life partner is just one of the surprising things that have happened since arriving in Treviso, just north of Venice, for the Treviso Comic Book Festival.

Firstly there were the infinite plates or cheese and smoked meats in the presence of David B and Emile Bravo, laid on by out host Michele Foschini. I knew there was a reason we skipped breakfast.

Followed by the realisation that even in the land of gelato and sorbet, they still sell Walls Calippos.

Then there was the coffee concoctions that make you realise that Starbucks are even more evil than you previously thought.

Oh, and yes, comics. I’m here with BAO Publishing, a company I got to know after selling them the Italian rights to Neonomicon. (I have the second issue on my laptop to take with me and, boy…). They also seem to be doing a big line in Chew. We arrived as the show was opening and I got a few early shots before the crowds.

Even the clothes shops in town were getting in on the act.

I also did a panel which was basically explaining the American comic book distribution and publication systems to Italy, to see if there was anything they could learn from, copy or avoid. I think I went over okay, even though my wife insists I was introduced as the Anti-Christ.

I was very happy to pick up the NeverMate comic series by Ritorno A Mynerun. A self-publisher, he’s been finding success outside the two main distributors in Italy, by hand selling to retailers. I recommended he consider touring Italy, much in the manner the likes of Jeff Smith and Dave Sim did.

I also did a brief impromptu portfolio review in which I saw two stunning artists who could and should get work at all major US publishers now. And they would, if only they knew how. I promised I’d pass some of their work along… more of that tomorrow I think.

I finish writing this, staying in the most amazing flat done up like an classic Italian diner. I’m at one of the breakfast tables. Here let me take a photo…

See? Anyway, it’s 9pm, now we’re off to a party. An Italian comics party. I hope I return home with all my internal organs intact. It’s the last day tomorrow. But we’ll be staying until Tuesday. Why? Venice of course!!!

UPDATE: Mo’ Photos!

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