Talking To Steve & Arno, Organisers Of Lake Como Comic Art Festival

 Arno Lapeyre owns and runs a number of the Pulp Comics chain of comic stores in France, including on the now-legendary Rue Dante in Paris, a street with more comic shops in closer proximity than anywhere else in the world. He's also one of the partners in a series of comic conventions in the American style, with the comic book agent Steve Morger. known for the Big Wow shows. Including last weekend's Lake Como Comic Art Festival, which I was very lucky to attend with my wife. A pure comic book artist convention –  no multimedia, no cosplay, no comic book writers even – unless they also draw. Just comic book artists and dealers in a luxurious environment in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, in and around Villa Erba, at Lake Como in Italy. And on the final day of the show, I got to talk to the show organisers, as they made plans to drive their guests back to Milan airport the next day.

Steve told me "one of the things that I like best is seeing the artists interact, because you've got so many people that have never met. As you know Rich, Serpieri and Frank (Cho) had a chance to chat and obviously they have certain things in common." Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri , creator of Druuna, a major influence on Frank Cho, and they have been working on a collaborative piece to be auctioned off by the show later in the year.

"We've had so many fans come up saying I can't believe that I have a chance to talk… people that are used to going to some of the bigger shows knowing that it's going to be hours in line, when here it's minutes in line. To me has been the biggest compliment, and hearing people smile as they're telling those stories."

Arno added "I heard Simone Bianchi, she heard some people say, oh that's it the secret is out, the best convention where people can have the best interactions, now people know but they can rest assured that our goal is to keep this feeling, this atmosphere so there's never going to be more than one thousand tickets sold, so it's never going to be something huge and that's our goal. One of our main objectives is to keep this atmosphere, so even if there are more people, it's going to be limited ."

Talking To Lake Como Comic Art Festival Organisers, Steve & Arno
YouTube screencap

The Lake Comic Comic Art Festival is a comic book convention that takes place in Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Como in Italy every year (pandemic allowing). It focuses on big-name comic book artists from the USA, the UK and mainland Europe, and attracts fans, collectors and dealers with a cap on attendance and a relatively high price. This affords greater access to creators, and for creators to maximise their earnings, all in the incredibly attractive scenery, culture, history, art and architecture of Lake Como.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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