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Lucca Comics & Games 2023 Reveals Poster & First Guests

Organizers for Lucca Comics & Games 2023 have revealed the first lineup of guests and events for this year's festival in November.

Organizers for Lucca Comics & Games have revealed their initial plans for the 2023 festival, along with the poster art for this year's event. This year is the 30th anniversary of Lucca Games, the games section of the event that was added to the original festival all those years ago. So to celebrate it, they are going their best to bring in a ton of talent and activities to celebrate the occasion. The first round of guests announced includes Naoki Urasawa, Garth Ennis, Craig Thompson, Howard Chaykin, Don Ross, Jim Lee, Luis Royo, Kim Bo-Young, and Joe Manganiello. Manganiello specifically will be an international ambassador for the event, as he'll be on hand to talk about his upcoming Dungeons & Dragons documentary in collaboration with Wizards of the Coast, coming in 2024. We have the full rundown of the initial guests invited for this year's event for you below, as it will take place in Lucca, Italy, from November 1st-5th, 2023.

Lucca Comics & Games 2023 Reveals Poster & First Guests
Credit: Lucca Comics & Games

Lucca Comics & Games 2023

World-renowned Israeli twins, cartoonist Asaf Hanuka and The New Yorker illustrator Tomer Hanuka, were selected as this year's poster creators. Faced with the theme 'Together' the twins decided to present themselves in a composition that has the symbolic richness of a Tarot card. An oriental dragon moves towards the towers of Lucca, wrapped in lush, decorated plants, descending as a line of light from the sky and knotted into a symbol of infinity to represent the vastness of the stories, art, drawing and passions shared by the festival's heterogeneous characters. The twins collaborated on comics (The Divine, on texts by Boaz Lavie), concept art for animation (A Waltz with Bashir, by Ari Folman, the first animation nominated for the Oscar of Best Foreign Language Film in 2009), and on personal artistic projects (The Moodies). Last year Tolkien artist Ted Nasmith created the poster on the festival's theme of 'Hope.'

Celebrating 30 years of Lucca Games also means celebrating 30 years of Magic: The Gathering. The Creator and historic President of Wizards of Coast, Peter Adkison will be in Lucca to present the Italian premiere of the feature film Igniting the Spark. The Story of Magic: The Gathering. After the great success of Eye of the Beholder: the art of Dungeon & Dragons, director Kelley Slagle (Cavegirl Production) and producers Brian Stillman (X-Ray Films) and Seth Polansky (Cavegirl Production) have chosen Lucca Comics & Games to present their new documentary, dedicated to the famous trading card game. In the video game part of the festival, Rand Miller, CEO and Co-Founder of Cyan Worlds, co-creator of Myst and Riven will be attending as a special guest. As well as the 30th anniversary of Lucca Games, it's also the 30th anniversary of Myst, the iconic video game.

Individual Guest Announcements

Emanuele Vietina expressed his delight saying, "It is difficult to overestimate the importance of Cyan and these two iconic games in the development of the gaming industry. Lucca Comics & Games is fortunate to celebrate Rand and Cyan on this important anniversary which demonstrates Lucca Crea's thought leadership, and recognition of international creatives that shape not only our culture, but our future." Author Naoki Urasawa has chosen Lucca Comics & Games for his first visit to Italy. Thanks to the collaboration with Panini Comics, fans will be able to meet Sensei in a series of events. Naoki's work has sold over 140 million copies worldwide and the recipient of the most prestigious awards: from the Shogakukan Manga Award to the Eisner Award, without forgetting four Gran Guinigi won for best serial comic in 2004, 2010, 2012, and 2021 for Monster, Pluto, Billy Bat, and Asadora!, respectively.

Also attending is Jim Lee, a superstar of American comics and started working in the House of Ideas at the age of just 23, drawing various stories, including X-Men #1, the comic that still holds the record for best-selling comic book in history. Luis Royo, considered the most influential European artist of his kind, returns to Lucca Comics & Games with an exhibition in Palazzo Ducale dedicated to his art. His fantastic and erotic works have made him one of the most important contemporary artists in his field – and in 2016, he left his handprint for the Lucca Comics & Games 'Walk of Fame.' His son Romulo, one of the most crystalline talents among contemporary artists, joins him, with the two generations confronting each other until they create a single image using the techniques most loved by each of the two artists. Garth Ennis changed the world of comics forever, and at Lucca Comics & Games it will be possible to see some of his most iconic boards live in an exhibition dedicated to his work – curated by Luca Bitonte and Alessandro Apreda, aka DocManhattan – at the Palazzo Ducale. Ennis, a first-time visitor to Lucca Comics & Games, will give fans a chance to meet him in dedicated panels and signing sessions in the Panini and SaldaPress pavilions.

Author of Rizzoli Lizard, Craig Thompson, who has already won two Eisner Awards and two Ignatz Awards, will also be attending. It will be a unique opportunity to meet the creator of unforgettable works such as Habibi and Blankets and to visit an exhibition about him, which will be set up in the foyer of the Teatro del Giglio. Author Howard Chaykin will have an exhibition dedicated to him, set up at the Banca del Monte Foundation. It's a large retrospective made of non-public works by Italian collectors and some of his most recent works. The author will be present at the festival with SaldaPress, which will bring among others, the Omnibus of Black Kiss and the iconoclast The Divided States of Hysteria, containing unpublished pages, including an alternative ending. Don Rosa, with his Scrooge McDuck saga, and who won the prestigious Eisner Award in the United States, returns to Lucca with Panini Comics after his last visit in 2019.

To top it off, Lucca Comics & Games celebrates the 100 years of Dino Battaglia. One century after his birth and forty years after his death, we celebrate one of the absolute masters of comics, the Venetian artist Dino Battaglia, with an exhibition at Chiesa dei Servi divided into fundamental macro-themes – adventure and war, the religious, the fantastic-metaphysical-science fiction, the fables. The Images are distinguished by his ethereal, disturbing and suffused trait, ideal for transmitting messages of peace and brotherhood.

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Gavin SheehanAbout Gavin Sheehan

Gavin is the current Games Editor for Bleeding Cool. He has been a lifelong geek who can chat with you about comics, television, video games, and even pro wrestling. He can also teach you how to play Star Trek chess, be your Mercy on Overwatch, recommend random cool music, and goes rogue in D&D. He also enjoys hundreds of other geeky things that can't be covered in a single paragraph. Follow @TheGavinSheehan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Hive, for random pictures and musings.
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