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Lucca Comics & Games 2023 - New Guests announced

Updated: Feb 4

The Medieval City of Luca will become the world's 'Capital of Pop Culture' from 1st to 5th November

  • Dungeons & Dragons aficionado Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike, True Blood) and Italian comedian Lillo Petrolo become ambassadors of Lucca Games, the section of the festival dedicated to games celebrating 30 years in 2023

  • Magic: The Gathering enjoys its 30th year with a huge celebratory event including Premiere of new documentary.

  • Star Wars to launch Star Wars: Unlimited trading cards.

  • Netflix to present first episode of All The Light We Cannot See & first two episodes of SUBURRÆTERNA.

  • E-gaming tournaments to conclude their finals at the Riot Stadium (Valorant, League of Legends and more!)

Milan, Italy, 29th September 2023 - This year Lucca Comics & Games is more international than ever, with the ‘Ninth Art’ represented by more than 300 artists, including 45 international guests from the United States, Japan, Spain, France, South Korea, China, Canada, England, Argentina, Israel, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Belgium. A true ‘global edition’ brought to life by 61 publishing houses through which comic fans of all ages will be able to attend live meetings, signings, previews and exclusive events.

“This year we are expecting hundreds of Italian and international guests who will bring to life one of the biggest pop culture events in the world. We will celebrate our theme “Together” and break down all divisions to create a truly unique community event.” says Emanuele Vietina, Festival Director.

American & European talent attending Lucca Comics & Games includes Garth Ennis, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Don Rosa, Amélie Fléchais, Craig Thompson, Howard Chaykin, Tony Valente, Luis and Romulo Royo. Many others will attend, in a year which looks to bring some of the biggest names in comic art together. Bryan Talbot, Declan Shalvey, Jesse Jacobs and the duo Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura, who are presenting Sergeant Immortal are just some of the incredible names coming to the Italian event this year. The French/Belgian and European scene will be represented by many authors including Jordi Lafebre, David Rubin, Goran Sudžuka, Martin Panchaud, Elizabeth Pich and the duo Bastien Vivès and Martin Quenehen with the new ‘Corto Maltese’ adventure La Reine de Babylone.

Besides the already announced Naoki Urasawa, Hiro Mashima, Mingwa, and Masaaaki Ninomiya, a further six leading names on the Japanese comics scene will enrich the program. Usamaru Furuya will meet fans and present his work at an exhibition at Palazzo Ducale entitled ‘This Time is Different’. Kan Takahama will also present the exhibition Kan Takahama: The Hidden Stories and will meet fans in signing sessions and events. Keigo Shinzo, Shintaro Kago, Eldo Yoshimizu, and Satsuki Yoshino complete the extraordinary presence of Japanese artist at Lucca Comics & Games 2023. Chinese Comic artist Liang Azha, best known as the author & artist of Checkmate! Capture My Heart, Engraved on my Heart and Starting with a Lie will also be in Lucca for the duration of the festival. The festival’s outstanding Area Pro, created as a meeting place between publishers and aspiring comic book artists, will be housed in the former Museo del Fumetto and offers young professionals the opportunity to meet with three of the biggest names in the industry worldwide. Portfolio review sessions will be available with CB Cebulski - Marvel's Editor in Chief, Jim Lee - President, Publisher and Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics and Shunsuke Tanaka - editor of Kodansha, one of the most prestigious Japanese publishing houses


Lucca Games, the section of the festival dedicated to games, celebrates 30 years in 2023. A tale worth telling needs good storytellers so international star and Dungeons & Dragons aficionado Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike, True Blood) and Italian comedian Lillo Petrolo will be the ambassadors of Lucca Games 2023. On 2 November, Lillo will star in the main event on the stage of the Grog Live Show, which will see him and Joe Manganiello pitted against each other in an ironic encounter/clash as Grog (Lucca Games historic mascot this year designed by Karl Kopinski) and Arkhan, also known as Arkhan the Cruel, played by Joe Manganiello. Magic: The Gathering, the revolutionary community-based game par excellence also turns 30. Lucca Comics & Games pays homage to the first trading card game in history by dedicating an exhibition at Palazzo Arnolfini and creating the Magic Alley at Lucca Games, hosting 18 internationally renowned artists including Adam Paquette, Andrea Piparo, Jeff Laubenstein, Jesper Ejsing, Johan Grenier, Justine Jones, Marta Nael, Martina Fačková, Michele Giorgi, Mark Zug, Mila Pesic, Randy Vargas, Richard Kane-Ferguson, RK Post, Seb McKinnon, Svetlin Velinov, Milivoj Ćeran and Tony DiTerlizzi. The Italian premiere of the documentary Magic: The Gathering "Igniting the Spark" is also happening with the presence of the director, showrunner and producers. The exhibitions dedicated to gaming and fantasy have never been so rich, with 6 exhibitions including a show in the Carducci Pavilion of top quality prints and miniatures by the undisputed master of fantasy illustration, Frank Frazetta curated by his niece Sara Frazetta, appropriately named: Frazetta's Legacy: Art on Art. For fans of live role-playing games, The Citadel returns with tournaments, live demonstrations, parades and interactive events taking place on the Walls of Lucca as well as in its bastions and dungeons. Lucca Comics & Games will also host the premiere presentation of Star Wars: Unlimited, the brand-new trading card game with unlimited possibilities. The game will be launched worldwide in 2024, but it will be possible to play it first at the Carducci Pavilion in Lucca. Those who come to play Star Wars: Unlimited will receive two exclusive promo cards as a gift. Pete Fenlon, legendary game designer, Tolkien collector and CEO of Catan Studio, will be coming for the first time to kick off Catan Day on Saturday 4 November: a series of panel and tournament activities to remember the creator of The Settlers of Catan, Klaus Teuber, who recently passed away. Lucca Comics & Games will also host the 23/24 Catan National Championship where you will be able to compete to win access to the tables of the national final. Another big surprise for all role-playing game fans in Lucca: Free League is coming to Italy for the first time. From Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 November, Tomas Härenstam, Co-founder and CEO of Free League, as well as game designer of the celebrated Year Zero System and of incredible role-playing games such as Blade Runner, Alien, Dragonbane, Tales from the Loop, Twilight: 2000, Forbidden Lands and many others, will be present at the festival to present the latest novelties of the publishing house and celebrating Italian edition of Blade Runner - Il Gioco di Ruolo. Sir Ian Livingstone will be in Lucca on 1 November with Raven Distribution for the launch of the book Dice Men: The Origin Story Of Games Workshop, the never-before-told story of the iconic company that forever changed the world of tabletop gaming. Tony DiTerlizzi's presence will be an opportunity to celebrate a milestone among Dungeons & Dragons settings, Planescape. Lucca will host the world premiere of the artbook The Pen & Ink Drawings of Tony DiTerlizzi, a collection of thirty years of drawings and sketches, in limited edition with exclusive variant cover. The Carducci Pavilion will host more than 150 exhibitors including board games, role-playing games, miniatures, trading card games and artists. At the centre of the pavilion, the Performance Area, will be the artists playground where fans can watch world famous fantasy illustrators painting live


Netflix returns to Lucca Comics & Games hosting a physical space in Piazza Anfiteatro, where fans will be able to immerse themselves in their best-loved series. Among the unmissable contents presented will the first episode of All the Light We Cannot See, the ground-breaking miniseries based on Anthony Doerr's best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, directed by Shawn Levy (Stranger Things, Deadpool 3, The Adam Project), written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders) and starring Aria Mia Loberti, Nell Sutton, Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie. The four-episode miniseries will be available on Netflix from 2 November. Finally, Netflix will bring to Lucca the fan screening of the first two episodes of SUBURRÆTERNA, the highly anticipated TV series expanding the Suburra universe. Giacomo Ferrara, who reprises the iconic role of Spadino, will be in Lucca to present the series and meet fans, ahead of its release on Netflix scheduled for 14 November. Toei Animation Europe will be present at Lucca Comics & Games with a very special celebratory event, the TOEI Animation Europe Festa, a series of unmissable moments dedicated to fans of Japanese animation. In addition to an entire stand entirely dedicated to One Piece, fans will be able to attend the first official film event of GEAR FIFTH in Europe, organised in partnership with Crunchyroll.


The Fantasy area this year also doubles the number of international guests: Luk for Fantasy will count on the presence of no less than 20 authors and artists from all over the world (including the already announced Kim Bo-Young, Korean science fiction author, and Jonathan Stroud, author of the Scarlett & Browne saga). Among the highlights will be the events commemorating the 50th anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien's death, including an exhibition in the rooms of the Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca entitled Other Minds and Hands: JRRT50 in Time and Space, in Play and Comics where original works by the great illustrator Angus McBride will be on display. Special guest of the Tolkien celebrations will be Brian Sibley, author of texts on the Oxford Professor and Peter Jackson's trilogies and one of the leading experts on international fantasy. The queen of French fantasy Christelle Dabos, author of Mirror Visitor quartet, arrives for the first time in Italy to meet fans on 4 and 5 November. Alexandra Bracken the author of Darkest Mind, the saga on which the film of the same name was based, will be at the festival from 3 to 5 November to launch her new novel Silver in the Bone, published by Sperling & Kupfer. Special guests of the event will be Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima founders of MinaLima, the design studio behind the graphic props of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film series for Warner Bros. Their work will be exhibited at the festival


The epicentre of the videogame area is the Riot Stadium (Pala Tagliate), an area where Riot Games will conclude the final stages of the most important e-game tournaments of the year: the Red Bull Campus Clutch with the finals of VALORANT, open only to university students; the finals of the PG Nationals 2023, where the best Italian teams of League of Legends will face each other in a last, epic challenge before the end of the season; VAL Off-Season, the final of the highest national competition of VALORANT, and Baolo Championship Series (BCS), the most famous tournament/event of League of Legends in Italy where Italian content creators will compete. PLAION will transform the Casermetta San Paolino into Sonic's home, for all five days of the festival to celebrate the launches of Sonic Superstars and the Sonic universe. Yu Suzuki, the creative mind behind SEGA's greatest hits of the 1980s and 1990s, including OutRun and Shenmue, will be in Lucca. As will be Jean-Luc Sala Art Director of Assassin’s Creed: Mirage.


Two pavilions of approximately 600 square metres eac, with a total of more than 100 exhibitors, will celebrate Japan by selling action figures, gadgets, accessories, clothes and articles of Japanese culture. A Lounge Area will allow the public to spend some time relaxing, immersed in the Japanese atmosphere. The main attraction will be Japan Live, the legendary stage offering events, meetings and shows which can be enjoyed comfortably seated on a tatami. Welcoming the public to Japan Town, right at the entrance to the Pavilion, will be the exhibition dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the famous anime "Creamy Mami" curated by Giorgia Vecchini in partnership with Studio Pierrot.


The most eagerly awaited events for cosplay fans will surely be the ECG - European Cosplay Gathering and the historic Lucca Cosplay Contest, open to all participants. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of "Creamy Mami", cosplay fans will gather at Giardino degli Osservanti. Still on the theme of celebrations, the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who will not be forgotten! A mega gathering of DC Comics characters, in collaboration with Gotham Shadows, with the special participation of festival super guest Jim Lee will be part of the show. Friday 3 November will see the big event ONE PIECE DAY GEAR FIFTH GATHERING organised in partnership with Toei Animation Europe: three episodes of the anime will be screened at Cinema Centrale, with a parade to follow. In collaboration with Toei Animation Europe, there will be the ONIGASHIMA TREASURE HUNT with the participation of One Piece-themed cosplayers and lots of prizes.


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