BilBOlbul International Comics Festival is a project curated by Hamelin Cultural Association. It is dedicated to auteur comics and presents the work of established artists and young talent from Italy and abroad. BilBOlbul was created in Bologna in 2001 as a cultural initiative throughout the year with a series of events about comics. This experience and the network it created helped to realize the festival which debuted in 2007.
The 2015 edition of BilBOlbul International Comics Festival wants to go deeper into the comics language, studying how it is evolving through new technologies and how do these new forms challenge the consumption of these “cultural products”. Scott McCloud, already fifteen years ago, predicted the “infinite canvas” and the development of web comics, however, we have yet, today, so much to explore in this language, born hybrid, open to contamination and which can always manifests itself through different and new forms, both digitally and on paper.
This is why the guests of this year’s festival often work on both platforms and aren’t afraid of experimenting with other methods and languages, like cinema, animation, music, illustration.
From Giacomo Nanni to Richard McGuire, from Lilli Carré to Alice Socal, all of the invited artists have in one way or another already experimented with the comics language, also mixing it with other media, mainly animation, but also working with gif and bending the ebooks limits.
Moreover, confirming its international wide ambition and its interest in a new generation of authors, BilBOlbul is expanding this year’s BBB Lab through round tables, workshops and portfolio reviews as well as launching the all new BBBZine: a two day market of DIY and independent publishers from all around the world.
BBB Young is an initiative meant to bring children to the world of comics while creating a space for pedagogy through this medium, investing in young readers and promoting quality books for them to enjoy. The festival has organized interviews with authors and guided tours to students from Bologna and beyond to discover and deepen their understanding of the language of comics, from reading new work to taking to authors. There are also programs for educators on using comics and illustration as classroom tools, opening new pathways into art history, literature, history and reflections on our contemporary world where these young people live and grow. Drawing in general and comics in particular allow young people to develop a critical eye for the world around them and transfer these skills to other languages as well. For these programs BilBOlbul is available to create and organize projects with teachers from interested schools.
José Parrondo presents the Cinnoteca
For the occasion of the BilBOlBul Festival, Hamelin Cultural Association collaborates once again with the Cineteca of Bologna in presenting a space dedicated entirely to children: the Cinnoteca, a space for education around images (animation, cinema, but also literature, illustration, drawing, graphics and comics). A space designed and created for the youngest among us, where they can experiment with moving and still images.
During and after the Festival you can read, play, create and emerge yourself in the world of stories and comics at the Cinnoteca.
BilBOlbul has always promoted and found ways to bring comics to children; in Italy this is still an undervalued venture and it is from this point of view the Cineteca of Bologna hosts a show dedicated to illustrators and authors for children. This year we enter the universe of José Parrondo, author of illustrations and scenography for comics: his worlds are full of fantasy amd absurdity, full of impossible trees, stories never told, strange characters, and portals to new universes and cames that mix visual and written language.
Created in support with the City of Bologna, Mayor’s Office, Office of Equality Opportunity and Differences
BBB Lab- Making Comics: development opportunities for young authors
In 2015 BilBOlBul continues and expands its work with young professionals and aspiring authors, a program established during the eighth edition of the festival.
Three round tables for investigating diverse aspects of editorial and artistic work, including a range of experts in the field, both domestically and internationally, open to the public. They are discussions about issues in communications and publishing projects and new territories in online comics.
Meetings with Editors- Portfolio Reviews
For anyone hoping to enter the world of professional comics and illustration, BBB offers the chance to meet with a specialist for your particular area.
Three practical workshops during which participants can meet and work with some of the best in contemporary comics and illustration, among which are Paolo Bacilieri, Lilli Carré and Olivier Schrauwen.
After the pilot episode from 2014, This year’s BBBZine has grown bigger: Six international independent structure publishing comics and illustration will meet, creating a unique fanzine market on the 21st and 22nd of November 2015 in the covered square in the Biblioteca Salaborsa.
The world of comics is gradually becoming a whole industry with its own do’s and don’t’s. In this context it is often difficult for young artists to make their way into this scene. But who can stop us from starting fresh and creating our own rules? Nowadays, many comic authors and illustrators have chosen the radical way of self-publishing and DIY.
Breakdown Press, Tieten Met Haar, kuš! komiksi, PEOW Studio, Jean Guichon éditeur and Ion éditions will be at BilBOlbul to show us their own way of making comics!
BilBOlbul is part of Transbook, an Europa Creativa 2014/2020 project
coordinated by Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse (France) in partnership with Europäische Kinder- und Jugendbuchmesse Saarbrücken (Germany), Tantàgora (Spain), Arts Basics for Children (Belgium), Nobrow Ltd (UK), Literárne informačné centrum (Slovakia), Hamelin Associazione Culturale (Italy)