The Fumetto Festival in Luzern celebrates it's 25th anniversary this weekend. They had the amusing, yet perfidious idea, to print a large format comic collection with free panels and also pages for the participating artists to complement live in two days. We are talking about 350 copies. Fortunately for the artists not all of the new owners were hunting for drawings. Signing tables were announced at several exhibition places in the city. On these last two days of the festival the audience didn't have time to see the exhibitions, they were busy lining up for their live drawings by Caroline Sury, Jost Swarte, Loustal, Serge Clerc, Tom Gauld, Ben Katchor, Anna Sommer, Kati Rickenbach, Henning Wagenbreth, Christophe Badoux, Loustal, Max, Eric Lambé, Kai Pfeiffer, Thierry Van Hasselt, Nicolas Mahler, Tom Tirabosco, Edmond Baudoin, Herr Seele, Exem, Yvan Alagbé, Olivier Deprez, Paz Boira, Frédéric Coché, Noyau, Brecht Vandenbroucke, Andreas Gefe, Ampel, Chihoi Lee, Tommi Musturi, Gabrielle Bell, and myself.
They seemed to have fun. "It is so exciting to see the drawings appear!" they said.
|Nicolas Mahler found the article the day before during breakfast in the local newspaper.|
|Yves Noyau, Tom Tirabosco, Nicolas Mahler|
|Sunday evening the last remaining artists are gathering in the Kornschütte to make use of their left over drink tickets.|
|There is always a next book appearing|
|Gabrielle Bell, Jana Jakoubek; Ben Katchor is in trouble. He was spilling coffee over his pages in his signings. In the evening he doesn't have his special coffee with him, mixed with a bit of sepia, and he also misses the hairdryer, with which he used to dry the wet pages afterwords. He gives the wine a fast check.|
|Max, Gabrielle Bell|
|Brecht Vandenbroucke, behind him the Small Press Heaven is shutting down.|
|Kai uses an arsenal of green colors. (Yvan Alagbé forgot his ink, that's why Yvan's drawings got green, too. I saw a beautiful green horse, which unfortunately I didn't document in a photo.)|
|The cover of the catalog was blank black. Finally someone started drawing the cover.|
At this point I want to allow myself a romantic glance back to spring 1999. I was in my second year at the art school Berlin Weissensee. These guys asked me, "Do you want to come with us to a comics festival in Switzerland?" "I would like too," I answered, "but I don't do comics." "Of course you do," said Kai Pfeiffer. I had just printed the second volume of the series "Spring poems", little booklets about a spring goddess looking for her lover. One image per page. I wasn't used to work with panels, and I didn't know much about comics.
This first visit of the Fumetto was a revelation. We saw an exhibition of Chris Ware, Anna Sommer, Daniel Clowes and the insanely amazing Hospital Brut Exhibhiton by Le Dernier Cri (which was back then Pakito Bolino and Caroline Sury).
We came back the second year, totally enthusiastic, and two years later we exhibited Comic reports and other works as a new formed group called monogatari (with Mawil, Kai Pfeiffer, Jens Harder, Tim Dinter and Kathi Käppl). The group split up five years later.
The photo underneath shows me and Kai as student colleagues on our way back home from Luzern in 1999, I recognized, that he was kind of cute. I still think so today.
|Mawil in 2001|
|Chihoi Lee and Son Ni, 2016|