Talk to Steve & Arno, organizers of the Lake Como Comics Festival
Arno Lapeyre owns and operates a number of the Pulp Comics comic book store chain in France, including on the now legendary Rue Dante in Paris, a street with more comic book stores nearby than anywhere else in the world. He is also one of the partners in a series of American-style comic conventions, with the comic book agent Steve Morgan. known for the Big Wow shows. Including last weekend Lake Como Comic Festival, which I was very lucky to attend with my wife. Pure comic artist convention – no multimedia, no cosplay, not even comic book writers – unless they’re also drawing. Just artists and comic book dealers in a luxurious environment in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, in and around Villa Erba, Lake Como, Italy. And on the last day of the show, I was able to speak to the show organizers, as they were planning to fly their guests back to Milan airport the next day.
Steve told me “one of the things I love the most is seeing the artists interact, because there are so many people who have never met. As you know, Rich, Serpieri and Frank (Cho) had a chance to chat and obviously they have some things in common.” Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri creator of Druunaa major influence on Frank Cho, and they have been working on a collaborative piece that will be auctioned by the show later this year.
“We’ve had so many fans come out and say I can’t believe I have a chance to speak…people who are used to going to some of the biggest shows knowing it’s going to do hours of waiting, whereas here it’s minutes online. For me, that’s the biggest compliment, and hearing people smile as they tell these 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 that feeling, that vibe so there will never be more than a thousand tickets sold, so it’s never going to be something huge and that’s our goal. One of our main goals is to keep that vibe, so even if there are more people, it’s going to be limited.”
Lake Comic Festival is a comic book convention that takes place every year in Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Como in Italy (pandemic permitting). It focuses on the big names in comics from the United States, United Kingdom and mainland Europe, and attracts fans, collectors and dealers with an attendance cap and a relatively high price. This provides better access to creators and allows creators to maximize their income, all in the incredibly attractive landscapes, culture, history, art and architecture of Lake Como.