LUSTR is celebrating its 10th birthday this year, and to mark the occasion, we’ve invited friends – ten other illustration, comics, and art self-publishing festivals from near and far. Some of these festivals have a long history, while others are just emerging; some operate within the framework of larger official institutions, while others are grassroots efforts organized by enthusiastic artists in their spare time. Some you can easily visit with just a train ride and be there in a few hours, while others are too far for most of us to ever see. Nevertheless, for LUSTR’s tenth anniversary, we took the opportunity to collaborate with curators and entire organizational teams, who selected artists from their respective countries for the Metafest exhibition. Some of the exhibiting artists are themselves part of the organizational teams of the selected festivals, while others have been involved or have shown in past programs. Voilà, we proudly present Metafest – the festival of festivals!
You can find the exhibition of international festivals – METAFEST in HALL 29
The annual Grafixx festival takes place in the fall at De Studio in Antwerp, Belgium. A carefully selected group of artists from around the world provides inspiration through lectures, exhibitions, workshops, live performances, screenings, and a zine festival, where independent creators and publishers showcase their unique publications. This festival guarantees an immersive experience with print and paper!
In addition to the festival itself, the Grafixx calendar also includes lecture programs under the name Grafixx EXTD., the Grafixx House Call radio show, the Sporen edition, the mobile bookstore De Zinerie, book presentations, an online store, and projects with external partners, such as wall paintings and artistic residencies.
Comicfestival Hamburg brings exceptional culture into everyday spaces. Its annual mission is to introduce comic art, often seen as a niche interest, to a broader audience. Since 2006, the festival has been bringing comics to cafés, shops, and walls in St. Pauli.
Meanwhile, the festival has become one of the most important gatherings in the German comic scene. With a free program that includes exhibitions, workshops, readings, and a fair, the festival brings comic art to both industry experts and local residents in St. Pauli and Neustadt. In close collaboration with the Illustration Department at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, the program focuses on supporting promising local artists.
You can find last year’s festival’s website, including the program, here: www.comicfestivalhamburg.de
The Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) was established in 1977 and it’s the first independent non-profit multi-arts institution in Hong Kong. Stimulating innovation and promoting creativity of comic arts is one of its main focuses. Since 2006, we have curated a project called Comix Home Base. Believing that comics and animation are important local pop culture and artistic creations, the HKAC has been dedicated to planning and organising diverse and unique activities with the ultimate aim to promote the arts and culture of comics and animation to the local community and abroad, as well as increasing recognition and awareness of Hong Kong’s comics artists and their unique works. The HKAC has hosted over 700 ani-com-related events, such as exhibitions, talks, workshops, performances, publications, screenings, public arts, etc. Its focus is to proactively look for promotion opportunities locally and internationally, and to push the boundaries of comic arts through collaboration between comics and other media of art.
The Taipei Illustration Fair was founded in 2018, and now in its sixth year, it offers a unique blend of artistry and storytelling. Unlike traditional illustration fairs, our event features themed exhibitions, diverse artists, and market-style interactions, creating a fusion of fair and expo. With a broad spectrum of focus, we showcase various artistic expressions, transcending language barriers to convey profound thoughts through visual narratives. We’ve established a significant presence in the local and international illustration community, attracting both local and foreign illustrators through curated exhibitions and open calls. Our vision is to make this fair a regular highlight, providing a platform for exceptional artists to share the wonders of illustration and contribute to the industry’s growth. After all, “Illustration is not just illustration.”
The Tinta International Comics Festival, which takes place every October in Ljubljana, is the central comics event in Slovenia dedicated to the promotion, reflection, and appreciation of comics art. The very first edition of the festival took place 10 years ago, in 2013. The main organiser of the Tinta festival is the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture; co-organisers of the festival are Stripburger comics magazine and Stripolis Institute.
The festival acts as a platform; it brings together various actors of the domestic comics, cultural, and art scenes (galleries, libraries, and other cultural venues) in order to popularise comics creativity, and present the highlights and diversity of contemporary comics production and projects that go beyond comics and enter into a lively dialogue with other fields such as illustration, graphic design, animation, street art, music…
By hosting established foreign comics creators and experts, it provides insight into the lively international scene and trends in the field of contemporary comics in the world, and with an educational program in the form of lectures, masterclasses, workshops, and debates, it aims to develop, expand, and deepen the domestic comics creativity and scene. Traditionally, the festival closes with a big comic book fair, where comics artists and publishers present their new comics releases.
Ukmukfukk Zinefest takes place in Budapest and is the largest zine-focused event in Hungary. It was founded in 2016 and has been held annually since then. In 2020, the festival moved to Pécs for a special edition with the support of the DRUKKER printmaking community, who have since become an integral part of Ukmukfukk’s organization and management. In 2023, the seventh edition of the festival emphasized international zine creators and publishers, and we also added a presentation of local creators.
The DRUKKER printmaking community has been an active creative group in Pécs since 2018, with workshops for letterpress printing, screen printing, risography, and bookbinding. Its members are artists and educators who aim to be active citizens and raise awareness of social issues.
Our festival is brand new. We come from Angoulême’s artists’ associations and we organize events throughout the year. Our particular scene and collective revolves around comics, animation, art and video games. The collective came together because we wanted to organize the new “off” of the Angoulême Comics Festival. We first gathered in the beginning of the year, and we are currently preparing our first edition, which will debut in January 2024. For now, we are focusing on many scattered tasks but our main objective is to create an interesting edition of our festival that will give visibility to alternative and small publishing and hopefully open up the fanzine practice for those who don’t know that it exists.
Irudika is a professional illustration fair that was created in 2017 by the Basque Illustrators Association EUSKAL IRUDIGILEAK, and each year brings three invited countries to the Artium Museum of Vitoria-Gasteiz. The idea was to remove each illustrator from their own creative solitude, to get to know other authors and agents, to share experiences, and grow, with conferences, workshops, networking spaces, and professional meetings. The seventh edition of Irudika will bring Japan, Poland, and Nigeria as guest countries to take part in the three round tables of Illustration World. Also, in Editorial World we will present guests from Mexico, France, Portugal, Colombia, Spain, and many other places. Artists, publishers, and agents will come to Vitoria-Gasteiz with projects in illustration, illustrated books, galleries, handmade printing, children’s magazines, book covers, poster design and many other subjects. In addition, the Parallel Sectors conference will feature sustainability and illustration with biomaterials, jewelry, and gastronomy as the main topics of conversation between guest illustrators. Each year we also organize exhibitions and artistic residencies in Basque Country (Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz), France (Angouleme), and Mexico (Zapopan and Guadalajara).
Illustradays is a colorful and inclusive illustration festival, the only of its kind in Greece, celebrating the power of visual storytelling and illustration. Our journey began back in 2021, and since then, we have been passionately championing creativity, providing a platform for talented illustrators and fostering a dynamic artistic community. With curated international exhibitions, interactive workshops, networking events, and thought-provoking talks, we’re all about showcasing the brilliance of this form of art and the amazing artists who make it happen. In a nutshell, illustradays is a festival that tells fantastic stories, one illustration at a time.
Snail Eye ~ Cosmic Comic Convention is an annual festival held in early summer in the center of Leipzig, Germany. It’s in a small street, where we use all the window displays of the shops / cafés / bars as exhibition spaces. In the backyard of the bookshop Rotorbooks, which is our partner, there is an all-day program for the three days of the festival. In the afternoon there are talks and workshops, in the evenings, we invite people to do comic readings. We also have a big table where we sell collected comics, zines, and books. Besides this, we ask 4-5 small publishing houses to join us.
Our festival is based on a lot of open calls. You can apply for exhibitions and readings, send us your publications for our booktable or a small comic for our festival magazine. We like the idea that everyone can take part in the festival, not just the usual superstars. Everything is very small and cozy. But we also care that everything runs well and about providing a good, entertaining program. Last but not least, we focus on intersectional / queer feminist artists.
Next year will be the 4th edition of the festival. We started because the well known The Millionaires’ Club didn’t continue and we needed a comics festival in Leipzig. The form of the festival (no tabling, window exhibitions) is a result of Covid restrictions, but we really liked how everything turned out and decided to keep it this way. The festival team is based on the Leipzig comic collective SQUASH, but a lot of people joined and we are always transforming.