This year’s Raptus International Comics Festival in Bergen (Norway) happened on Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th of September. In short, the Raptus festival is a very fun event to attend, and you get the chance to meet a lot of creators and fellow fans of comics. I attended specifically with the panels in mind, but just being around artistic people and seeing what they can create made it a fully rewarding and interesting weekend.
One of my main goals this year was to get the infamous comic book “When we
met Lucy Knisley”. The 60 pages long, locally made comic is a retelling of certain events that happened before and during last year’s festival, when Lucy Knisley was one of the esteemed guests.
The story is, according to creators Fredrik Rysjedal and Eirik A. Vik, a truthful (though exaggerated) documentary about how they wanted to meet and talk to Lucy Knisley, but never got the chance. By the way, you might want check out the post I wrote about Raptus 2011.
At one of the panels I got a chance to see Jill Thompson (the artist behind “Beasts of Burden”) creating her own interpretation of “Madonna” by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. It was very interesting to watch how she worked projected on the big screen as she expertly controlled the watercolors.
Bergen resident comic artist Kim Holm was also among the several cartoonists who interpreted classic paintings by Munch. In the photo above, he’s working on “The Scream”. All the while, the chieftain of the Raptus festival, Arild Wærness (wearing the colorful suit jacket), interacts with the artists on stage and the audience.
This photo shows Thierry Capezzone, maker of children’s comics, and Italian Disney cartoonist, Giorgio Cavazzano at another panel specifically aimed at a younger audience. There were a lot of eager kids and their parents in the auditorium’s seats. Cavazzano answered various questions from the audience with impromptu drawings, and several Disney characters, including Donald, Daisy, Mickey and Fethry Duck appeared live on the big screen. For example, he illustrated several of his impressions of Bergen city, the only bad one being an annoyed Donald clutching a broken umbrella in rainy weather (it’s not for nothing that Bergen is called the rainiest city in Norway).
On Sunday afternoon, the end of a weekend filled with comics was celebrated with a final panel. The festival leaders gave their thanks to everyone who showed up and made Raptus 2012 a great event, and a lot of the artists at the festival participated in funny live drawing sessions. In the photo above, Julia Thompson and Thierry Capezzone have just drawn each other’s caricature, to which they harvested a cheery applause from the audience.
It was all in all a great weekend. I got the book I came for, learned a few artsy tips and saw quite a few skilled artists doing what they’re good at. I can definitely recommend a visit to the festival to anyone who’s got the chance and is interested in creativity, cosplay and comics. Also, if you’re a Norwegian reader and have written about Raptus on your blog, I would love to read it! Please leave a link to your blog in the comments, or give me a shout on Twitter.