Raptus 2014 – Sunday

My «report» from Raptus – Bergen International Comics Festival 2014. (read part 1 here).

Sunday 21st
Another day, another stack of comics. The haul I brought home today was a bit heavier than yesterday’s, and I don’t dare to think about the amount of money I spent. I can’t complain though, as I got to meet and get books signed by both Lene Ask and Thierry Capezzone. Here’s the latter, pictured together with yours truly.

Capezzone and me

As a side note, Capezzone was very friendly and interesting to chat with. He asked me about what I do for a living, and he even gave me some drawing tips when I told him that I dabble in comics. What a great guy! (Also, thank you to the Outland employee who took the photo).

I also completed my set of «Dadaph Serraph» comic books made by Bård Lilleøien, and I bought an anthology from Überpress called «Überwestern». I look forward to reading them all soon.

One of the things I attended today was Lene Ask’s presentation about her new book called «Kjære Richard». The story takes place in the late 19th century, as a young boy is left to live in Norway while his father leaves to work as a missionary in Madagascar .

Lene Ask 3

Ask tells the story through a real correspondence of letters between father and son. The collection of old letters she has used exists today in an archive in Stavanger, a city which Ask during her presentation called «the missionary capital of Norway». She also read excerpts from the book with great feeling.

Lene Ask

Later in the afternoon, I went to a panel discussion about comics as documentaries. I had been looking forward to hearing about the topic, and I was hoping for a large turn up. Sadly, there were only 7-8 people in the audience. However, I don’t think the low attendance affected the quality of the discussion.

Documentary Comics panel

Expert moderator Kristian Hellesund (right) had (from left) Ingebjørg Jensen, Lene Ask and Øystein Vågnes on stage, and they talked at length about autobiographical comics and the journalistic quality of documentary comics.

Last, but not least, was the big show, which also marked the end of the festival. The remaining audience could witness drawing battles between some of the guests.

Drawing battle - Potato man

They drew live on stage, using suggestions from the audience for superhero/sidekick combos. I think the people in the audience must’ve been kind of hungry, because there were suggestions like «Potato Man», «French Fries» and «Banana Woman». There was also «Apple Woman», which Mike Collins redubbed «Apple-Lass» and drew a spoof of the infamous Spiderwoman cover by Milos Manara.

That’s it for this year. Next year will be the festival’s 20th anniversary. The dates are already set; Raptus 2015 will be held on September 18th to 20th. Raptus.no should also update soon, so be sure to check it out.

Raptus Comics festival 2011

From 9. to 11. of September there was a three-day long comics festival called “Raptus – Bergen International Comics Festival” in Bergen, Norway. I spent a large portion of the weekend at the convention, during which I went to a couple of great talks about comics, manga and webcomics. I also met one of my favorite cartoonists, Lucy Knisley, and acquired a signed copy of each of the three comic books she was selling. She was very friendly, and she also made a drawing (upon request) of her noisy cat in my sketchbook.

Among the other guests were Mike Collins, Martin Kellerman, Nana Li and Ethan Nicolle, the artist behind the popular webcomic Axe Cop (the story for Axe Cop is created by Ethan’s 7-year old brother).

I think the “French Milk vs. Axe Cop” panel was one of the most enjoyable panels at the convention, with Ethan delivering quick comebacks to questions and even making fun of the poor guy interviewing him, and Lucy Knisley drawing (among other things) a figure-skating, drunken cat. The two artists took turns and did challenges from the audience, and it was all very entertaining to watch.

I really liked this year’s Raptus festival, as there were a more panels focusing on webcomics and manga artists than usual. There even was a “How to draw manga”-workshop led by Nana Li, and I think one of the Raptus-people said that it was the first time they’ve had a manga workshop. It was scheduled on Sunday at 9 a.m., and an impressive number of 25-30 people showed up (including myself).

I hope that next year, Raptus will be featuring even more webcomic artists. Speaking for myself, I know I would go to every panel relating to webcomics and manga. What would you like to see at a comic festival (especially if you live in Norway)? What do you do at comic conventions/comics festivals? Leave your comments below, I would love to read your responses.