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The Official Bryan Talbot fanpage / Articles / Conventions

Belo Horizonte: Bryans convention report


Belo Horizonte in the paradise region of Minas Gerais hosted the third Biennial Brazilian Comics Festival on 16 - 26 October 1998. This, the country's third largest city, spared no expense in staging the festival which was just one of the myriad of cultural events happening this year as part of its centinary celebrations.

International guests included Will Eisner, Jerry Robinson (no strangers to Brazil), and Joe Sacco from the US, Serpieri from Italy, Schuitten and Peters from Belgium, artists from Potugal, a complete french delagation and little me representing Britian.

Almost all the top Brazillian comics creators ("quadrinhistas") were present, foremost of whom is the venerable Ziraldo, though Luke (Spiderman) Ross is probably more well known to British fans, plus the likes of Luis Eduardo Barreto and Enrique Breccia representing other South American countries.

As well as panels and presentations, the festival had the largest exhibition of International comic art that I've ever seen under one roof, at the Cultural Centre of the University of Minas Gerais. A reception at the City Hall, covered by four different TV channels, and a special tribute evening to Will Eisner were icing on the cake.

Brazil has strong traditions in the genres of horror, satirical humour and children's comics. More recently, superheroes and underground comics are gaining popularity. A competion to create a strip especially for the event, open to both amateurs and pros, drew 743 entries. Won by Marcelo Leliz, a newspaper illustrator, it showed dramatically what Brazil is capable of. The majority of the works received were non-genre and in a staggering multiplicity of styles. Self-publishing is gaining ground here and the future of Brazillian comics could be astounding.

The events, the tropical heat, the tireless work put in by the organisers and the disarmingly open friendliness and warmth of the Brazillian fans combined to make this one of the most memorable festivals I've ever attended.

In two years time the Biennial reverts to its usual venue of Rio De Janeiro.

Bryan Talbot

Also check out the report on the Milan and Kemi festival, or return to the articles page.

The design and content of this page and this entire website is copyright 1999, 2006 by James Robertson: all images are copyright 1999, 2006 by Bryan Talbot