Festival Independiente de Comics Colombiano in Too Geek this Saturday

Martha del Pilar Moreno

Martha del Pilar Moreno

With comic book enthusiasts coming out of the geek closet in the past ten years, there has been a re-emergence of independent comic book publishing houses that gives illustrators, writers and audiences a chance to explore different topics in the ninth art. This Saturday February 11th, a group of these independent editorials will gather in TooGeek store to celebrate the fourth session of the Festival Independiente del Comic Colombiano or FICCO (Independent Colombian Comic book Festival).

In Colombia, like in any other country, there has been a resurgence of  comic book culture. Back in the day where characters like Superman and Batman were the key characters leading the way for comics, many artists around the world got inspired to tell their own tales. From Kaliman in Mexico and Sandokan in Italy to the risque stories for adult novels, illustrators and writers around the world started to develop a cultural niche in their own countries. Colombia, also got influenced by American comic book culture but the development of a niche of their own was too underground to be noticed by the masses.

As time went by, and the comic book culture became stronger with an interested audience, it was only a matter of time that independent editorials started to emerge with the aim to give Colombians stories entirely based in their context. Despite the fact Colombia has a strong academic scene for graphic design and illustrators in general, when it comes to the comic book scene, especially when it comes to national products, the life of a comic book series resembles that of a fruit fly. That is, short lived series that tend to leave their stories inconclusive, just one an example on how unstable the industry is in Colombia. So, some artists and independent editorials decided to make the comic book culture stronger with the Festival Independiente del Comic Colombiano (FICCO).

Basically, the Festival Independiente del Comic Colombiano is an initiative that intends to give amateur illustrators or comic book enthusiasts tools to create their own stories, more importantly, to tell them that it is possible to develop a job out of their hobbies. The initiative began on March 2016 with the first session where volunteers from different independent editorials gave talks regarding how they started in the comic book culture and giving their personal experiences on how they began.

The second session of the Festival Independiente del Comic Colombiano, held in the library Virgilio Barco, was regarding how to get started. From scheduling time to create your idea to gather the courage to develop an original idea. In this session the attendance was better than in the first one, plus, some of the audience took their drafts along with them to get feedback from others regarding their stories.

Things started to take more shape in the third session Festival Independiente del Comic Colombiano in December 2016, where the venue change to TooGeek store, a venue that specializes in everything geek related. In this session, the main topic was related to storyboards and how to sell the idea to independent editorials. These editorials vehemently stressed the importance of having an original story and gave tips to newcomers on how to develop them as a natural evolution.  Seeing that many of the attendees have their own material, a section for them to show their work formally was created. That is the story thus far.

In this fourth session of the Festival Independiente del Comic Colombiano, the idea is centered in designing and creation of characters for story. As part of the day schedule, there will be talks held by different artists and comic book entrepreneurs. From artist Anna García (a cartoon-style illustrator from Anna La Plena) how to develop character and identity,  anatomy drawing with Juan F. Salcedo (Creative director on Kindery), a workshop held by WACOM where attendees can create a collective comic, to facial expressions with Nadim, from renown newspaper Cartoonish in Colombia. The closing section is called “El Banquillo” were attendants can display their work.

The four session of the Festival Independiente del Comic Colombiano promises to be a hands-on event where, besides attending the talks, you can also see the stands of different independent editorials like Ave Negra and their main publication Saic, a shadow Slave. The event will be held once again at TooGeek store starting at 1:00 p.m. and finishing at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday February 11th. Remember that this event is basically to build a community regarding comic books, either as a reader or as a creative person, so entrance is free to the event and a place where you can share your love for comic books with others.

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