I was lucky enough to attend the 2019 Lucca Comics & Games Convention in Italy. As written about on Chronicle Chamber it is huge, the largest comics festival in Europe. For those who have attended Sydney Supanova, this is 100 times as big with booths and people. This has been the second time I have attended and following are a bunch of photos and reports from my time at the festival.
While the Phantom does not have a huge current imprint in the Italian and Southern Europe market, if you look hard enough you will find everything from back issues of Fratelli Spada comics, Phantom related articles in high quality magazines like Fumetto and by Associazione la Nona Arte and of course the prints, sketch covers and consignments by artists like Massimo Gamberi, Eugenio Mattozzi and Sal Velluto.
I was lucky enough to have several lunches and coffees with these artists both together and separately, on occasions when their convention commitments allowed them to.
One time I had lunch with Eugenio Mattozzi, his wife Kusum Happawana, Sal Velluto and Angelo, a young historian originally from Sal’s home town of Taranto. At the end of the lunch Eugenio showed me some work from his portfolio. I liked his photo-realistic style and loved the clarity of his pencil work. He is available for commissions via his email here. Eugenio can do it all with pencils, inks and of course colours. He is also a complete gentlemen and always has time for phan boys like us.
One special lunch we spent together was our own mini memorial lunch with classic Lee Falk Memorial Bengali Explorer's Club trappings, including place mats and serviettes from past dinners donated by Bradley and Joyful Peach. Sal Velluto and Luca Giorgi attended with Massimo Gamberi arriving late in time-honoured LFMBEC style.
My wife Susan, wearing her Good Mark pendant, dressed the table while I fumbled through a milk toast to The Phantom. Then we had a marvelous luncheon with almost two hours of chatting about the Phantom and comics in general. It was a great time.
I was taken aback and very grateful when Eugenio gifted to me the beautiful pencil Phantom piece pictured above. My thanks goes out to Eugenio. A tangible reminder to reinforce the memories of a wonderful Lucca!
Attached below are a few other photos from the convention and the many other coffee stops to get us through long days.
Editors Note: We thank Anthony and the boys for sharing their experiences with us over the convention. If you attend any conventions and want to report on the Phantom at the convention, please get in touch with us.