Beja is a small city and a municipality in the south of Portugal. It is situated on the top of a 277mt hill with a castle watching over the vast plains of the Alentejo Region.
The International Comics Festival is held in the city since 2005 and it is today one of the most apreciated events in the comic art community. Far away from the big cities and cultural centres, Beja turns into an oasis for those who desire to take some relaxed vacations AND to be in a comics festival.
Tradicionally the festival has activities all over the city such as in churches, “tabernas” (portuguese style pubs), in the library, in “Casa da Cultura” (Culture House) or in the municipality building. The vibe is very laid back and you can see the artists and visitors wandering around, drinking a beer or drawing under the shade of a tree. Is a good place to make friends, connections or to come up with a great idea for a graphic novel at dinner time.
This year, the festival will take place from May 31 to June 16, being the first weekend the one with more activities and with more guests and visitors.
There will be 20 exhibitions, with authors from many parts of the World: Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, England, France, Holland, Portugal, Spain and United States of America.
Speculative fiction stories are always very well represented and this year is no exception. We would like to highligh the expositions of Harrow County (Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook ), La Mort Vivante (Olivier Vatine, Alberto Varanda), and O Outro Lado de Z (The other side of Z, Nuno Duarte and Mosi). The authors of the last two will be around in the first weekend of the festival for autographs.
The program is diversified: book launchings, project presentations, talks about comics, autograph sessions and drawing concerts.
One of the peoples favourite’s is the Comics Market, normally in the center of Beja, were you can find all kind of comics to buy, from the big tittles to the small author projects exposed in a very democratic fashion. There are more than 60 different publishers that besides comics also sell original art and some merchandising.
This year you will able to find the authors Alcimar Frazão , Altarriba e Kim, Denis Lapière, Benjamin Benéteau and Marc Bourgne, Dany, David Sala, Enrico Faccini, Fabio Zimbres, Luís Cruz Guerreiro, Miguel Ángel Martín, Nuno Duarte and Mosi, Olivier Vatine and Alberto Varanda, Paul Duffield, Pedro Serpa, Peter van Dongen, Rita Alfaiate, Tyler Crook, Véte.
By Carlos Silva
Born in 1989, Carlos Silva is a portuguese writer whose main interests are science fiction and weird fiction. He is also editor at Imaginauta (Indie press – http://www.imaginauta.net) and organizes several events as the Festival Contacto.