World-class guest for the record-breaking edition of the Festival
Lucca Comics & Games 2023 had the honor of hosting one of the masters of contemporary manga, Naoki Urasawa, whose works have sold over 140 million copies worldwide. The Japanese master has won the Shogakukan Manga Award three times and has received numerous other awards in Japan and abroad, including the award for best comic at the Festival international de la nere dessinée d’Angoulême in France, the award for Best Asian work at the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards in the United States and the Best Series award at Lucca Comics & Games in Italy. The event, which is confirmed as one of the most important international events in the field of pop culture, saw the presence of this illustrious Japanese author, known for some of the most significant and influential works in the world of comics. Urasawa sensei, with a thirty-year career behind him, delighted fans not only with his presence but also with a series of initiatives that highlighted his creative genius. Panini Comics, aware of the importance of the event, has proposed re-editions of the master’s masterpieces and special celebratory editions for the occasion.
One of the crown jewels was the “Billy Bat” series, a psychological thriller that weaves mystery, history and fiction into a global tale that has enchanted readers around the world. The work is available again in a new special edition, reaffirming Urasawa’s talent in weaving complex and compelling narratives. Another exclusive proposal for visitors was “Pluto 1 Celebrity Variant”, a tribute to the world of Osamu Tezuka’s robots, which presented itself in a renewed, even more fascinating guise in view of the release of the highly anticipated anime on Netflix. There was also “Asadora 1”, a title that bears the sensei’s unmistakable signature, embellished for the occasion with an exclusive variant cover for the fair. In addition, Urasawa celebrated “Yawara”, a fascinating story of female judo, by presenting the definitive deluxe edition together with its prequel “Jigoro!”, thus expanding the narrative universe of the young judoka. During the festival, Naoki Urasawa gave fans a true immersion into his creative world, participating in signature sessions and showcasing his art in a live drawing showcase. The highlight was the Live Show! at the Teatro del Giglio, where the maestro shared his approach to narration, revealing that he is more interested in the life paths of his characters than in the simple concept of victory or defeat.
In a revealing interview, Urasawa spoke about the possibility of setting a manga in Italy, a land that piques his creativity despite having chosen Germany as the backdrop for his famous “Monster”. She shared that, although Italy is full of light, elements that are fundamental to the atmosphere of his stories, he is always open to exploring new narrative horizons. Lucca Comics & Games 2023 has once again confirmed itself not only as a highly attractive event for fans of comics, games and pop culture, but also as an international dialogue platform for artists of great caliber such as Naoki Urasawa, who continue to inspire and influence generations of readers and creatives.