The international festival of comics in Bologna, Bilbolbul 2021, is finally back live. Here are the main things to see!

After several fairs and events (Lucca Comics & Games, Play - Festival del Gioco 2021, Fabcon 2020, and many others) are back to doing live events, it's up to a historic Bolognese comic fair to take the plunge. The important thing is to understand how to do it. 
Bologna does not hold back, and in the first days of December it will give us that almost pro-European experience (but without the roar of the continuous and varied crowd that can be found in the French salons) which is the Bilbolbul 2021, international festival of comics, now in its 14th edition. 
In reality it starts already half of November with the first inaugurations and meetings in the city, but the key dates are from 2 to 5 December. 


Before leaving, a premise. For those unfamiliar with it, Bilbolbul is a festival that was born in 2007 with the aim of bringing "the best of author comics from all over the world" to Bologna, with a focus on the present. It is curated by the Hamelin cultural association. 
The festival, as we will see, is located in different parts of the city. Its program is full of main and non-main events, which can satisfy different types of interested parties, from the enthusiast to graphic novel to the pleasure-seeking artist who needs to leave the studio. 
For those who want, the program is located on the site and the events are gradually inserted on the Facebook page of the event. Below, however, I will list the events in the city that I personally consider unmissable (or that are already on my phone's agenda). 

The poster of the conference Yesterday, today, tomorrow. 20 years of graphic novels in Italy at Bilbolbul 2021
The poster of the conference Yesterday Today Tomorrow. 20 years of graphic novels in Italy at Bilbolbul 2021

The main events of Bilbolbul 2021

Thursday 2 December the festival starts with the usual convention, this year on the topic Yesterday Today Tomorrow. 20 years of graphic novels in Italy. The conference will be held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, with the elite of Italian independent production.
It will be 9 hours of full immersion to understand and take stock of the situation on comics in Italy. The conference is one of the 12 winning projects of the call "Comic promotion 2021”Promoted by the General Direction for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture. 

Another important meeting on the profession of comics is the one organized by MEFU Professions of comics: Have you found a real job?, on Friday 3 December at 11 am, at DAS - Experimental arts device (via del Porto). 
If the title is not enough, the authors present are definitely people on the piece: Colaone, Benevento, Martinello, Baraldi and Grillotti. 
Also on Friday, at the DAS at 17 pm, with All criticism are bastards, the creators of the Comic Book Critics Award Bellingeri cube they will talk to Vittorio Giacopini about the characteristics of a good literary criticism. 

Cover of Zuzu's Happy Days, which will be presented at Bilbolbul 2021
Cover of Happy days by Zuzu, which will be presented at Bilbolbul 2021

Unmissable places and interesting news of the Bilbolbul 2021

First, a tour of the bookshop it is absolutely recommended, to fill your eyes (and not only) with beauty, and possibly find potential artistic and original gifts in view of the upcoming holidays. You will find the bookshop at DAS. 

What to see on Thursday 2 December

For young pleasure-seekers and party-goers, the inaugurations they are the must for you. I shouldn't be the one to tell you, but when in doubt it is better to point out. There are several during the various days of the festival, with reservations to enter for free.
In this sense, I point out You, former author for Coconino of cheese!, his debut comic. Zuzu at Bilbolbul 2021 will present his new work, Happy days, at DAS on Thursday 2 December at 18.30 pm. Then, at 20.30 pm he will inaugurate the exhibition of his comic strips at the Squadro stamperia Art Gallery, in via Nazario Sauro. 

What to see on Friday 3 December

In addition, from Friday to Sunday from 23 pm at the Sonato Market in via Tartini, there will be several evenings of PERFORMANCE e Live painting
As a lover of French comics, then, I will gladly follow the chat with Fredrik Peeters moderated by Laura Pugno, Friday 3 at 14 pm at the DAS, which will also be broadcast online.

What to see on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December

I will also follow the meeting between Peeters and Fior in the same way, The future is already here, on their comic vision of science fiction themes, which will be held on Saturday 4 December at 10.30 at the Academy of Fine Arts. This meeting will also be broadcast online.
For my other passions, I would like to point out the meeting PERSEPHONE. Stories of women, love and death, Saturday 4 December at 12, at the Women's Center / Italian Women's Library. 
Finally, Sunday ends with a flourish with the meeting with Gabriella Giandelli at 14 pm at the DAS, and from 16 pm to 17 pm the two events dedicated toCzech animation at the Cinema Lumière and the Renzo Renzi Library, both in Piazzetta Pier Paolo Pasolini. 

One of the tables by Andrea Serio, exhibited at the Lightness exhibition of BilBolBul 2021
One of the tables by Andrea Serio, exhibited at the exhibition Lightness by BilBolBul 2021

The most interesting off-festival events of the fair

The Bilbolbul is also characterized by a rich out-of-festival, here are some goodies of the out-of-festival: 

  • Deca. A taste of 10 years of self-production is the event / exhibition to celebrate 10 years of Inuit, Atelier, Bookshop and Stamperia in Bologna, together with Lökzine, MalEdizioni and Mammaiuto. All at the Inuit Atelier (via sant'Apollonia 23), with the inauguration on December 1st at 19pm;
  • The exhibition Lightness by Andrea Serio at Spazio Lavì! (via Sant'Apollonia 19 / A), the inauguration on 1 December at 18.30 pm;
  • But it shows of Kalina Muhova at the Confraternita dell'Uva (Via Cartoleria 20 / B), with the inauguration on December 1st at 18pm;
  • In the lair of the White Rabbit by Emma Lidia Squillari and Giulia Calió, at Chez Renard (Strada Maggiore 32 / A), with the inauguration on December 1st at 17pm;
  • LOVE, Exhibition of the anthology of the same name by Albertini, Sarritzu, Scomparsa, Vähämäki and Socal, published by Canicola Edizioni, at the MAMbo - Museum of Modern Art in Bologna (via Riva di Reno 57).

Net of this article, I urge you to go through the program and visit as many events and exhibitions as possible. Surprises are always around the corner! (But arm yourself with walking shoes: you will thank me.)