Mighty Gods of unspeakable power. Strong heroes devoted to impossible quests. Sacred mountains, magical springs of water and, in the middle of them, woods inhabited by mysterious creatures. There’s no such land as Greece to let the fantasy lovers imagination running free. That’s why magic was brought back to life once again for the 2019 Comic Convention. So that Thessaloniki’s HelExpo has become a home for who wish to look beyond the boundaries of our ordinary world.
From 10th to 12th May, the Convention Center Ioannis Vellidis was flooded by enthusiast fans, ready to catch a rare Comic Book, playing their favorite game or “just” shaking hands with one of the many authors hosted by the convention. Now, at its fifth instalment, The ComicCon has been able to gather more people every year. It grew from a tiny Conference Hall to a whole pavilion, attracting devoted fans as well as renowned artists.
This year’s huge guests went from DC Comic’s writer Brian Azzarello to the man who gave a heart to Scrooge McDuck, the American drawer Don Rosa. Despite his retirement, Rosa is still a Legend for every Disney lover, as the queue for his booth has proven. With his Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck he created a backstory for the surly uncle of Donald Duck, depicting him as a young migrant who left Scotland for the States lured by the promises of the Gold Rush. Even though his heart back then beat not for gold but for the beautiful Goldie O’ Glit.
Greece goes to the comics
However the most surprising part of The ComicCon was seeing how many booths were occupied by Greek drawers. As one of them told us – an Expat who came straight from Germany to show his works – the Hellenic Movement is growing stronger and stronger. Crisis has given to the youngest the will to express themselves as a simple walk trough the stands confirmed.
A multitude of young artists eager to share their works, with a huge diversity in the way they express them. From punk underground comics to funny strips. From sexy and erotic illustration to a Marvel-like take on classical Greek Myth. But the most popular genre is by far manga, especially amongst the youngest generation.
Because, after all, it doesn’t matter if its an hyper-detailed Playmobil set about Punic Wars or a tabletop game; it’s not about crafting your own lightsaber or posing as your favorite character. Either through a colorful drawing or a complicated cosplay what matters is finding a way to express yourself. Greek Youth seems to have understood it, and they are ready to become a superhero or a dragon queen, even if it’s just for a day.