Comic Art Europe’s first summer camp proves a resounding success

Image: Comic Art Europe/ Escola Joso, Centre de Còmic i Arts Visuals

Comic Art Europe’s first new comic creators summer camp – part of a pan-European project led by the Lyon BD Festival that includes the Lakes International Comic Art Festival as a partner – took place last week in Barcelona.

17 students from all around Europe shared their joint comic creating passion and learnt about creating comics professionally at Escola Joso, Centre de Còmic i Arts Visuals, and the Spanish organisers say the experience was amazing.

Image: Comic Art Europe/ Escola Joso, Centre de Còmic i Arts Visuals
Image: Comic Art Europe/ Escola Joso, Centre de Còmic i Arts Visuals

Escola Joso has planned a great programme for the young artists, which opened with a meeting with Marvel Comics artist Pepe Larraz, who talked about the creation and the demands of regular series such as X-Men, Captain America and Thor. The difference between “comic book” and “bande dessinée (BD)” was also debated in class.

The students have also learnt more about the author-publisher relationship in the European market from author Jordi Lafebre, meet Fernando Guell, art director at Egmont Creative, and learn more about self-publishing and crowdfunding from Sandro Mena, director and editor of Spaceman Projects.

Every afternoon, the students share their work, an opportunity to get to learn, debate and analyse the creative process of the comic book. Teachers Santi Casas and Jordi Sempere are tutoring this very important moment of the day.

The week of creating comics rounded off with guidance on how to submit a work to an editor, followed by a class about covers and why they are so important to attract reader attention- and that first impressions are crucial.

Comic Art Europe is an ongoing international pilot project, bringing together four European organisations promoting and championing the power of Comics and Graphic Novels.

It’s being led by Lyon BD Festival and includes a higher education establishment, the Joso Comics School in Spain, a museum, The Belgium Comics Centre, as well as the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

The project aims to strengthen the comic book sector in Europe by experimenting with collaborative working methods. It promotes the transnational mobility of artworks, workers and creators and prefigures a European comics community capable of positioning creators and organisations at a European level, challenging the historical dominance of the American and Japanese giants.

• For more information and the application form, visit

• Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2021: 15th – 17th October 2021

• Lakes International Comic Art Festival: 

• LyonBD:

• Escola JOSO:

• Belgium Comic Centre:

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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