Italy’s Fumettomania Factory Association, who are enthusiasts of British comics and have supported work of organisations here in the UK, has launched a €5000 Euros crowdfunding campaign to enhance its new Luigi Bernardi Comics Archive.
The “Luigi Bernardi” Comics Archive, named after the late Italian publisher, is the result of the work and commitment of the team behind the Fumettomania Factory Association, a project launched last Spring, in the premises in Barcellona Pozzo di Gottoin Messina, Italy, the first step of the Bam Fumetto “Luigi Bernardi” Project.
“The evolution of the initiative is at a turning point,” Mario Benenati, President of Fumettomania Factory, tells downthetubes. “After moving the entire comic archive to the new premises, the project and the association were faced with new challenges.”
The rooms that make up the structure of the Bam Fumetto: Comics Archive will be used for different activities and will be dedicated to two different personalities, publisher Luigi Bernardi and author Luca Boschi.
Luigi Bernardi, who died prematurely in 2013, was a publisher, writer, journalist, comic book critic and talent scout, originally from Bologna, and a prominent personality in Italian comics between 1980 and 1996, in particular for having given visibility to many Italian authors across Europe.
He created and ran several publishing houses, magazines and more and wrote many essays and novels, Crepe, published by Il Maestrale, especially remembered. In comics, he wrote Fantomax/Non temerai altro male, drawn by Onofrio Catacchio, and Carriera criminale di Clelia C, drawn by Grazia Lobaccaro.
Luca Boschi, who died last year, was a comic writer and artist, and was art director of the Lucca Comics convention, and was considered Italy’s leading comic expert, authoring several books and scripting TV shows about the Ninth Art.
He began his career illustrating for Savelli, before contributing to the comic magazines Totem and Lupo Alberto. He created characters such as Remorenzo Rizzuto and Gozo, and was a scriptwriter for Disney comics.
The “mission” of Fumettomania, is to attract children of all ages by promoting projects dedicated to them, which speak of current and engaging topics, using comics, which emerges as an autonomous art form that contains in itself the linguistic code of literature (words), its methods of fruition, but also the sequentiality of cinema and the figurative attention of traditional visual arts.
The commitment of the Association – 32 years after its foundation – is to spread the culture of comics and, among our objectives, there is the will to continue cultural and social projects in the area with workshops aimed at young enthusiasts and to schools, solo and group exhibitions dedicated to comics, illustration and similar, presentations of comics and meetings with authors.
The “Luigi Bernardi” Comics Archive will house a collection of over 10,000 volumes of great value, including rare items (browsers, pins, hardbacks, limited editions, foreign language editions, non-fiction, historical thematic magazines, section dedicated to Sicilian authors, comics in local dialect). It will also be an incubator of projects aimed at enhancing social relations and promoting tourism, working with other local organisations.
“We strongly believe in the importance of the presence of similar spaces in the Messina area,” Mario says.
“Precisely for this reason, in support of this inauguration, scheduled for April 2023, we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Italian platform Produzioni dal basso, in order to enhance the offer of the premises by equipping them for a more functional placement of the volumes.
“We’re aiming to build a better reception for visitors, young people, school groups, sympathizers, who will be able to stop and consult the material, study, meet authors, participate in workshops and much more, in a welcoming environment dedicated to developing cultural activities and personal growth.”
All supporters of the crowdfunder can back to levels to receive rewards: original comic pages and illustrations, and prints, by author, postcards and pencils, comics and T-shirts and more, as well as being able to take advantage of the courses that will take place within the context of the Bam Fumetto project for free.
Among the partners who have already responded to the call and will support the Fumettomania Factory Association in this new challenge are the School of Comics/Grafimated of Palermo, the “Luigi Bernardi” Cultural Association of Bologna, the “Andrea Pazienza” Comics Center of Cremona, WOW Comic Space in Milan, the Library of the Clouds in Perugia, the Association L’arte delle Nuvole, Barcelona-based Edizioni Smashe, the Cultural Association Il Foglio – Ilfoglio Letterario Edizioni (Piombino), the Cultural Association “Lo Scarabocchiatore”, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, and many others.
Renowned comic creators in the Messina region, across Italy and beyond have rallied to support the crowdfunder, including Lelio Bonaccorso, Valentina Romeo, Michela De Domenico, Gianluca Gugliotta, Deborah Allo, Giuseppe Orlando, Maurizio Gemelli, and Fabio Franchi.
“The friends of Barcelona PG and its surroundings, the students and teachers of the Barcelona schools and neighbouring municipalities, the contacts and friends who are passionate about comics scattered throughout the peninsula, who follow us on social networks, those who have participated in the projects on the site in recent years: everyone can contribute to achieving this goal,” asks Mario.
For information on how to donate to a crowdfunding campaign on this site, check out this mini-guide, specially created by the “Produzioni dal basso” team (in Italian, translation available through most browsers
• For more information, you can contact the secretary of the Fumettomania Factory Association by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org | Web: fumettomaniafactory.net
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. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 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.