Comics at the Leipzig Book Fair
The first day of the Leipzig Book Fair came to an end with an anticipated award ceremony, honoring authors in three categories with a prize endowed in total with € 45,000.Amongst the nominees was 18 year-old Helene Hegemann with her highly debatted debut novel, that first caused an outcry of astonishment, which later turned to loud groans of dissapproval because parts of it were found to be plagiarised.
The question of originality arised, leading to a nation-wide discussion of her book “Axolotl Roadkill”. To the delight of many, (and to the disappointment of some) Helene Hegemann did not win the prize, instead it was Georg Klein for his “Novel of Childhood”.
Day two of the Leipzig Book Fair continued in full flow with more than 60.000 people streaming from one hall to the next. The exhibition grounds are made up of six large halls, each focusing on a main topic. There is a hall dedicated to german publishing houses, one for international publications and one devoted to music and media productions. But the largest hall indulges in the grand sphere of comics.
When I entered into Hall 2 of the Leipzig Book Fair, the doors to a new world opened infront of my eyes. Loud tunes, bold colors and the sweet smell of candy overtook my senses and suddenly, I felt like I was a ten year-old child again. My ears filled with the sound of children’s laughter, who came in groups to see where all their favorite comics came from: Japan.
Japan is the home of Mangas, one of the most popular comic amongst children and adults nowadays. As I learned, a manga character by the name of Naruto is their hero.
Naruto quickly became my hero when I saw his larger than life puppet towering infront of me, two meters tall, walking with Hello Kitty and some other colleagues. They were not the only comic-characters I ran into; many visitors decided to go all out and dress up as their favorite character, as well.
Some decided to stand in the limelight and get some attention walking around as a comic character, but many came to take part in the popular Cosplay, a costume play event for comic fans that lasts over the entire book fair weekend.
I left the exhibition grounds with a huge grin on my face, looking back at all the new things I discovered on the book fair today and looking toward the upcoming events of the evening: a reading in a dungeon followed by one in a jazz bar. In my next blog I will take you through the journey of the Leipzig Book Fair by night.
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