Contern became a comic book collector's heaven over the weekend
Photo: Maison Moderne
Last weekend’s action-packed comic book festival in Contern was a chance to pay tribute to a beloved artist and turn a new page for comic books in Luxembourg.
Photo: Maison Moderne
During the festival, organisers and the comic book community inaugurated the new rue Roger Leiner, on a new development not far from the centre.
Leiner, who co-created the iconic Luxembourg superhero Superjhemp character with Lucien Czuga over 25 years ago, died on 29 December, 2016, aged 61.
“I admit I had difficulty giving my speech. It was a very emotional moment. His wife and two sons and daughter were there,” festival president Ari Arensdorff told Delano.
As well as Luxembourgish, English was a language commonly heard among guest writers at this year’s event as the festival put American and UK comic books in the spotlight.
Among the guest artists was Charlie Adlard (“The Walking Dead”), the UK’s comic book laureate, whose goal is to promote comic books as a literacy tool.
Other guests included Pascale Velleine, who grew up in Luxembourg and co-wrote the Luxembourg secret agent Jamie Blond books with Lucien Czuga.
“It’s a pleasure to come to Luxembourg to see to what extent the country has changed,” she said, adding: “There’s a real international side. But in Luxembourg, I suppose that’s normal!”
A comic book library
In keeping with the idea of comic books to aid literacy, Arensdorff told Delano about his project to create a national comic book library in Contern and hire a person to manage that and future festivals.
Eighteen months ago, the committee purchased a collection of 16,000 comic books and graphic novels purchased for a symbolic €1 fee. They added a further 3,000 books, many of which are in German, this year.
“Normally the library will be in the old school building. A lot will depend on the elections in October. If I’m still involved, then it will be my project,” he said, adding: “The new post will be to start the library and run the festival. We need someone who is there, full-time.”
The eclectic collection includes books in French and German, as well as some valuable editions dating from the 1920s. “We won’t be lending those out,” Arensdorff added.