272,000 by 2016
| Comune of Lucca, through the limited company "Lucca Comics & Games Srl"|
Lucca Comics & Games is an annual comic book and gaming convention in Lucca, Tuscany, traditionally held at the end of October. It is the largest comics festival in Europe, and the second biggest in the world after the Comiket.
Lucca Comics & Games Wikipedia
The Salone Internazionale del Comics ("International Congress of Comics") was launched by Rinaldo Traini and Romano Calisi (forming the International Congress of Cartoonists and Animators) in 1965 in Bordighera. In 1966 it moved to a small piazza in the center of Lucca, and grew in size and importance over the years.
Funding issues reduced the frequency of the festival to every two years, beginning in 1977. In the 1980s, the festival was moved to a sports center outside the city walls, where it remained until 1992, when it was moved to another city. (Funding issues also forced the cancellation of the 1988 festival.)
After the Salone internazionale del Comics ended in Lucca, city leaders launched a new convention called simply Lucca Comics that was a reprise of the old one. In 1996 it changed its name to Lucca Comics & Games. The festival attracted 50,000 attendees in 2002.
Meanwhile, the Salone internazionale del Comics was held in Rome from 1995 to 2005. In 2006, for the festival's 40th anniversary, the Salone merged with Lucca Comics & Games and moved back to Lucca's city center, with numerous tents and pavilions arranged in different squares within and outside the walls of the medieval city.
In 2016, the festival attracted 270,000 attendees.
From 1970–2005, the festival presented the Yellow Kid Award — named in honor of Richard F. Outcault's seminal comic strip character The Yellow Kid — in such categories as Best Cartoonist, Best Illustrator, Best Newcomer, Best Foreign Artist, and Lifetime Achievement. Yellow Kid Awards were also presented to publishers, both domestic and foreign.
The festival also (since 1967) presents a special award called the Gran Guinigi Award (named after Lucca's Guinigi Tower).1970: Johnny Hart, for Best Cartoonist of the Year — first time this award was given to an American cartoonist
Hergé, for "una vita per il cartooning" (lifetime award)
Tintin magazine, for Best Publication
1973: Guido Buzzelli, for Best Illustrator and Author
1974: Vaughn Bodé
Jean Giraud, for Best Foreign Artist
Frank Hampson, declared Prestigioso Maestro and the best writer and artist of strip cartoons since the end of the Second World War
Bobby London, Best Artist-Writer
Carlos Trillo, for Best International Author
Didier Comès, for Best Foreign Artist
Jean Giraud, for Best Foreign Author
1982: Art Spiegelman, for Best Foreign Author
1984: Strip Art Features, for Best Foreign Comics Publisher
1986: Bill Sienkiewicz, for "bridging the gap between American and European artistic sensibilities"
Massimo Rotundo, for Best Italian Comics Artist
Leonardo Ortolani, for Best Newcomer
1998: Paul Gillon
1999: Jeff Smith, Best Author
1969: Hugo Pratt, for Una ballata del mare salato
1975: Dan O'Neill for The Penny-Ante Republican
1978: Carlos Trillo
1986: Bill Sienkiewicz
1990: Massimo Rotundo
2011: Boichi, for Hotel
2002: Emiliano Sciarra's Wild West-themed card game Bang!, for Best of Show
2003: Sine Requie, for Best Italian Game
2004: Helena Bulaja's Priče iz davnine ("Croatian Tales of Long Ago"), for Best Multimedia Award
7 Wonders, for Best Card Game
Eden: the Deceit, Side Award for Best Game Mechanics
2011: Vincent Baker's Apocalypse World, for RPG of the Year