PAFF! (Palazzo Arti Fumetto Friuli) in Italy has announced it is becoming the International Museum of Comic Art. This innovative cultural hub based in Pordenone organizes, promotes and hosts national and international temporary exhibitions featuring the great masters of comic art from around the globe.
On March 10th, 2023, with support from the Ministry of Culture, it is expected to inaugurate a new permanent collection, boasting a multimedia library and, by the end of the year, an archive with climate-controlled storage.
In its new form, the museum will enhance an already impressive offering. With the support of the Regional Authority of Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Municipality of Pordenone, Paff! has been combining culture, training, education, learning, research and entertainment through the communicative format of comics since 2018.
Under the artistic direction of its founder, Giulio De Vita, PAFF! International Museum of Comic Art is one of a kind in Italy, with organizations similar in concept and size found only in European capitals such as Paris and Brussels.
The Artistic Director has appointed curator Luca Raffaelli (comic expert and historian) to manage the permanent collection. This utilizes a multimedia, interactive experience, enabling visitors to admire roughly 200 original pages by the most famous comic artists of all time, as well as over 500 sketches, scripts, historic and rare publications, costumes used in films based on comics, set designs and video content from all around the world, collected through purchases, loans and donations.
Located within the 2,200 square meters of exhibition spaces at PAFF!, the collection is distributed across one floor of the museum. It is divided into nine different sections and includes original pages by numerous masters and outstanding artists such as Carl Barks, Milton Caniff, Giorgio Cavazzano, Will Eisner, Floyd Gottfredson, Chester Gould, Benito Jacovitti, Magnus, Milo Manara, George McManus, Andrea Pazienza, Hugo Pratt, Alex Raymond, Charles M. Schulz and Art Spiegelman.
A sculpture by Ivan Tranquilli will also be on display, while Davide Toffolo has created a board for the museum introducing “proto-comics,” illustrated stories (for example those decorating Trajan’s Column or drawings in nineteenth-century publications), which came before the birth and success of the comics industry.
Luca Raffaelli has provided an original approach to the structure of the museum visit, rooted in the different formats in which comic art, over more than 100 years of history, has been read, experienced and loved all around the globe, based on the cultures, economic conditions and social habits of readers.
Visitors will encounter first the birth of the Sunday pages in color supplements of American newspapers, and later strips and comic books. Meanwhile, in Italy we find the newspaper format (like that used for Corriere dei Piccoli) and the strips of Tex, which then led to the success of the eponymous format; and in France volumes called albùm, and Japan Tankōbon, small books used to publish popular manga.
The multimedia component of the Museum will include 56 touch screens, Wi-Fi connection with a dedicated server for interactive monitors, neckbands and latest-generation tablets offering visitors a truly unique interactive experience of comic art.
By the end of 2023, the International Museum of Comic Art is also expected to boast an archive with climate-controlled storage for original pages, drawings and publications in the Museum’s collection. The archive will be equipped with a precision high-energy-efficiency system to keep the environment at a constant temperature of 18°C, with no greater than 45% relative humidity.
For more information, visit the Museum website.