A Song Called City
Friday the 13th, I payed Expo Espresso a visit. Eventhough the jinxed date might keep the most courageous coffee-holic at home. The prospect of quality comics and an exclusive signed book can't hold us back. And for the matter; comics and coffee, what’s not to love right?
Coffee and comic books
So we headed out to a pub called Maurice and Dietrich at Grote Markt, in the shadow of Brabo. It’s a place where tourists and locals but also paths and words meet each other under the guidance of the tasty beverages we love so much.
A Song Called City
We got a magnificent introduction to Rik Willemen’s epic tale “A Song Called City”. To quote the master: ‘an epic tale about modern magic’ . It’s about the young free spirited girl Muriel who studies Philosophy in Antwerp. She's writing a thesis about beliefs in modern magic and the impact it has. A bit desperate she starts to search to scientific accepted works on this matter. On her search she encounters a renegade shaman-like guy, with a dry sense of humor and weird magic tricks.
After a first encounter she is triggered and wants to get an interview. But of course this is easier said than done. It's the start of a sinister adventure where danger comes closer with every page you turn over. Rik told us he was always fascinated by magic. In particular by those cults practicing magic with very important people in their ranks.
He decided to show his work in coffee bars because he uses them as a working space. Actually the owners of the bars came up with the idea because they felt holding an exhibition for Rik's comic book was a good idea. Well heck if it isn’t. Expect several fragments of the comic book framed, enlarged, and well lit. The particular drawings don't reveal the story line at all. The beauty of it is you can look at every frame on its own and see it as a little piece of art. But you would know that they are all linked together into one big epic adventure. It makes you realize that making a comic book is so much more than just add drawings and texts together. Each drawing has a specific reason why it is drawn in that way. We got the message!
The night took an unexpected turn of events when Astoreth started preforming. He kicked off his performance by burning herbs (not thé herb ma mon) but sage and palo santo. When he started to make throat sounds (it sounds exactly like what you think it sounds) all of a sudden the bar was covered in a very mystique atmosphere. The strange thing was the incredible effect it had on the crowd. I’ll be honest I had a bolleke Koninck earlier, but it was clear I wasn't the only one effected by it because everyone went silent and just listened. My friend and I listened to the mystique sound and atmosphere and before we realized we were 35 minutes further. A very peaceful and calming experience that we didn't see coming. It gave us exactly what we needed to embark into the epic tale of A song called city. Just beautiful!
Your own Expo Espresso experience
After Astoreth made everyone feel welcome on this crazy boatride called life, Rik signed our books and thanked us for coming. This just proves that you enjoy things the most when they happen unexpected. If you feel like getting to know a new epic comic and having some nice coffee with it, be sure to check online first where you can find Expo Espresso. Rik Willemen will be signing and exposing more of his artwork at different locations. Find out where here or get a sneak preview of the comic book here.
Text by Lennert Borgmans
Pics by Karl Musschoot and Rik Willemen