The exhibition tales place every year between the end of October and the beginning of November in Lucca, in an area of about 30,000 square metres, 15,000 of which exclusively for exhibiting. The most important operators in this sector all participate as well as an ever-increasing number of specialised shops, comic-book sellers and game/cultural associations. During the period of the market-exhibition, role-plays are acted out live, and concerts, film shows, encounters with authors, presentations and performances, all dedicated to this common theme of games and comics, are organised for spectators. Both Lucca Comics and Lucca Games offer shows and exhibitions dedicated to the principal artists or titles presented at the festival. Some of these shows are organised in charming areas of the city with a Renaissance backdrop.
Inaugurated in 1966, the manifestation has increased in popularity and importance from year to year. Originally held annually, then every two years, in 1986 it celebrated its 17th edition (given the propitiatory new name of 'Lucca Vent'anni'). A brief period of crisis and temporary suspension followed, and subsequently the exhibition re-opened in the spring of 1990, actually starting off with two shows a year. The edition of 1994 was livened up by the fact that the town fire brigade put off the opening of the show for a day due to apparent problems in the security systems of the Palazzetto dello Sport, the building which hosted the exhibition at that time. From the mid-nineties onwards, the manifestation has been held annually.
As from the year 2006, the venue of the exhibition, which was held that year from 1-5 November with 84,000 visitors, was moved to the centre of the town. The various exhibitory pavilions are arranged in several piazzas in the old town centre and visitors have much larger areas to walk about in and more services at their disposal, particularly regarding refreshments, compared to when the show was confined to the limited space available inside the Palazzetto dello Sport. The edition of 2007 took place from the first to the fourth of November and registered record numbers of 90,000 visitors, 23,000 of whom on the last day. The idea of collocating all the stalls and stands of the exhibition within the city walls was repeated with success