Tag Archive for 'Angoulême 2011'

Angoulême 2011: Aftermath

Autoroute detail by Baru


This year’s Angoulême festival was a solid if somewhat unremarkable one, plagued more than usual by the cultural myopia that has always characterized it to an extent. Its organizers described it as a success, but below the surface, it turns out, lurk conflicts of financing and responsibility. Continue reading ‘Angoulême 2011: Aftermath’

Angoulême 2011: Art Spiegelman Grand Prix


It has just been announced that Art Spiegelman is the recipient of this year’s Grand Prix at the Festival Internationale de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême. Selected by the festival’s academy, which is composed of former recipients, he joins Will Eisner and R. Crumb as the third American (and fifth non-francophone) to be bestowed this, the highest European honor that can be accorded a comics artist. Spiegelman has long been an obvious choice, but it has still taken the notoriously francocentric academy long to recognize him. The author of the seminal graphic novel Maus, surely as influential in Europe as in America, will act as next year’s president.

Originally published at TCJ.com on 30 January 2011.

Angoulême 2011: Saturday

From the Frémok/Cinquième couche show


As usual Saturday brought the crowds to Angoulême. It is difficult to get around, but it brings to the festival a heady atmosphere of art and commerce. Even the Association staff decided today partly to suspend their ongoing strike in order to support their artists who had turned up to sign their books. Killoffer, Gerner, Baudoin, Sury, Ruppert & Mulot, and several more were drawing up a storm for the throngs passing through the doors to the Nouveau monde. There is talk of upcoming negotiations between direction and staff, but for the moment the situation remains strained.

The programming has also been popular. This morning, I tried in vain to get into the CIBDI lecture hall to hear the talk by Ikeda Ryoki, the creator of the still-to-be-translated-into-English classic Rose of Versailles. I did manage to get a seat for the similarly mobbed on-stage interview with Moebius last night, even if it turned out I needn’t have bothered. Arriving late to a sweaty, overheated lecture theater, the aging maestro was given very little to work with by the interviewer, who simply let him go on and on about the trivialities of how his current retrospective at the Fondation Cartier in Paris came to be, and how he has recently returned to his classic creation Arzak. Very little effort was made to discuss the intricacies and themes of this or other works, or his thoughts on why this was a good moment to return to a character who had his day in the late 70s, or the fact that the book in question is amongst the sloppiest-looking he has turned out in a long time. Continue reading ‘Angoulême 2011: Saturday’

Angoulême 2011: Friday

The L'Asso stand


Arrived in Angoulême fairly late the afternoon yesterday, so last night was spent mostly catching up. As mentioned in several places already, the big story here is the ongoing strike at L’Association (I’ve been writing about it here and here). Their booth, which is placed at the head of the big so-called Noveau monde tent (which houses all the small press publishers, fanzine emporia, etc) has a massive sign up saying “Employees on Strike,” with pamphlets out explaining the situation, and no books for sale. One speculates whether, as bad as this surely is for the publisher (in terms of sales in addition to everything else), it might also be something of a perverse, unintended PR scoop. At any rate, this particular Angoulême will surely be remembered by many as the one with l’Asso on strike. Continue reading ‘Angoulême 2011: Friday’