A couple of weeks ago, Vijaya and i attended The International Festival de la Bande Dessinee in the medieval walled city of Angouleme, France.
Vijaya and I only flew in for a day, but man, what a day! Dinner with our publisher Guy Delcourt included Jessica Able, Matt Madden, Aaron Reneir and Joann Safar, seen here while he was drawing pictures of me during the meal.
Mr. Sfar is the artist of the Dungeon books written by Lewis Trondheim, one the most popular series in France. And one of my favorites, as well!
Me and the Artbabe, herself, Jessica Able.
As we wander out into the cool night air, Aaron Reneir is fascinated with his first visit to the winding backstreets of Angouleme’s city center. Aaron won critical acclaim last year with his first book, Spiral Bound.
Later in the Mecure bar, we ran into Lewis Trondheim and shortly after that,Craig Thompson, the cartoonist of Blankets and Good-bye, Chunky Rice.
Lewis Trondheim, in the middle here between Aaron and I, is a brilliant cartoonist whose work is flat out hysterical. He is one of the founders of L’Association, a publishing house as famous for its brilliant personal work as it is for breaking rules. Lewis also won last year’s Grand Prix, the highest comics award in France, which makes him this year’s President of the Festival…
…a very prestigious and dignified honor.
Guy Delcourt, my publisher, and Matt Madden, who did A Fine Mess for Alternative Comics.
Jessica, Vijaya and Craig Thompson.
The next day was filled with media interviews, and I had a really fun signing at the Delcourt booth with Charles Burns that lasted for almost three hours.
Charles’ new French edition of Black Hole won a top prize at the show. Afterward I went to the Cartoon Museum in the city center to see the Jim Woodring exhibit – - which was amazing! Jim’s work is beautiful, terrifying, and pulled from somewhere deep inside. Seeing the originals was inspiring.
Outside the museum, many of my heroes have left their marks in cement. Seeing Will Eisner’s handprint was the perfect ending to our visit. Vijaya and I then reluctantly hailed a car to the airport. All in all it was a memorable 24 hours at one of the most unusual festivals in the world.
Tomorrow, it’s back to Shazam! MSoE#2 ships February 28! I have more web links, including a crazy on-line interview with some Canadians, and Entertainment Weekly’s Five Reasons to Live.
The World Tour continues this weekend Feb 23 – 25 at the 2nd Annual New York Comic-Con – - see you there.