Hello from Angouleme. I’m at this year’s edition of the show that attracts as many as 200,000 people every year. It’s France’s San Diego. Lewis Trondheim has had many a page of his Little Nothings dedicated to this show, especially around his consecration with the grand prize here a couple years ago.
Just arrived yesterday and this morning, visited some of the exhibits. Blutch who is one of the main artists of the new generation like Trondheim was given the Grand Prize last year, so that makes him President of this year’s fair and also enables him to put up an exhibition of hois works. In a new space the convention didn’t have before, Blutch has what is this year a regular gallery type hanging of many never before seen works of his. Usually these exhibits mix a recreation of the artist’s world so this is a bit unusual. He also says right up front that he’s not showing his life work or best originals from graphic novels, but various creations he made which had never seen daylight since “and don’t expect any identification.” He’s an original and his work shows how creative and off the beaten path he is. Unfortunately not seen here so far, I believe.
Next to his exhibit is another excellent one of the history of humor cartoons but what I found most interesting was going to see the all new extension of the comics museum which finally has a beautiful new space to show off their extensive collection which they do by presenting a history of comics, with a strong French comics angle obviously but well and in a great space. As you walk over a pedestrian bridge to it, you pass a life size statue of Corto Maltese peering dreamily into the distance. When is San Diego going to do that?
All this with the possibility that Angouleme will no longer host the fair. There was a big debate that even threatened this year’s show, with an almost last minute save. It would be ironic for this city which has streets signs in balloons and two of its main streets named after Goscinny and Herge!