(l-r, front row Igort, Isabel Kreitz, Max, Nicolas de Crécy; standing, Jaromir 99 and Jaroslav Rudiš)
Euro comics week in NYC continued with an evening of slideshows and presentations by David B., Nicolas de Crécy, Igort, Jaromír 99, Isabel Kreitz, Max, and Jaroslav Rudiš, some of the finest cartoonists in the world, so it was quite the time. B. showed slides from THE EPILEPTIC and described his thinking process behind his powerful imagery. Igort showed off an evocative selection of slides of images and comics that have influenced his own dreamlike stories. Kreitz — perhaps the only German cartoonist we have ever met — described the lack of opportunities for cartoonists in Germany (it’s another Disney-centric country, and there is almost no local comics scene, aside from some self-publishing). She also showed a trailer for her DIE SACHE MIT SORGE, a breathtakingly illustrated retelling of the true-life tale of Russian spy Richard Sorge. (You can watch the trailer below.) The Czech duo of Jaromir and Jaroslav, the least well known of the touring ‘toonists, spoke in broad terms about their influences and work. Max delved into some of the surrealist influences on his character Bardin, the Superrealist, such as Fuseli’s Nightmare paintings. De Crécy rounded out the evening with a slideshow of his pages — the combined effect of seeing so much of his fantastic, gorgeous work was sort of overwhelming, and it’s hard to imagine that there’s a better artist working in comics today. His only large-scale work published here in America is GLACIAL PERIOD, available from NBM, but one hopes that will change.
There was an SRO crowd at MoCCA for the event, and last night’s David Mazzucchelli-led talk at SVA was also packed. Seeing a healthy audience for European artists of this caliber in New York, at least, comes as a nice vindication of the job American and Canadian publishers are doing to get their work over here.