The annual Angoulême comics festival is taking place over in France, and folks are blogging it like crazy. Tom Devlin and Peggy Burns from D&Q are having the best time ever obviously. And for those — like The Beat — who bitch and moan about having to stay at a hotel in San Diego more than 7 blocks from the convention center, the Burns-Devlin contingent is staying at a hotel 30 kilometres from city center. It helps when the hotel is a remodeled centuries old farmhouse and not a Days Inn, however — no complaints at all.
The big news at the show is the strike against L’Association — originsdescribed by Matthias Wivel here — by employees who feel they were unfairly made redundant. According to Beaty, this has resulted in artists sitting around the booth uncomfortably with no books to sign, only protest pamphlets. As laid out by Wivel, problems at L’Association are part of a wider crumbling of the indie business model in France due to a distributor going under, and L’Asso’s increasing turn toward experimental comics. Times are tough all over, although 31 million graphic novels were sold in France in 2010, according to a report issued just before the show.
Despite a lingering suspicion of the French engendered by my recent imprisonment there, I wish I were in Angoulême — it looks like amazing good times and good comics.