Meanwhile in Angoulême: Charlie Hebdo gets special prize; Comixology coverage and just how big is it?

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A round-up of news from the FIBD in Angoulême, with a sale from Comixology, live reports on bomb sniffing dogs, a prize for LES ROYAUMES DU NORD, continued controversy over Sodastream, and questions over just how many people actually attend the festival.

Katsuhiro Otomo wins Grand Prix at Angoulême

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In what is not a shock but is a break with tradition, Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of Akira and Domu, has been awarded the Grand Prix at the 42nd annual Festival d’Angoulême which is taking place as we speak.

Otomo beat out beloved Belgian cartoonist Hermann (the safe choice) and Alan Moore, who probably would have just chucked it into his garden and forgotten about.

Je suis Jane Austen

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By Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson

If I had my druthers I would mostly live in a Jane Austen world. I say mostly because of course it would be necessary to be wealthy and male, from a proper upper class family with good social standing and white goes without saying. I prefer gentility, good manners and pleasant behavior. I don’t like crass, vulgar, adolescent immature anything. So what am I doing in the world of comics?

Angoulême festival planning memorial and seeking contributions

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It will be a very difficult Angouleme comics festival they year, as the French comics world—and the entire world—deals with the senseless death of five cartoonists. I’m told the festival is planning a memorial and also seeking contributions via their  Facebook page.  While they are asking for “Je suis Charlie” contributions, I’m sure the cartoonists of the world can […]

Sacred and Sequential group releases statement on the Charlie Hebdo attack

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Sacred and Sequential, a group of scholars who study the intersection of religion and comics has released a statement on Wednesday’s still reverberating attack on the officer of Charlie Hebo that left 12 dead. The statement was posted by A. David Lewis, author of The Superhero Afterlife. Nothing can justify the attack on the French […]

The cartooning world—and the rest of the world—reacts to the Charlie Hebdo attack

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January 7th, 2015 will always be a grim date in for free speech, tolerance and French cartooning. As we all know, 12 people, including 10 staffers and four cartoonists were killed in a terrorist attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo yesterday morning. The attack—which some called the 9/11 for France—left grieving and reeling for those lost and for a world in which such a senseless act could occur. The four cartoonists killed—Georges Wolinski, Charb, Tignous, and Cabu—included one Angouleme Grand Prize winner, Wolinski, who won in 2005. It was a grievous toll.

12 killed including four cartoonists in attack on Charlie Hebdo offices

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In an act of unspeakable horror, three gunman are at large in France after a brief deadly attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine. The attackers shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack, and it’s believed to be part of a long running controversy over various depictions of the prophet Mohammed going back […]

UK publisher Great Beast shuts down—but it’s for good reasons

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While comics seem to be holding their own as an industry, with revenue generally up, there are a few folks on shaky ground, and 2014 saw a few casualties. One of them is Great Beast, the indie uUK graphic novel publisher run by cartoonists Adam Cadwell and Mark Ellerby. The imprint was sort of run as an “Image” like model, with Great Beast generally handling distribution for an emerging generation of UK cartoonists including , Robert M Ball, Dan Berry, Adam Cadwell, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Dan Cox, John Cei Douglas, Marc Ellerby, Isabel Greenberg, John Riordan and Rachael Smith.

The reason for the shut down? Too much success basically. Ellerby had left running the publisher earlier in the year and Cadwell did not have the time to keep things going:

Dover to publish a new edition of Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala

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The other day I mentioned how Dover Books is bringing back a bunch of out of print graphic novels including Puma Blues and A Sailor’s Story.

Well, you can add one more book to that list.

I’m thrilled to be able to announce that Dover is reprinting a new edition of Secret Teachings of a Comic Book Master: The Art of Alfredo Alcala by myself and Philip Yeh

Angoulême Festival Prize nominees announced

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The nominees in the four juried categories of the FIBD 42 have been announced, 35 “Official Selections”, 12 in the “comics for young readers” category, 10 in the “best reprint” category and 5 in the “mystery novel” aka Polar category (all descriptions are my own.) “Polar” which you see so often in various listing at Angoulême, as best I can make out, tarnslates as a “light mystery” or thriller category….kind of the popular genre in Franco-Belgian comics, as opposed to say, superheroes. If I’m wrong, please someone correct me.

Angoulême fest announces line-up of exhibits and spotlights: Watterson, Kirby, Moomins, Taniguchi

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The Angoulême Festival International de la Bande Dessineé for 2015 has released the schedule of art exhibits, spotlights and other goodies. They attached this as an English-language pdf which I’ve inserted below. There are several amusing typos on the list, see if you can spot them. All that aside, this is a pretty stunning—and cosmopolitan—line-up, […]

British Comic Awards winners announced

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The winners of the third annual British Comics Awards were announced during the Thought Bubble fest and they are: Best Comic – The Wicked + The Divine #1 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles (Image Comics) Best Book – The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg (Jonathan Cape) Young People’s Comic Award – Hilda […]

Comic Cons around the world: Mumbai Film and Comic Con 2014

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Among the countries most taken by comic con fever is India. A lengthy email offering pr on this year’s Mumbai Film and Comic Con 2014, taking place at the Bombay Exhibition Centre from 19th December-21st December arrived in my mail box. Among the facts revealed: Guests include Nick Spencer, Nicolas Wild and Dan Goldman. She show will offer a 50,000 sq feet show floor and 100 exhibitors, including Amar Chitra Katha, Orange Radius, Pop Culture Publishing, Holy Cow Entertainment, Crimzon Studios, Simon and Schuster India, HarperCollins Publishers, Aayumi Productions, Shamik Dasgupta, Jazyl Homavazir, Pepper Script and Raj Comics.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 11/13/14: CM Punk and Noelle Stevenson are writing Lady Thor, but can they lift her hammer?

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§ Marvel is putting out a Thor Annual and they pulled out all the stops to get the wackiest mix of creators ever. Wrestler CM Punk will write one story, that Chew’s Rob Guillory will draw; Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson is writing another, with Marguerite Sauvage on art. And regular dude Jason Aaron is writing yet […]

Magnetic Press to publish Daomu graphic novel

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Magnetic Press launched earlier this year bringing some top-notch French comics to the US market and they’re not only still here, they are expanding to Chinese comics with DAOMU, which adapts the popular novel series by Chinese author Xu “Kennedy” Lei, who’s knwn as China’s Stephen King.  How popular is this series? The first novel, which forms the basis of the graphic novel has sold three million copies as of 2010 with an additional 20 million copies on the black market. I didn’t know there was a lack market for novels but it’s a thrilling world.

Bill Watterson draws poster for Angoulême 2015, but will not participate in fest —UPDATED

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Earlier this year, the selection of Bill Watterson as the Grand Prix winner at the Angoulême comics festival created quite a stir. The winner is traditionally the “grand marshal” of the whole festival, helping plan exhibits and appearing at official events. (Or, as in the case of Willem, last ear’s winner, hanging out at Le Chat Noir until 1 am with everyone else.) It seemed a bit of a stretch for Watterson, but was it impossible?

Although the once reclusive Calvin & Hobbes creator hasn’t exactly turned into Taylor Swift, he makes occasional semi public appearances and is way more accessible in interviews. (If you call once or twice a year accessible.) When the win was announced, Watterson’s editor Lee Salem said he would try to tell him how wonderful Angoulême is, so maybe Watterson would make an exception for this so not a comic-con event?