TCAF announces first guests, more details for 2015 show

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TCAF, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival will be held May 9-10th this year, with a whole week of events, art exhibits, screenings. Special programming events include the CSSC-SCEBD Academic Conference, Library & Educator Day, Word Balloon Academy, and Comics Vs. Games 4. IN other words, it jam packed with stuff to see and do. As for programming the first spotlight has been announced: Drawn & Quarterly’s 25th anniversary, which is certain to bring out some top notch sessions.

Angoulême’s attendance is probably smaller than thought

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Well, this is a bit of a wounder. I alluded in an earlier post on the Angoulême comics festival that the attendance was being disputed, and in a
must read wrap-up of the 2015 festival Matthias Wivel covers everything and has a much more knowledgable breakdown of the dispute. In the past it has been a tenet of faith that 200,000 people attend the festival, which fills an entire medieval style town on a hill. This number has been cited as a reminder of how the French love their comics, how robust the European comics scene is, and in general how Angoulême is heaven on earth for comics lovers. While all of that remains true, it now seems that festival organizers may have been inflating the attendance a tad and it’s more like…15,000-20,000.

Titan Announces The Best of British Comics

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Titan has socialed up the above image and some information:

Word Without Borders publishes 9th annual Graphic Novels issue

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The annual graphic novel issues of Words without Borders, an online international literary magazine, is out, and it has a great line-up, which you can see by clicking through. I’ve post a few preview images at the bottom of the post.

Riad Sattouf’s “The Arab of the Future” wins top honor at Angoulême festival prizes

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The winners are in. and Riad Sattouf won the top prize for Album of the Year, for his L’Arabe du Futur (The Arab of the Future) which will be published in the US this fall by Holt. As might be expected from the title, the book deals directly with the matter of the day, and I expect it will get a lot of attention. Sattouf is well known in France for his cutting social humor, and is also a prize winning film director. Here’s the rest of the winners with my rough translations of the prize names from the official site—the only American prize was Chris Ware’s Building Stories for the Jury Prize.

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

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, […]