L’Affaire de Angoulême continues and will not stop. As we reported yesterday, 40 French publishers — basically all the important players in France— have said they will boycott the 2017 festival if changes are not made. According to an interview in Le Monde, Guy Delcourt, owner of Delcourt, one of the biggest French publishers and head of the SNE Comics Groups ( A trade organization that has no analog in the US) is one of the leaders of the revolt and he’s threatening to start a new festival if Angouleme doesn’t shape up, comparing it to “a leaky boat with no visible strategy.”
However the boycott is already working! The brand new French Minister of Culture, Audrey Azoulay, has agreed to meet with the publishers group, as per their demands, as soon as she gets back from a trip to South America. The government is a huge financial sponsor of the festival, so getting them on board with changes is key to making anything happen.
I’m told that French publishers have long chafed against the Festival, as it is mostly out of their control, and this isn’t the first time they’ve threatened to put on their own show. However the buffoonish missteps of the 2016 festival make the threat a lot more credible than before.
BTW, as I was working on this story, I discovered yet another dumbass thing that Franck Bondoux’s 9eArt + organization has done. In the last few years, there was an English language version of the fest’s website, but that no longer exists. Not like comics are an international big deal or anything.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.