Bart Beatty is reporting on all the festival doings at The Comics Reporter. Check back daily for Bart’s view on the goings on.
It was slow today — the biggest hall was empty at opening, but most of the artists were arriving today and the signings, and crowds, will grow in earnest on Friday. The weather has been a boon to smokers now confined to the outdoors, as it is positively springlike, a big change from the past couple of years. All in all, an auspicious start that bodes well for a crisis- and scandal-free Festival.
Spring, comics and a cloud of Gauloises smoke. We must make it to Angoulême one day before its all over.
Speaking of French comics, they are having something of a snit which Matthias Wivel explains: A newspaper piece claims that Sfar and Satrapi and co. make up a French comics mafia:
While nowhere near the hatchet piece Ted Rall’s now infamous Village Voice article was, Brethes is tilting at windmills here. As he acknowledges himself, Satrapi; Sfar and the rest have influenced French comics significantly, and he is right that they have spawned a number of epigones, etc. But intimating that they are somehow at fault, and using a criminal metaphor to boot, is just dumb. Who can blame them for embracing the media attention they have earned through producing quality work? Or for promoting the kinds of comics they like when they attain editorial positions? And how, exactly, is any of this different from earlier times — Dionnet/et. al. at Métal Hurlant or Brétecher/Gotlib and Co. at Echo des savanes/Fluide Glacial publishing artists they themselves enjoyed? Furthermore, how is this different from what goes on in the rest of the literary/art community, or indeed the world at large?